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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: [Evertrapped] - Under The Deep

‘Formed in 2007, Montreal based original band [Evertrapped] bring melodic death metal to a new level of brutality.’ This is the opening statement on the website of the five Canadian death metal adepts who call themselves [Evertrapped]. Quite a daring statement I’d say, because in my opinion it’s very hard if not impossible to truly combine brutality with melodicity at their fullest. It takes great skill to be able to compose songs with both qualities combined, it usually only leads to overcomplicated songs that are in no way melodic anymore and instead sound like a gruel of noise. Not exactly an easy task there. I wouldn’t be much of a reviewer if I simply took their word for it, so of course I have to hear it before I believe it. Well, what better way to find out if their claim holds true than with their fresh release, the third full-length since 2011, ‘Under the deep’, to be released in a few weeks.

Let me start by saying it will take you exactly 120 seconds to find out with what type of musical violence you’re dealing with here, 119 of which are needed to get you through the musically insignificant intro, even though it does kind of build up towards what you’re about to get engulfed in. The remaining single second is the first second of the opening song, in which the guys light a fire that they aim to let rage on for the following 50 minutes. If anything, their fire starter skills are undisputed. ‘Arise from the ashes’ burns a high speed hole in your speakers, immediately raising your adrenalin levels. There’s some brutality for you. James Brookes’ vocals range from grunts to hoarse, rasping growls, perfectly filling the musical framework provided by both guitar players (Frederick Dupuis and Vincent Benoit) and the rhythm section tandem John Yates on bass and Eric Lemire on drums. As far as I’m concerned this seems to be the perfect line up for [Evertrapped]. Regardless what part of the album you pick, they always sound like a unity, a band, rather than like a bunch of individuals playing their part separately which sadly too often is the case.

After getting your socks blown off by the opener you only get a couple of seconds of rest before ‘Underneath the deep’ unleashes its fury at full force. Again a strong yet flexible, break-ridden framework built on heavy but overall melodic riffing, thundering drums and power-enhancing bass lines. To top it off there’s a strategically placed solo and, again, perfectly suited vocals. And the same can be said about every other song on the album. They all blast on like a fully loaded freight train on the loose going downhill. [Evertrapped] has developed an extremely solid and effective recipe for their type of songs that they use throughout the entire album, with different ingredients in every single song. As a result all nine songs’ only resemblance is the band playing them, everything else is variable without getting chaotic in any way. With the relentless pace they maintain almost everywhere, it’s not surprising [Evertrapped]’s music borders on thrash regularly, more than once reminding me of bands like Kreator. This is best exemplified by the songs ‘Lethal district’, ‘Burning through vengeance’ +and not to forget the closing track ‘Embrace the end’, which is an excellent end for this album.

‘Under the deep’ is a very good album, with high levels of variety and skill, both in the compositions as well as in the MDM genre itself. It’ll take you a few spins to be able to identify what song is playing at any given moment, and that is a huge compliment. There’s so much to experience in every song, you won’t get bored with ‘Under…’ easily, if ever at all. There’s really no weaknesses on this album, apart from the intro maybe, but nevertheless I do have a favorite song: ‘Burning through vengeance’. It brings that little bit of extra on top of the already strong compositions of the other songs. The production is balanced and fitting, apparently Hellstorm Records realizes good music needs a good production.

That leaves one more issue to be resolved: Does [Evertrapped] indeed bring melodic death metal to a new level of brutality? Well, strictly speaking they do, for a melodic death metal band they have an unusual high level of brutality, but they too can not convince me there should be a genre called brutal MDM. The two key elements are simply too contradictory, but if ever a band may take credit for inventing it, it’s going to be [Evertrapped]. Judge for yourself!

Written by Henric van Essen

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