You ever just sit around listening to your favorite crust punk album and go “man I wish someone would combine early Entombed with this shit”? If you have then Trap Them might be the band for you! If you haven’t, then don’t walk away just yet (seriously I’ll hurt you).
After Trap Them’s seriously hardkour 2008 album “Seizures in Barren Praise” it would seem hard to top the intensity and bleakness of that music with anything that wouldn’t sound like a boring retread. Well they’ve managed to one-up that release with “Darker Handcraft”. For those not in the know, Trap Them are a band that combine elements of crust punk with grindcore, d-beat, death metal and a host of other nasty sounding genres. Basically if you don’t mind a little hardcore with your metal then Trap Them will probably appeal to you in some way. On “Darker Handcraft” they’ve managed to distill their acidic sound into something that is surprisingly easy to digest. Songs such as “The Facts” and “Slumcult and Gather” could even be seen as somewhat catchy. “Drag the Wounds Eternal” is a brooding slow paced (by these guys standards) death-waltz that will leave you drained. Sludgy, buzzing guitars and gangshouted hardcore vocals match up with steady blasts and d-beat drum patterns courtesy of new drummer Chris Maggio who steps up the rhythm section’s game here.
If all this doesn’t lure you in then maybe the fact that Kurt Ballou of Converge fame produced this album will. Whether you’re a fan of Converge or not, one thing that can’t be denied is that the dude has skills at production. He has a knack for producing metal and hardcore albums that are at once raw and polished. Sounds contradictory, but you’ll know what I mean when you hear it. He does a great job at bringing out the sludgy bass sound that Trap Them are shooting for. I also can’t help but notice some of Converge’s sound rubbing off on these guys, which you can’t go wrong with.
Without a doubt, Darker Handcraft is one of the best metal releases this year. It manages to punch you in the face for a solid 31 minutes of sludgy hardcore intensity without ever managing to overstay its welcome. If you’re looking for a dark and heavy album that takes no prisoners, look no further than “Darker Handcraft”.