Trap Them
Darker Handcraft


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew Kaster USER (24 Reviews)
April 6th, 2011 | 42 replies | 4,484 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With more adventurous leanings, Trap Them could create an album of different shades and hues, instead of just being painted in several shades of black.

Darker Handcraft begins with but a second of high pitched feedback before kicking off in endless propulsion. It's a relentless album that finds Trap Them delivering their music with a punk execution and metal aesthetics while traversing the entire galaxy of "heavy". Death metal guitar tones, grindcore chug, and straight up rock'n'roll groove fuel the inner mechanisms of the band's playing. Though these various influences combine to create a niche sound to call their own, Trap Them is essentially providing listeners with several approaches to the same concept; ceaseless aggression.

Kurt Ballou returns to the reigns of producer to provide Trap Them once again with his trademark "polished harshness" gloss. Needless to say, the production is fantastic, allowing the band to sound louder, thrashier, and more acidic than they've ever been while still providing a bass heavy bedrock to their foundation. Amazingly tight even in the most barbaric moments, Trap Them sound considerably more composed on this record. The guitars are wielded with as much uncanned grace as a chainsaw; buzzing and whirring and constantly cutting away at the thicket of drumming. Tracks such as "Every Walk a Quarantine" and "The Facts" are as humid and sardonic as some of the most venomous music you're likely to come across in the realm of "hardcore". The band even trudges through bleak muck on "Sordid Earnings", and album closer, "Scars Align"; coating themselves with a thick sludge that provides (much needed) breath catching moments.

Yet in the end, Darker Handcraft is not only the band's finest record, but also, the one that proves they may need to shift gears a bit. There's little variety over the course of the album (as far as sounds and styles go), which eventually turns catharsis into withering blatancy. Things aren't necessarily moving in one direction, but instead, in one speed. Each song carves out moments where things coil back and recede before taking off in the opposite direction, sending flak in all directions. The problem is, they have very few targets, even if they hit them all with pinpoint accuracy. It would've been interesting to see the band experiment with more atmospheric landscapes, such as on the track "Drag the Wounds Eternal" (where I hear the slight color of organs, drone, and undistorted guitars). It's a song like this that shows the band knows how to approach suffering in more than one way, it's just they choose not to.

Though the band puts full blunt force behind every punch they throw (and believe me, there are a LOT of them being tossed), they make little effort to distinguish between their right and left fists. Regardless of this, Darker Handcraft is still incredibly claustrophobic, crusty, and enjoyable in all regards it's to be taken in. Trap Them has managed to distill their volatile formula into something more polished and perfected. With this praise given, there's also a signaling that this band needs to move into a different direction; something I know they're capable of. With more adventurous leanings, Trap Them could create an album of different shades and hues, instead of just being painted in several shades of black.

You hear that? The same high pitched feedback that kicked off Darker Handcraft is still ringing in your ears, even though the album has finished. That's the sound of tinnitus setting in. Once again, Trap Them have loaned their talents to their favorite motif; disorienting loudness.



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user ratings (457)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
jitteryzeitgeist (4)
Have you some new torture for me?...

INFINITY ACTRESS (4)
Absolute carnage...

Josh Fountain CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Watch your ass Converge...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SloppyMilkshake
April 6th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Let the "dumbing down" process (hopefully) begin.

Mewcopa0
April 6th 2011



1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude better than a 3.5. j/s

ButcheredChildren
April 6th 2011



5591 Comments


Look at my rating, what do you see?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 6th 2011



6993 Comments


@butchered, red colour, simple font type.

SloppyMilkshake
April 6th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe a little bit of overrating? :P

But nah, I like this album a lot. I just tend to focus out until the last two tracks. There's nothing wrong with any of the songs though, and everything is great...ya know...just not excellent, I guess.

cvlts
April 6th 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't understand the third paragraph at all.

rasputin
April 6th 2011



14540 Comments


i've downloaded this and it's ready for listening but i haven't ventured any further. it sounds decent, but as you point out, i think the record will be overall a little bland (judging from the song or two i have listened to). can't really make any definite statements until i listen though.

ButcheredChildren
April 6th 2011



5591 Comments


Yet in the end, Darker Handcraft is not only the band's finest record, but also, the one that proves they may be wasting their potential somewhat.

Dude... what?

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments


Cool review. But this

(of Sputnik's "over hyped" hall of famers, Converge)


is awkward. His role in Converge isn't really relevant, and Sputnik's views on his band are even less so.

SloppyMilkshake
April 6th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Phleb; good point. I'll change that.

@Butchered; it shows how far they've come in mastering their sound, and yet, makes me wish more that they would switch things up a bit.

This can grow on me. Maybe if some of the songs start sticking more with repeated listens (I've listened to it several times in the past week or so, but it may need more)

ButcheredChildren
April 6th 2011



5591 Comments


But if it is their finest record then how is it a waste of potential?

I think what you are getting at is that the record is awesome but that Trap Them are capable of a lot more.

You have the right idea, your sentences are just awkward.

SloppyMilkshake
April 6th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another good point, fix'd

Fieryfenderz
April 6th 2011



1437 Comments


God this is so pissed

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments


Cool. Really dig the flow of this review now.

Maniac!
April 6th 2011



26250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is good

alachlahol
April 6th 2011



7487 Comments


doesnt this Brian guitarist guy get sick of using the same fuckin entombed guitar tone on every album? probably eats the same sandwich every day for lunch

Blackbelt54
April 6th 2011



4269 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is awesome stuff. might bump to a 4 eventually if it grows a bit more

SteelErectedb4you8er
April 6th 2011



2616 Comments


I don't know, I could listen to that guitar tone all day long. I love it so much.

myhigherpie
April 7th 2011



3027 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Exactly my leanings towards this. I like that they've taken the time to really create some personality in their music though. It's a plus that's worth noting. This has some decent replay value.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2011



31095 Comments


Look at my rating, what do you see?


Something that doesn't take the focus of that picture

First paragraph: you can't compose yourself with execution, that lies in the delivery not a part of an equation

Digging: Banks - Goddess



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