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Trap Them live review – London, Boston Music Rooms

US noise heroes Trap Them return to crush and destroy, live in London

Trap Them live in London

The long queue that snakes down the street outside The Boston Music Rooms on a Monday is an encouraging sign that tonight will be a gig to remember. Obviously there are many clued-up music fans here, as plenty of people go straight to the front to see the excellent EMPLOYED TO SERVE [8]. Last year’s Greyer Than You Remember album was one of the best UK hardcore records in recent memory and it sounds just as savage live.

In the savagery stakes, though, even they have to take a backseat to VENOM PRISON [9]. The youthful UK quintet take Cannibal Corpse and feed it through a filter of the most aggressive beatdown hardcore imaginable. They don’t address the crowd, they don’t pause for breath, instead they deal solely in aural punishment. It’s a hell of a showing from a band so young. If you like extreme music you’d be mad to ignore them. After that, OKKULTOKRATI [8] almost seem like blessed relief. The Norwegians have recently broadened their sonic palette, with latest album Raspberry Dawn adding large brush strokes of pneumatic, industrialised, post-punk to further colour their Venom-meets-Discharge attack. So while older material from Snakereigns can rumble along with the same level of intensity as the rest of tonight’s bill, a song like the woozy World Peace is a longer, subtler method of strangulation.

Although TRAP THEM [8] have had dalliances evolving their music before, new album Crown Feral has seen them return to the immensely satisfying, white-hot, clattering grind that they do so well. But they’re hampered tonight by the appearance of frontman Ryan McKenney in a wheelchair with both legs in a cast after an unfortunate accident at a previous show. Although it takes away slightly from the band’s visual aesthetic, it actually adds to the fury of a clearly pissed off and frustrated Ryan. As he rocks wildly back and forth in his chair, inches from the swirling pit, eyes shut tight, screaming viciously, guitarist Brian Izzi spends as much time as a bodyguard for his bandmate, kicking and battering rogue stagedivers, as he does peeling out blackened, hardcore riffs. It’s as unique as it is brutal, and a superb end to one of the strongest bills 2016 has seen.

SETLIST

Kindred Dirt

Hellionaires

Prodigala

Luster Pendulums

Malengines Here, Where They Should Be

Slumcult And Gather

Evictionaries

Speak Nigh

Twitching In The Auras

Revival Spines

Guignol Serene

The Facts

Stray Of The Tongue

Phantom Air

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.