Trapped Under Ice


Written by: MAK on 22/07/2017 21:10:30

We have waited six years to hear new material from Baltimore hardcore outfit, Trapped Under Ice. In the meantime, vocalist Justin Tripp has been fronting Angel Du$t, while drummer, Brendan Yates has provided his voice for the popular hardcore outfit, Turnstile. With both acts gaining strong traction in the hardcore scene in recent years, it seemed that the hiatus of Trapped Under Ice wasn’t going to end. However, The band announced their reunion in early 2015, performing shows before heading over to tour Europe a year later. Now on Pop Wig Records, the same label that Tripp is a co-founder of, Trapped Under Ice have unveiled their third album “Heatwave”.

There seems to be a much a rawer atmosphere to the Baltimore outfit, the sound isn’t quite as polished as it was on 2011’s “Big Kiss Goodnight”. We get that gritty tone right from the opener, “Backstabbed”, a 44-second blast of energetic riffs and aggression, laden with pit starting grooves and some fiddly melodies to boot. Short, fast songs are the key for “Heatwave”, none of the songs even make it to the two-minute mark, in total making these eleven tracks last a little under 14 minutes. With that in mind, you would think that it makes songs harder to stand out when they are so short, and in some cases it does. A lot of this release does just blend together. “XL” and “No Relief” are two hard hitters, Tripp’s vocals sound angrier than they ever did and the dirty distortion on the riffs give it a proper old-school hardcore edge. Whereas, “Do It” is far more groove based, more like the TUI I remember on previous releases. It’s simple with two-step rhythms. The riffs certainly make you nod your head.

What’s different is that there are no real anthems, lacking the singalong hooks. The album is mostly ‘balls to the wall’ energy, the style of youth crew hardcore and almost rappy style vocals has gone. Trapped Under Ice has stripped back a lot of their elements, boasting standard beats and grooves topped off with outright aggression, and “Move” has some monstrous riffs. Yet Trapped Under Ice have pushed for a more progressive sound compared to what we are used to from them, adding some instrumental segments and brandishing more technical prowess on the guitar front, meaning we get countless solos; “Other Side” is a good example of this. It’s a solid comeback from the Baltimore lads, though not quite what I expect. Some say that “Heatwave” is boundary pushing for the genre, but I disagree, it just feels more traditional and a return to roots of hardcore if anything.

Download: Do It, Throw It Away, Move
For The Fans Of: Turnstile, Angel Dust, Cruel Hand, Backtrack, Down To Nothing

Release date 21.07.2017
Pop Wig

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