Enabler may be a relatively “new” name in metalcore, but it’s full of proven parts, including two ex-members of Shai Hulud as well as ex-members of Trap Them, Today is the Day, Harlots, and more. Unfamiliar listeners may raise an eyebrow upon seeing Andy Hurley’s name listed, but the Fall Out Boy / The Damned Things drummer has long roots in hardcore, including a number of Midwest bands and a touring stint in Earth Crisis.
Holy smokes! ALARM’s fan-boy meter is registering off the charts, and for good reason: hardcore quartet Converge is covering Entombed’s classic “Wolverine Blues” on a new seven-inch split with pioneering grindcore outfit Napalm Death. And it gets better, because the cover includes guests in the form of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear), Aaron Turner (Split Cranium, Mamiffer, ex-Isis), and members of The Hope Conspiracy and Trap Them. Calling it “epic” seems like an understatement.
In just one more trip around the sun, another swarm of immensely talented but under-recognized musicians has harnessed its collective talents and discharged its creations into the void. This list is but one fraction of those dedicated individuals who caught our ears with some serious jams.
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Trap-Them-The-Facts.mp3|titles=Trap Them: “The Facts”]
To appreciate Trap Them‘s new album, Darker Handcraft, it helps to start with the Filth Rations EP from 2010. Trap Them has consistently charged its hardcore side into a collision with metal that refuses to get dragged down in grime.
The four songs on Filth Rations give as sure a sign as ever that the band’s craft and tightness can always match its sheer impatience. The third track, “Dead Fathers Wading In The Bodygrounds,” keeps up a gimpy, stumbling trudge as the drums gradually thud harder, and vocalist Ryan McKenney bellows himself up to a pitch that invokes scalding tears and unforgivable injuries. There’s a sense that Trap Them is in a desperate frenzy to repeatedly overload their songs, lest a single McKenney roar or screech of feedback from the guitar go unused. Even the cramped handwriting of the lyrics in the EP’s liner notes looks more like a dozen rows of snaggled teeth than a sequence of words.
In retrospect, it’s as if the band that made Filth Rations was gearing up to achieve a height of directness and focus. Darker Handcraft is a plenty accurate introduction to Trap Them; it once again captures a sonic force that’s both furiously commanding and remains bitterly hurt no matter how feverishly it tries to expiate its demons. This time, though, that force resolutely says, “Look, one fucking thing at a time.”