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'A Fool's Game'
(Undergrowth Productions)
Release Date: January 14th 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

primate x

As I sit here now, it feels somewhat ironic and appropriate to be reviewing this debut full length album by a Swedish quartet who titles their collection 'A Fool's Game' on what is April Fool's Day. Oh, how I smile to myself over such a coincidence. (I don't get out much you see.)

Forgive my digression, this album is heavy and well executed. The production values are good with the guitars coming across like audio razorblades and the vocals crystal clear despite the angst and aggression injected in to them.

You may have heard their single 'Surrounded' unleashed on our listening pleasure back in 2012, but if not then you find your ears submerged in an overlaying melancholy vocal wave which winds its way over some Doom-like instrumentation which exhibits progressive tendencies.

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Thinking about it, why don't you press play on the official music video for their track 'Game' to receive a full-on introduction to Primate X...

There must be something extra special in the water over there in Stockholm as 'A Fool's Game' knocks out songs like 'Fool' with its rampant opening riff before mixing things up and offering up a tasty chorus; album-closer 'Telescope' which has Felix spreading his magic with the guitar and Emil working like a Trojan on bass; 'Another Thing To Ignore' casting its moody shadow over a gasping throng and rinsing out every single morsel of emotion that each band member possesses.

'A Fool's Game' is not for the light of heart. It soaks up intensity like I change my socks each morning, and yet provides a sound that hints at familiar thanks to the sincere warmth captured by lead vocalist JP. The overall ebb and flow of the album follows some constantly changing beats presented by Max and you really get a sense of the chemistry the band have with each other.

When you're confronted with lighter shades of their sound as they tackle 'Dying Bloom' which incorporates a soaring chorus after lulling your ears into a false sense of security with a laid back verse, and then the restrained punishment of a track like 'Flying Blind' with hints of Living Colour, Disturbed and something unique to their chemistry; texture is rich and the album has longevity as a result.

Ten tracks which beat with a progressive heart and sharing a mixture of emotion and arrangement; solid production that wraps up the entire package and some competent musicianship, make this album something of a strong release. I find myself remembering that this is their first full-length album, so I'm curious to see how Primate X grows from here. But for now, there's no denying that 'A Fool's Game' isn't an April Fool's joke played at my expense, instead it's been a rewarding experience playing it on repeat.

Broken Glass
Flying Blind
Another Thing To Ignore
Dying Bloom
Plastic Fantasy
Suspended In The Silence

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