Séance Prime was New England crust punk/grindcore quartet Trap Them’s first release for Deathwish Inc., an extreme music label and operated by Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon. Released in 2007 as a companion piece to debut full-length Sleepwell Deconstructor, the EP merged death metal riffs with d-beat and hardcore punk to create a unique buzzsaw-guitar sound rife with breakdowns and dirty, bass-heavy production in true crust punk form. Originally on 7-inch vinyl format in 2007, the EP was reissued and expanded for CD and digital download in 2011 as Séance Prime: The Complete Recordings. The reissue included tracks “Day Sixteen: The Iconflict” and “Day Eighteen: Enders,” the former of which was previously featured on a split with Extreme Noise Terror.
Lyricist/Vocalist Ryan John McKenney is notable for his hoarse, shouted delivery that exhibits Trap Them’s roots in hardcore punk. His lyrics incorporate long narratives with puns and double meanings in lyrics – an unusual trait for crust punk and extreme music in general. For example, “Day Fourteen: Pulse Mavens” opens with “Saw him get his death march on / Saw him light the aisles with hidden handjobs sheltered from the masters’ baiting crowns / In overzealous crowds /In undernourished sounds.” McKenney’s lyrics are quite engaging, even as literature. He avoids HOOBADOOBA syndrome through sheer power and remarkably emotional, lucid1 delivery.
Recommended to crust punk neophytes and heavy metal enthusiasts who think “metalcore” is a bad word.
1. Day Thirteen: The Protest Hour – (3:11) – ★★★★★
2. Day Fourteen: Pulse Mavens – (3:39) – ★★★★☆
3. Day Fifteen: Citizenihilist – (2:50) – ★★★★★
4. Day Sixteen: The Iconflict – (4:18) – ★★★★★
5. Day Seventeen: Wafers and Wine Of Sandblast Times – (1:39) – ★★★★☆
6. Day Eighteen: Enders – (0:58) – ★★★★☆
1Jacob Bannon takes this trope to its logical extreme. He has one of the most expressive screams in all of hardcore punk, grindcore, and heavy metal; he doesn’t need to be understandable to convey any message. I’m not convinced the published lyrics to “Concubine” and “Phoenix in Flames” from Jane Doe match what is coming out of his mouth