Primus - The Desaturating Seven album review

Quirky and engaging as ever

Cover art for Primus - The Desaturating Seven album

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

It’s typical of Primus that they’d take a children’s book, in this case The Rainbow Goblins, and turn it into something claustrophobic, bizarre and a little terrifying.

The first studio album to feature the classic line-up of Les Claypool, Tim Alexander and Larry Lalonde since 1995’s Tales From The Punchbowl, the music here gives free rein to the trio’s tendency to expand on disciplined arrangements and go off on joyous tangents. Yet however much they revel in free-form expression, Primus never lose sight of the need to bring everything back to basics when necessary.

The storyline is about goblins who steal the colours of the rainbow, and you can feel the move towards monochrome as the music develops. The way in which LaLonde’s punctuating guitar interacts with Claypool’s squirting basslines is remarkable on tracks like The Trek and The Storm, with Alexander adding sparing fills when necessary.

The overall result is both sparse yet overflowing, in a fashion in keeping with the band’s reputation. And The End? concludes everything on a discordant note of disturbed uncertainty. Brilliantly perverse.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.