Review Summary: This one-hit wonder one-trick pony has picked up some new skills, but not enough to interest anyone aside from longtime fans.
Among the dozens of post-grunge/alternative metal groups to recently be dropped by their major record labels, Californian nu metal act Trapt haven’t really taken this opportunity to become a “reborn” band as the title of their fifth studio album implies. While their modern rock peers such as Hoobastank and Digital Summer have used this newly gained independence to revise their music, Reborn
sees Trapt still playing it safe with their trusty old drop C standard tuning, and lyrical topics about threatening retaliation if harassment continues: “I’m gonna hit you until it hurts/I’m gonna give you everything that you deserve” on the muscle-flexing album opener “Bring It”.
Trapt don’t really do much other than what they have been doing for a decade now (which was the same music countless other groups were making at the time anyway), but in every track on Reborn
are minor instances of experimentation with electronic sonics. Trapt have always had little moments of genuine creativity with their wrung dry genre of choice, the most notable being the five minute ambient outerlude to "New Beginning”, the final track on their self titled debut album, and Reborn
does possess a much more atmospheric finish than any previous Trapt album because of the inclusion of lavishing synths and production that has a ethereal tinge to it that resonates with every guitar chord that is struck. Though while these small new additions are noticeable and clearly present, they’re just that, small new additions and nothing greater. Over all, Trapt is still predominately a nu metal band, and one that feels aged and dated at that. The electronic elements are there, but it doesn’t help that they are only most noticeable when they are incorporated in the breaks in between the trudging Korn-inspired riffs, which here don't have anywhere near as much force as they did when Korn first brought them to the table nearly 20 years ago.
Ten years and five studio albums into their career, Trapt are still ironically somewhat trapped in the past themselves. Still rocking out like it's 2002, having made a trend of a sound too large of a part that makes up their core. But even if they’re nowhere near as “reborn” as they claim to be in the title, Reborn
does have some surprising and refreshing traits, albeit tiny ones for their first independent major album. Although the minor changes will most likely not be enough to interest those who have not already been converted.