Primal - Humachine

Primal is a Heavy Metal band from Los Angeles, CA, formed in 2014. Humachine is their second full-length album following their eponymous 2016 debut. Mixing in some Thrash and NWOBHM just to keep things exciting and fresh, they have fast rhythms, heavy riffs with intricate leads and solos, and clean vocals that feature lots of rasp and distortion but stay on this side of growled. I don’t want to say these guts are “old-school,” but you will hear some significant influences from yesteryear with modern production and execution.

Band Members:

  • Alberto Zamarbide – Vocals
  • Glenn Rogers – Guitars
  • Cesar Ceregatti – Bass
  • Jorge Iacobellis – Drums

March 31st, 2023


  1. The Cage
  2. Humachine (Heavy Toll)
  3. Firefighter
  4. Unleash In Madness
  5. End Times
  6. Warrior’s Code
  7. Savior
  8. Infernal Nightmare
  9. Betrayal
  10. Bantu’s Victory
  11. Ever

The opening riff to “The Cage” reminds me of bands like Prong or Helmet, heavy, fast, yet quite melodic. There is a lot of killer stuff in this song, a driving rhythm that really paces the song well, a solid drum/bass combo that keeps the tempo beautifully, and vocals that remain steady while hitting all the right notes to fit the track. The guitars work together to keep everything fresh and sound nice.

For “Humachine (Heavy Toll),” the tempo is slightly closer to Sludge Metal but maintains the Heavy Metal influence. This track has an older soul than the last song, reminding me a bit more of a crossover into Black Sabbath territory with the tempo. Then, “Firefighter” picks the pace up again and goes for some 80s NWOBHM vibes, mainly from the guitar work with an early Saxon/Raven feel.

Both “Unleash In Madness” and “Warrior’s Code” have a sound that strikes me as part way between early 80s Heavy Metal like Armored Saint and early Thrash from the Bay Area. Honestly, it’s like Primal is taking all my favorite styles and throwing them into a musical blender, and creating a Heavy Metal Mash Up custom-made for my taste.

Let me be perfectly clear about one thing here. When I say I hear the influences of these other bands, I am in no way saying Primal is imitating someone else. They have a unique sound that has some ties to old-school music that I like, so my hearing it may not be intended by the writers, but that’s what gets into my head. Also, know that I really enjoy hearing music like this because it feels comfortable and familiar.

“Savior” has a much more modern tone to it. The drum work stands out for me in this one. The phrase shifts and pattern changes are fantastic, cavorting playfully under the rhythm at times, letting the bass do the heavy lifting for the tempo this time. “Betrayal” sees the drums drive the rhythm well, and you get the bass acting more like a second rhythm guitar, beefing up the wall of guitars you hear on this track. There are more excellent guitar leads and fills in both songs, just like the others before. These guys are veteran shredders, and they work together spectacularly.

Closing the album out, you have a 34-second instrumental, “Bantu’s Victory,” that leads into the final track, “Ever.” This is the last chance Primal has to show you what they can do, and they take full advantage, writing a song that feels like a victory march after the final battle. The song sounds triumphant, leaving you wanting to take a victory lap with your hands held high.

Primal is a band you would think has been around for decades, yet they are still a year away from hitting double digits. Their sound is an old soul with a modern sense. I really enjoyed digging into this album because it sounds like a buffet of everything I grew up on and still love to this day. It’s like creating new memories while reliving old ones. I’m not doing the experience justice with that description, so you should just listen for yourself and see what I mean.

MZ Ratings:

  • Musicianship
    • Guitars – 9
    • Rhythms – 9
    • Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 8
  • Production – 9
  • Overall – 8.80