Salem, NH’s Trap Them comes swinging into 2014 with their fourth full-length, the savage Blissfucker. Following 2011’s Darker Handcraft, Trap Them poise themselves with authority, while flavoring their sound with flaring intensity. Blissfucker continues their trend of producing unabashed hardcore that flecks itself with crust punk’s bloodlust and grindcore’s palpable rage, always with solid results.
“Salted Crypts” rides upon a steed wreathed in black fire and twisting flesh, meandering through a battlefield bombarded with knuckle-scrapping riffs and other-worldly wails. “Habitland” is uninviting, with a flurry of blast beats, ear-scratching reverb and a moment of minimal noise that borders on peaceful insanity. “Habitland” swells into the energetic and entertaining, “Gift and Gift Unsteady,” which dances on primordial thunder and a lifeless spring of melody. “Lungrunners” is Trap Them by-the-numbers, every bit as mean as it needs to be, while doing little with the scarring heights that Blissfucker offers within its earlier annals.
“Organic Infernal” chimes in from a bleak distance before breaking into infernal song. This song churns in a torrent flushed with icy chords, skull-cracking precision and drowning energy that makes “Organic Infernal” one of Blissfucker’s finer moments. This record has a habit of raising Trap Them’s bar then lowering it to the formulaic. Certainly, not a bad thing, however, on a creative level, it leaves something to be desired. As is the case with “Sanitations,” a song with black wings built from feathers clipped from more imposing, high-flying foul. The calamity reaches a refreshing calm with “Bad Nones,” carrying the listener on a funeral procession complimented by a dark, emotional eulogy. As the funeral ends, death celebrates in true form with “Former Lining Wide the Walls,” a monstrous fortress of blast-beaten siege lines, a war song unparalleled and truly fantastic to behold.
“Savage Climbers” is a thoughtful that focuses its attention of torturous passages and venomous words, maintaining a laborious tempo throughout its sprawl, this dirge stands monumental over the rest of Blissfucker like an eclipsing halo. “Ransom Risen” begins on a drum’s whisper, then joined by ominous energies and sinister riffs, then without a moment’s notice rises with a spine-tingling wail before settling onto its dried and dying laurels. This is, in this writer’s opinion, the album’s best track, acting as an exercise in the extremes Trap Them runs their listener through, salted and open-wounded. Short on lyrical power, the song’s towering screams and sounds speak for themselves. “Let Fall Each and Every Sedition Symptom,” the final track, bites with lethal doses, careening from beginning to end in glorious seizure, before the last, head trauma-inducing burst that closes Blissfucker.
Trap Them has offered one of their better releases with Blissfucker, though it does little in moving their sound forward by playing a safe and tried but tired formula. A solid release that demonstrates this band working well within their vast confines, while Blissfucker is a slight step down from Darker Handcraft, it remains likely to be one of the nastier hardcore records of this year.
Blissfucker can be purchased on multiple formats from the band directly here.