Trauma
Imperfect Like a God

Good things come to those who wait. Originally released on Empire Records in 2003, this superb slab of Polish brutality was licensed by Adipocere for a wider release in late 2004. Great move as it will expose more of the world to one of Poland’s undiscovered death metal gems. While Vader and Behemoth arguably stake the claim of Poland’s most important extreme export, bands like Trauma, Lost Soul, Sceptic and Parricide quietly lurk in the underground, delivering albums of equally proficient and striking quality.With a handful of releases under their belt, Trauma cull from the expected Polish influences as well as the usual forthright US influence (Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, etc), Trauma tread a familiar mix of brutality and technicality into one pristine example of modern death metal, but add some flourish to the normally squeal heavy chaotic solo work of the genre. The choppy, precise drum work of Arkadiuz Sinica drives Trauma’s sound, and vocalist Artur Chudewniak provides a surprisingly restrained mid range growl. The result of these two meshing with the ample guitars of Jaraslaw Misterkiewicz and Patryk Krajnik is a flowing, natural overall sound that melds into one polished but razor sharp delivery that truly encompasses the word “band.”

The nine blistering tracks all contain ferocious blast beats and the usual pace shifts into a more menacing lurch. Far more complex than country mates Vader and not quite as technical as say Necrophagist, but having the same roundabout approach to the song structures, Trauma’s riffs swirl and slice with the best of them, but never become daunting or exhaustive, instead remaining brutally cerebral. From the blazing opener “Blade Under Your Throat” until suffocating closer “Outrage of Fools,” the album never truly falters, covering all the facets of death metal that make it enjoyable; short virulent stabs (“The Hidden Seed,” the stunning “Perplexity of Truths”), in depth, challenging offerings (“Outrage of Fools,” “Beyond the Perception”) and of course, the requisite lumbering number in the form of the brilliantly scathing “Make Me Blind,” which isn’t content to ride the slower dirge like riff for its entirety but instead turns back on itself with biting aggression.

As you can tell from the song titles, Trauma aren’t your usual blood ‘n’ gore outfit, with their lyrics and themes matching their bruising musical intellectuality, that comes across like Death dipped in a more offensive form of extremity. Rounded out by a firm and familiar home town production, the end package is about as perfect as death metal gets considering its inherent lack of new ideas.

Highly, highly recommended.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 25th, 2005

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