Album Review: Trauma – Ominous Black 6.5 (Death Metal)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • Trauma
  • Ominous Black
  • Death Metal
  • Poland
  • March 6, 2020
  • 6.5/10

Trauma are a long running band that I have not heard of until now. Within that context, I have to imagine this one isn’t on the discography hit list even among fans but I could certainly be wrong. It’s highly serviceable but didn’t bring anything new. It sounded a lot like The Beast or Revelations era Vader with more of a prog and melo death aspect to it. It will be enjoyed by many but in my opinion it does more to look the part than actually play it convincingly. Even on a technical level it doesn’t feel very creative or like it has room to breathe.

We did it. We made the perfect album that has already been made. Oh is that you death metal? But you’ve shaved and showered? This production makes it sound like it literally dropped off of a factory assembly line into a giant bucket labelled “Social media bait albums from established bands”. The Lewandowski art signature on an album stopped being a signifier of quality a while ago for me, it’s pretty played out to the point of becoming a meme now. This one is a bit like crunching down on a suprise egg to find no surprise, just more chocolate which is okay I guess, I like chocolate. Next time maybe include the surprise though. It is a nice artwork but some variation is gonna have to happen from now on. This is everyone’s warning.

Vocally it’s uninteresting bar a few moments where a variety of screams are introduced which did a lot to keep it alive for me. They fit within the song structure well bringing restrained jabs to the rhythms and spreading out during the atmosphere. The majority of it is mid range similar tone that fixates on repetitive lyrics that due to the clarity of the vocals either sound epic or kind of cringe depending on the song. In “Astral Misanthropy” the lyric accentuation is used quite well but in other tracks it sounds really basic and can be annoying.

It kind of shames you into liking it because it plays such familiar renditions of the genre that it’s kind of taunting me every time I want to dislike the album saying “But you like death metal and riffs right? Well, that’s what I’m doing. You have to like this” And it is, in a very elegant form, just too elegant for its own good. Too flashy on production side to allow for any creativity to show. The drummer seems to be the best part of the band with some highlights across the tracks, particularly the odd little high notes sprinkled in “Among The Lies”.

Trauma: Bandcamp / Facebook

Sound and presentation feel unoriginal but they compose songs well. I can’t help but suspect mainstream viability was a big thought in the making of this album, at least in terms of online death metal anyway. It’s essentially made to be Twitter and Insta fodder as promotion but without the real creativity behind it to warrant holding it over other smaller releases that are killing it right now. This is straight up middling but the right people will enjoy this much more so I encourage giving a try.

It gets better towards the end of the album as it embraces it’s melo death essence more, leaning into the softer side of things more which I think is their true wheelhouse. The frontside attempt at brutality didn’t really do much for me.

6.5/10


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