Friday, 16 September 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Trap Them - "Crown Feral"

By: Conor O’Dea

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 23/09/2016
Label: Prosthetic Records


...the tracks that are strong, like “Hellionaires” and “Revival Spines” in particular, really need to be considered the best stuff Trap Them has ever written. And while opening track “Kindred Dirt” didn't immerse me in the album in the way I'd hoped, by the time we reach “Twitching in the Auras”, there can be no doubt that Trap Them have made a definitive and impressive move forward on all fronts.  The sound is overall excellent. Lyrics are angry and powerful and riffs are deep and plentiful. Strongly recommend, and an excellent reason to continue to follow this excellent band closely.


‘Crown Feral CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). “Kindred Dirt”
2). “Hellionaires”
3). “Prodigala”
4). “Luster Pendulums”
5). “Malengines Here, Where They Should Be”
6). “Speak Nigh”
7). “Twitching In The Auras”
8). “Revival Spines”
9). “Stray Of The Tongue”
10). “Phantom Air”

The Review:

There's an overvaluation of novelty and groundbreaking composition in music criticism, and metal reviewers in particular seem prone to this unfortunate default. While the avoidance of derivative work is obviously important, music is always composed with historicity and within a continuum; 'truly new' would de facto be unrecognizable as music, let alone as an example of a genre. Trap Them do not fall into the category of relentless reinvention nor of mind-shattering novelty, but what they have done, persistently and doggedly, is carefully reinvent their sound, reconsidering both paths they have already crossed and staking out roads they wish to follow. “Crown Feral” represents a substantial and strong instance of that continued process of reinvention. While not necessarily a pinnacle moment for the band, the album is an important and recognizable evolution of sound.

By my measure, Trap Them's identity as a band first coalesced in “Darker Handcraft”. While “Sleepwell Deconstructor” and “Seizures” both clearly set the belligerent tone and forceful energy of the group, it's really with their third full-length that we see a concrete approach and sound emerge. “..Handcraft” is solid, angry and driving, deeply rooted in crust and grind subgenre inspirations, but bringing that HM-2 sound to the fore that sets the band apart from its peers.  While 2014's “Blissfucker” has taken a shit load of criticism as a misstep, it represents some serious revamping, experimenting and rethinking by the band. Successful? Not always, but definitely commendable and a reminder to the hesitant that sometimes breaking something down allows it to be better rebuilt. Which brings us to “Crown Feral”.

“Crown Feral” is not just a good course correction for some of the experiments that didn't really work on “Blissfucker”, but one that manages to push the band beyond the earlier sound of “Darker Handcraft”. Some 'duller' moments, but fuck, the tracks that are strong, like “Hellionaires” and “Revival Spines” in particular, really need to be considered the best stuff Trap Them has ever written. And while opening track “Kindred Dirt” didn't immerse me in the album in the way I'd hoped, by the time we reach “Twitching in the Auras”, there can be no doubt that Trap Them have made a definitive and impressive move forward on all fronts.

Originally when drafting this review , my sense was that it was a strong, slightly uneven album in which the unevenness comes mainly from the fact that some songs are in the 'pretty good' range while the best tracks hit mind=blown level of just excellent. Upon reflection, what I think I am hearing is a band that is still growing and developing and hasn't quite settled into this more mature evolution; a collection of good and great songs that doesn't quite meet the mark of an excellent album.

Production is a bit brickwalled, and can get tiring, but the sound is overall excellent. Lyrics are angry and powerful and riffs are deep and plentiful. Strongly recommend, and an excellent reason to continue to follow this excellent band closely.

‘Crown Feral is available here



Band info: bandcamp|| facebook


RIYL: Black Breath, Nails, The Secret, Rotten Sound

1 comment:

William Bell said...
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