Through Realms Unseen by EntrapmentRelease date: November 25, 2016
Label: Pulverised Records
Call me a fan of Entrapment‘s earlier material, but their latest release, Through Realms Unseen, via Pulverised Records, doesn’t help stoke that fire.
First track, ‘Omission’, features rock strumming to go with death metal vocals. Interestingly, most of the material here is similar to the first track, and it’s quite difficult for an extreme metal fan to sit through. The second track gallops at a brisker pace, but the rock strumming and mediocre soloing comes as a surprise. Death metal was meant for brutality, intensity. My first impression is that the band might have gone through an extensive line-up change, but it turns out that Entrapment is largely the work of Michel Jonker, with additional musicians performing during live shows.
Second track, ‘The Seeker’, is still difficult to get through. It sounds like Entrapment’s own take at Megadeth’s Supercollider. The death metal vocals managed to survive the transformation. Track three, ‘Static Convulsion’, sounds like another alt-rock track played with heavy distortion and death growls. Track four, ‘Ruination’, sounds a little more death metal, but neither is it one of good quality. The songs are short and they end abruptly, which does come at the consolation of the beleaguered listener, never extending for over five minutes worth of sub-par material. Track five, ‘Dominant Paradigm’, has a slower doom section that is mixed in with what sounds like, melodic death metal. I’m left scratching my head in confusion.
Most of the riffs aren’t death metal at all. The drumming hardly picks up the pace, and the songs don’t even need death growls because they sound like contemporary hard rock. It isn’t a take on Entombed’s death and roll, and it isn’t death metal of any sort. So what is it?
I think the band has tired of playing the same type of material it has on prior albums, as EP Crawling Morbidity is one of my favorite releases by the band, and this album is nothing like it. It’s nothing like real death metal for that matter. Entrapment could have done better to recruit Chad Kroeger to do vocals to Through Realms Unseen. What they’ve done here is baffling, but hardly polarizing. I fret that many fans are going to stop following the band’s future material. As for me, I realize mightily that many bands do follow the trend of releasing heavy, quality albums when they are hungry for new blood, and play softer and softer as they age. It’s part of a band’s watering down as they go through the motions of fulfilling recording contracts. But, I didn’t see this record coming from a band like Entrapment. I am shocked and mortified that one of my favorite death metal bands has transmogrified into a band that lacks vision and intensity. But, maybe what I said has some validity: many bands water down as they age, and Entrapment has done just that to the chagrin of its fanbase.