TRAPPED UNDER ICE “Secrets of the World” LP

There’s hardly a recent hardcore band that gets into me as deeply as Baltimore’s Trapped Under Ice (TUI).
If you’ve been a reader since the beginning of this blog, you’re already tired of seeing this band pop out on the posts, but this time I’m here to bring you a complete review to their new album, which I got delivered 2 days ago.

TUI’s uprising in the world of hardcore has been notorious ever since their 2007 Demo, which if nothing else established a premise to their following releases: metallic hardcore as we got to know it in the 90’s was back, as heavy and lyrical as only a band coming from the slums of America could do it.
After the well received demo it didn’t take long for the guys to outdone themselves and shock everyone with the astonishing quality of their Stay Cold EP…and after that record the hype was on.

Hype around hardcore bands is always a double-edged sword, and very often originates great disappointment, but with this brand new Secrets Of The World, their debut album and already the 4th release  of the band (the third was the slipt with Dirty Money, reviewed here), TUI prove that sometimes you can believe the hype and get good surprises.

The first thing that pops the eye in this new release is the concept.
In hardcore music you regularly see bands creating weak concepts for their records that don’t go much further than a couple of lyrics and maybe the cover art, but in Secrets Of The World you instantly get a good impression just from the artwork. In a dull card paper similar to the one used in charcoal drawings, resembling the archaic maps of the conquerors, the gatefold of the LP delivers a strong imagery and marks the difference right away.

Concerning the music itself, the album starts off in brilliant manner with the short but powerful discharge of “See God” and the phrase “Never brought Mommy smiles”. This track also works as a mood settler, cause throughout the album you neither get smiles on the lyrics nor on the songwriting itself.
“Believe” then comes to hit you in the face and further throw you into the influences of  Baltimore in the lyrics and the sound of TUI. Here you get a song about disbelief and disillusion inspired by their city, with a final guest appearance from their hometown’s heavyweight T.A.D., the vocals of Stout, who wrote the lyrics to this song himself, as I came to discover by reading the credits.

After these first 2 rageful tracks, the side A of the record gets some highs and lows in terms of intensity, with “American Dreams” and “TUI” delivering that fast and groovy characteristic style of the band, “Gemini”, re-recorded from the split record, serving as the storytelling song to mellow out a bit, and “Too True” being in my opinion one of the weakest tracks in the whole record lyrically and musically…it’s like they wanted to make it strong with that unpredictable structure of a TUI song, but instead it becomes too predictable with the mosh part and all that…but it’s still all good.

Showing that the concept is still present and that the track list was distributed thinking on a vinyl, side B recovers the intensity that was starting to vanish, with the bass line of “The Vortex” serving as an introduction to the introspective “Eye Hand” that works as some sort of prayer of a lost soul, in a slow tempo jam that fits the mood and delivers a beautiful guitar solo.

Next comes “From Birth”, the highlight to the melancholic and depressive thoughts that haunt every lyric on this album. This song serves a bit as a parallel to the opener track of the Stay Cold EP, “Half a Person”, in my opinion.
The line “but I lost my way / from the womb to the tomb / guess I went astray / turned to a life of hate / from birth to the hearse/ strive for a life that’s worse”, combined with the chugging riffs and the down tempo of the whole song carve the mind of the listener with uncomfortable feelings.
The rhythm speeds up a bit as “Titus” exposes stories of harsh realities, and “Against the Wall” completes the cycle, mixing the groove with the fast parts and resulting in a definite head banger.
The record ends with the apotheotic “World I Hate” that works kinda like a stress reliever, like the moment in those dramatic movies when the main character finally accepts the reality of the facts, knows what he’s been missing in life, but still knows that he can’t yet be in peace with himself and the world around.

Overall the biggest compliment I can give to this release is that it doesn’t disappoint in terms of evolution from its predecessors. The production on Secrets Of The World keeps the balance between the rugged hardcore and the heavy metallic riffs with nice touches on the solos and Justice’s voice.
In terms of sonority, the band also expanded a bit more their influences. The first two bands that came to my mind writing this review were Terror and Madball, the last one being more than an influence if you listen closely to some of the riffs in this album, but other than that you can also notice the influence of Stout and other beatdown/metallic hardcore bands (I prefer not to refer to it as “metalcore” cause nowadays no one seems to know what that really is) from the mid/late 90’s.

Already my favorite hardcore record of the year, and I doubt any other will top it, Secrets Of The World is a rough experience, tough to swallow, musically and lyrically birthed between hatred and disgust and a sense of desperation, but more than everything it’s a great debut album and a giant step for Trapped Under Ice.
Congratulations to Reaper Records for putting so much faith in this release and also for doing such a cool pack deal and delivering it to me in perfect conditions straight from the USA.

And as an exclusive content here on the blog, and probably on the whole Internet, I leave you with the lyrics from the album available for download, all transcribed by myself from the LP!





6 Responses to “TRAPPED UNDER ICE “Secrets of the World” LP”

  1. 1 aconstantrefrain 29 July, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    grandito, well done 😉

    album – tesão!


  2. 2 limpa_vias 30 July, 2009 at 12:23 am

    um gajo nem nota k gostas de TUI ahahah

    mto bom!

  3. 3 Limpa Vias 4 August, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Pah tive a a checkar as letras que aí meteste, e só foi do melhor que podias ter feito mesmo. Ainda fikei a curtir mais o album!

  4. 4 tim 5 August, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Não me surpreendeu muito o album 😦
    Está bom, mas não muito original.

  5. 5 E juice 28 June, 2013 at 1:28 am

    I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure
    whether this post is written by him as nobody else know
    such detailed about my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!

  6. 6 tobacco pipes 18 February, 2014 at 5:04 am

    The things they say visit skills inside the artwork you’re. The arena desires of a lot more ardent writers just like you that usually are not worried to bring up that they believe that. Everyday abide by ones coronary heart.

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