Many have tried to ape Trap Them’s steady ascent (or descent, if you will) into the ranks of the most ear-massacring, brain-melting metal sub-genres out there, and have all but failed. Perhaps this is because with Trap Them, there is no beating out the bush-the beating gets you instantly, and doesn’t really stop until the band’s several thirty minute recordings finish playing. Trap Them have demonstrated that if they won’t ever be remembered for their inspiration or willingness to change, they will surely be remembered for their determined effort to be the most convincingly menacing band currently to spawn out of Seattle.
2016 sees the eminent return of Trap Them in new album “Crown Feral”, and of course they give the impression of a wide-eyed group of individuals ready to unleash absolute hell. “Crown Feral” proves little more than that particular image in your mind, but what keeps the new record from falling short of relative success is their willingness to keep you hooked until the bitter end. Opener ‘Kindred Dirt’ is a confusing albeit sadistic intro, with ideas spawning everywhere and never even attempting to connect with one another. If it does only one thing, it’s set the standard for one of the album’s few stand-out highlights, ‘Hellionaires’, which explodes instantaneously out of the stereo in bullish fashion. Guitars rip through the recording as the numerous usual elements of a standard Trap Them album are deemed here to stay-that is apocalyptic atmosphere, bilious vocal delivery and chaotic rhythm section.
However, despite the attempts of ‘Prodigala’ and ‘Twitching in the Auras’ to deviate just a little from the norm, every other cut from “Crown Feral” seems fairly forgettable-and that’s a dangerous thing knowing that the musical style Trap Them play is hard to stand out from the increasingly fuller crowd. The mid-section of the album is more Trap Them slogging their efforts over a series of two to three minute numbers, going through the motions as if that will make the thirty minute run-time rush any faster. ‘Prodigala’ and ‘Twitching in the Auras’ do give slight breaks and moments of fresh musicianship at times. The former leaps off the formula of its predecessor in ‘Hellionaires’, and if it never quite manages to keep up the momentum by the end, it certainly demonstrates a skull-crushing heaviness that few bands in a similar vein to Trap Them can escalate to. The latter however resonates with early-to-mid period Crowbar with a slight hint of melody (just a slight hint, the band aren’t going over the top here thankfully), slowing down for the heavier riffs to connect with the listener’s brain for the few memorable minutes it performs. More songs like these two aforementioned cuts, and “Crown Feral” could be further away from an average status than it already is.
“Crown Feral” is definitely another Trap Them record, but it stops itself from becoming ever greater because of an unwillingness to provide some really fresh meat for the baying crowds. Instead the band seem content on filling the void and leaving it at that. They pour forth a lot of menacing effort and blood-gushing rhythmic talent, and perhaps they even make up for the lack of variation at times. But who the hell wants deviation from a musical style like this? In a sub-genre which will never really be known for its versatility, Trap Them are still reigning brutally supreme, and despite its evident lack of inspiration at times, “Crown Feral” is concrete proof just as much as its predecessors.
Released: September 23rd, 2016
- Kindred Dirt
- Luster Pendulums
- Malengines Here, Where They Should Be
- Speak Nigh
- Twitching in the Auras
- Revival Spines
- Stray of the Tongue
- Phantom Air