Trap Them
Blissfucker

For all of the subgenre division going on in metal, there is an equal amount of incestuous cross-breeding. A growing number of bands now practice a fusion of crust punk, grindcore, and a dash of black/death metal–notably Nails, among others. Trap Them made a significant impact themselves a few years ago with their previous album, Darker Handcraft, a surprisingly catchy, energetic crust record. Blissfucker finds them incorporating more metal influence in pacing and tone, stepping away a little from their crust roots, with mixed success.

Opener “Salted Crypts” starts things off in familiar territory. After a noisy, dissonant opening, the band launches into its usual grind-flavored crust attack. “Lungrunners” and “Former Linings Wide the Walls” also serve as identifiable reference points grounding this album in the band’s clear crust lineage. The later tracks reveal that Trap Them has stepped up both the influences of death metal and black metal. The guitar tone has that trademark Swedish buzzsaw sound, and many of the cuts come off sounding like Dismember by way of Rotten Sound.

The band finds the most success when it lets the fat buzzing tone do its own talking, as on the slower latter half of “Habitland” and the seething, 7-minute “Savage Climbers.” “Let Fall Each and Every Sedition Symptom” strikes that same mid-paced groove that lets you really feel the burn of that tone.

“Gift and Gift Unsteady” is an anthemic, blackened tune, although it becomes annoying in its repetition. Others of the blackened tunes are more successful. “Sanitations” is probably the best of these. “Organic Infernal” is like the crust-punk answer to Urgehal. “Ransom Risen,” with its atmospheric use of vocals and trade-off between clean guitars and heavy blackened doom, evokes the same feel, serving as a claustrophobic intro to the aforementioned “…Sedition Symptom.” The production is cleaner this time around, and overall, it does the band a disservice. For crust, the dirtier, filthier, and gnarlier the production, the better.

This cleaner production often highlights how un-technical the band is (especially on “Gift and Gift Unsteady”) and robs many songs of the impact they might otherwise have had. This album isn’t a step backward, as Trap Them is trying out new sounds and musical ideas, but it isn’t a step forward either. It’s a solid record in its own right, but fans of the band–and of crust in general–could be disappointed with this album, as I was. Darker Handcraft cast quite a large shadow, and Blissfucker doesn’t quite stand clear of it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J. D. Anderson
July 7th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Yeah nothing grabbed me at all on this and i love these guys and this style. best album title of the year though


  2. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    I agree with the best album title of the year! And if if not a step backards nor a step forwards then it might just be a step sideways.


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