He mounted a cabinet and fucking jumped. In a blink, Ryan McKenney broke both of his heels and smashed his ankle. He grimaced in pain. He leaned against the stage monitors to hold himself up. As the black eye started to swell on his face, he still managed to finish his set at Bloodshed Fest. One subsequent trip to the hospital and a couple casts later, Trap Them are forging ahead to round out their remaining European tour dates this year. Why detail this live show mishap? Because it’s a perfect example of Trap Them’s visceral dedication to their craft. No frills, no bullshit. Forget the hooks. Embrace the anger. A couple crippling injuries cannot stop McKenney from lambasting concert goers with rage. Crown Feral furthers Trap Them’s sonic onslaught.
Drenched in HM-2 grit, Trap Them’s collision of crust punk, metal, and hardcore is nothing but familiar. Crown Feral slices a vein akin to their 2011 effort, Darker Handcraft, not so much their previous release, Blissfucker. Where Blissfucker wandered salted crypts of nasty sludge, Crown Feral boils away this excess. It’s stripped down and pissed off. Kurt Ballou’s production sharpens the crown with raw, primitive precision. Baudhuin’s bass slathers together filthy undercurrents for each blasphemy. Izzi’s grooves lurch from the dark; they thirst for blood. Drums smash and grind bone to dust.
McKenney’s rasps for destruction on opener “Kindred Dirt” only last a couple intense minutes. Then the skull fucking begins. Fickeisen’s drums lead the charge on “Hellionaires” and Izzi’s guitar saws through the galloping double kicks. Misanthropy sinks in. “Luster Pendulums” rips with bleak tremolo picking and “Speak Nigh” blasts a maelstrom of drum fills. These songs swirl in a tide of crust punk blood and piss. For a moment they ebb to draw energy. And in one crash, nothing but groovy head banging pulp remains. It’s traditional (and succulent) Trap Them slaughter. Only do we receive some paltry respite at “Twitching In The Auras”. McKenney’s spiteful tongue and Izzi’s lethargic chugs offer enough time for some cobwebs to collect. At the song’s conclusion though, Crown Feral spirals back into havoc. No hope excretes from the ferocity; it’s a god damn bludgeoning.
This is just another Trap Them record. But that’s of no issue. There is no going through the motions here. There is not some struggle to explore new influences. They reap hatred from their kindred dirt. They embody a primordial lust, one that seeks vengeance on human scum. It’s an animosity that gives rise to catharsis. If you haven’t procured a palette for these bastards yet, Crown Feral will not change your mind. Trap Them wanted bloodletting and Crown Feral is their next maimed corpse.
Score: 8.0 / 10.0
Listen to Crown Feral above; purchase the record here.