Frantic, hellish, trashy and dark – all words that can be used to describe Trap Them’s fifth full-length record. Crown Feral is almost a back to basics approach for the four-piece from Boston via Seattle, but with the added experience being a band for 14 years included in every track. Following on from 2014’s Blissfucker, Trap Them have gone over old ground for Crown Feral and the result is a blistering onslaught of riffs and howling vocals which clocks in just over half-an-hour.
It’s an album that has very clear nods to 2008’s Seizures in Barren Praise and 2011’s Darker Handcraft, but i’ll go out on a limb and say this time around the band has found that perfect blend of metal, d-beat punk, and hardcore. The record opens with the sombre tones of ‘Kindred Dirt’, but it doesn’t take long for the ever so distinguishing HM-2 guitar sound take effect as ‘Hellionaires’ kicks in.
Something that is synonymous with the band is Ryan McKenney’s grueling yells which act as the perfect foil to the wall of sound which comes from his band mates. Five albums in and McKenny can still produce and in ‘Speak Nigh’ is a throwback to Darker Handcraft days with the front man’s roars ripping through the listener’s body.
For a record which clocks in just over 30 minutes, there is no need for Trap Them stretch it any further with tracks like ‘Stray of The Tongue’ blasting through in just over two minutes, it is as if the band have set the bar a little bit higher for everyone else.
Crown Feral also brings about the band’s first album where they have had the same line-up back-to-back, and you can feel that this continuity has helped, and it is something that comes across in songs like ‘Prodigala’ and ‘Twitching in the Auras’ which shows how the band can mix up the pace, but keeping that dark sinister Trap Them sound.
Once again the four-piece have recorded at the legendary God City studio under the guiding hand of Kurt Ballou, and it seems like the two just seem to fit like a glove.
If Blissfucker was Trap Them’s experimental album, Crown Feral is going back to what they do best and this is certainly the best so far.
Crown Feral is available on September 23rd on Prosthetic Records.