||2010 – Archetype Of Chaos
2007 – Neurotic Mass
2006 – Hamartia
2005 – DetermiNation
2003 – Imperfect Like A God
2000 – Suffocated In Slumber
1998 – Daimonion
1996 – Comedy Is Over
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TRAUMA is one of the most experienced Polish death metal bands. It was set up in the end of eighties, known as Thanatos. As Thanatos, they have recorded two demo tapes, titled ‘Deo Optimo Maximo’ and ‘Out Of Sanity’. Thanks to first records, band became known as one of the most interesting and musically advanced band of Polish metal scene. On December 1992 decided to change the name to Trauma, and on May the same year registered debut material titled ‘Invisible Reality’. It was recorded in famous Polish studio- Selani in Olsztyn city. It hit the market in 1993 due to Loud Out Rec. and Morbid Noizz Prod. That year they debut album met numerous positive opinions not only in underground and official magazines, and from fans all around the Europe. For realization of next music ideas fans had to wait until October 1993, when Trauma undertook an idea of recording first official album- ‘Comedy Is Over’. It was recorded in Polish SL Studio in Gdynia, and finally presented to the world by Vox Mortis Records, in Autumn 1996. ‘Comedy Is Over’ was available on cassette format only. Despite being remarkable, progressive and musically surprising album- ‘Comedy Is Over’ was not given a proper distribution and at least basic promotion. In October 1997, Trauma recorded their second album- ‘Daimonion’, this time in Polish Selani Studio. That recording brought new opportunities to the band, one of which was signing a contract with Pagan Records. First result of our collaboration with Pagan Rec. was releasing ‘Daimonion’ album extended by remastered tracks from thier first release- ‘Invisible Reality’. The time between 1997 and 1999 was lucky to the band, who returned to regular touring, played lots of concerts and festivals in Poland. In 2000 they decided to enter the studio again and choose Hertz Studio in Bialystok, where third album, ‘Suffocated In Slumber’ was recorded, mixed and engineered. CD appeared in shops in the end of September the same year. In the meantime, due to Pagan Records, first album ‘Comedy Is Over’ was released once again, this time with completely new artwork and first time on CD format. By releasing ‘Suffocated In Slumber’ band brought his musicmanship to the whole new level, what made the band perceived as positively as never before. In March 2001 Trauma marked a new contract with german System Shock Records, what made the European promotion possible. In the same month we joined Decapitated and Vader in ‘Reign Forever World Tour’ visiting the biggest Polish cities. During the tour we decided to record our first live album- ‘Crash Test: Live’ released november the same year.
In January 2002 Trauma struck again with prestigious ‘Expression Of Horror Tour’, with assistance of well known Polish bands- Devilyn and Misteria. As run of luck still remained, in April the same year Trauma started its first international tour ‘System Shock Over Europe Part Two’ with famous bands like Master, Krabathor and Xenomorph. They visited Germany and Netherlands, meeting totally extreme approval and support from European fans. After returning home Trauma started working on new tracks. In October 2002 they were invited invited for next edition of ‘Thrash’em All Festival’, this time having an opportunity to play with Monstrosity, Vomitory, Lost Soul, Sceptic, Dissenter and Contempt. After the shows band finished touring definitely to complete the work over successor of ‘Suffocated In Slumber’. In the beginning of the year they finally entered the studio to record fourth album titled ‘Imperfect Like A God’. On 1st March 2004 Trauma participated in 18th edition of Metalmania Festival, which as usual took place in Katowice city. In that period they decided to pay huge attention to touring in order to promote new album. The breakthrough between 2004 and 2005 was special time – it was time of conscious, passive period in band’s acitivity. In that time most important thing was to pursue a goal of creating a new material. Recording session of their next masterpiece- ‘DetermiNation’ took place in May and June 2005, again in Hertz Studio. Fifth CD was published on 15th August by Empire Records, and again added to Thrash’em All magazine. In Autumn 2005 Trauma focused on intensive promotion of ‘Determination’ by series of single concerts in the whole country. In October, with company of Polish death metal formation Dissenter, Trauma started its next very prestigious tour, this time with famous American band- Vital Remains. Attendance on the whole tour was absolutely stunning. Soon after that tour Trauma took the professional photo session for first videoclip in band’s history- Elegy For Doom (coming from ‘DetermiNation’ album). People responsible for the whole work were Piotr Majchrzak and leader of the band- Mister. From the beginning of 2006 Trauma was working hard over the next album. In July, traditionally in Hertz Studio, band started next recording session. This time they menaged to record two different materials. First of them was MCD titled ‘Hamartia’ with two completely fresh tracks and three covers. Second one was longplay titled ‘Neurotic Mass’. Premiere of ‘Hamartia’ took place in August 2006 via Empire Records. In the same time, Trauma’s previous album ‘DetermiNation’ was issued in USA and Europe by Unique Leader Records. This move resulted in numerous positive reviews coming from different parts of the world. In Autumn 2006 Trauma started next tour, standing on scene shoulder to shoulder with bands Vader, Azarath and Vesania. Tour was called ‘Blitzkrieg 4’ and it was annual event organized by Vader. Those were the most impressive and spectacular shows they were ever pleased to play.
In year 2007 bans was playing numerous concerts promoting ‘Neurotic Mass’ album. CD met with very positive response from their fans and international magazines. 2008 year was very diligent to the band. Trauma intensified promotion and put great effort to promote their name through mass media. In May they finally returned to touring. Last gigs took place under the name of ‘Rebel Angels Tour Vol.3’. Bands they played with were Hate, Crionics, Devilish Impressions, Naumachia and Numack. In July, June and August 2008 Trauma performed on few summer festivals. In Autumn the same year Trauma decided to suspend our live activity in order to focus on production of our 6th album- ‘Archetype Of Chaos’. Session of their 6th CD took place in Hertz Studio. With help and support of Wiesławscy bros album was finally recorded. In the meantime band set off on next spring tour called ‘Killing Assault Tour’ in the role of headliner. This time they decided to help in promoting the most promising, young bands from Poland. By now, Trauma finished working over the newest album. Autumn 2009 saw the return of Artur Chudewniak to the band. After negotiating a worldwide deal with Witching Hour, Trauma scheduled release date of “Archetype Of Chaos” for February 2010. Soon after the release Trauma played Metal Fest Open Air 2010 in Germany.
Jarosław ‘Mister’ Misterkiewicz (guitars)
Terrorizer, Legacy, Metallian
Close-Up – scan – 6/10
Polen. Death Metal. VADER. Es gibt Gleichungen, die scheinen unwiderruflich und nicht mehr alternativ auslegbar. Und wenn man nach der Erfahrung geht, hat die polnische Todesblei-Szene gar keine andere Chance, als sich immer wieder über ihr viel zitiertes Urgestein zu definieren, auch wenn das eigene Land mit DECAPITATED und BEHEMOTH längst Bands hervorgebracht hat, die den großen Namen längst in Grund und Boden gestampft haben. Aber auch hier gilt: Der lange, beschwerliche Kampf wird belohnt, und nur wer beharrlich ist und sich seine Jugend bei kleinen Underground-Labels bezahlen lässt, hat potenziell einmal die Chance, den Schritt aus dem Underground zu wagen.
Wie frustrierend dieser steinige Pfad sein kann, lässt sich sinnbildlich für eine ganze Szene am Beispiel von TRAUMA ablesen. Seit Ende der Achtziger (damals noch unter dem Banner THANATOS) aktiv, hat es das Trio inzwischen schon auf acht Alben gebracht, von denen kaum eines über den lokalen Rahmen hinaus wahrgenommen wurde. Und das Schlimme an der Sache: Es war jedes Mal wieder eine Frage der Promotion. Dort wo TRAUMA nämlich anno 2010 angelangt sind, werden VADER womöglich gar nicht mehr hinkommen – und man beachte dabei ständig die herausragenden Qualitäten der polnischen Urväter, selbst wenn sie nach den ständigen Line-Up-Schwierigkeiten mittlerweile in der Sackgasse stecken!
Mit “Archetype Of Chaos” starten ihrer drei Brüder im todesmetallischen Geiste nun einen weiteren Anlauf, kämpfen hierbei mit teils schon fast progressiven Mitteln, blasen an anderer Stelle aber auch wieder so unwiderstehlich zur Attacke, dass jedes einschlägige Label sich an den Kopf packen muss, diesem Rohdiamanten nicht schon längst eine Heimat gegeben zu haben. Stücke wie das Break-lastige ‘A Dying World’ halten ziemlich locker den hochwertigen MORBID ANGEL-Standards stand, während die rareren Aufrufe zur Attacke bei Nummern wie ‘War Machine’ und ‘Destruction Of The Demented World’ derart stilvoll vorgebracht werden, dass man geneigt ist, den gesamten extremen Metal-Kosmos als Fair-Play-Zerstörer zu beschimpfen.
Mit ‘Portrait Of The Lies’ und dem abgehackten ‘The Slime’ stehen schließlich weitere Granaten auf der Warteliste und vervollständigen das Bild einer Band beziehungsweise eines Albums, dem man schleunigst die gesammelte Aufmerksamkeit schenken sollte. Denn wenn man mal in der Geschichte des brutalen Metals gräbt, wird man oft genug das Dilemma derjenigen Puristen hören, die erst nach ihrem Ableben als Band zur Legende erkoren wurden. Und mit “Archetype Of Chaos” als Hauptbeispiel ist ein brillantes Argument am Start, welches diese Befürchtung auch im Falle von TRAUMA nährt – und das sollte man keinesfalls zulassen!
Archetype Of Chaos starts in contained, nearly relaxed style, but the Intro (White Architect) seems to have the one and only effect to boost the heaviness of the following track Cortex Deformation. The intense work on the drums and the density in sound is typical first-class for a Polish band, but is there also a specific trademark for TRAUMA? I think that there are some unusual guitar solos and sounds, which may carry the song’s mood apart from weird rhythmic structures.
In most cases, the speed is enormously and breath-taking, but I just get surprised if apocalyptic sounds or breaks get into operation like the tribal-like intermezzo during the tune A Dying World. The intensity of this record would be tiresome without expressive contrasting elements like the hardly to notice guitar work in the background or the conjuring vocals during the track War Machine. The devil (or the zest) lays hidden, obvious direct hits like on the predecessor Neurotic Mass are missing at first contact.
TRAUMA set their focus on the overall impression of their music. This effect is boosted by some latent details, which got one big advantage, namely the long-term-effect. Archetype Of Chaos does not unfold ist zest from the beginning on, but it offers a lot of detailed compositions holding some surprising turns.
Starting out in 1988 as Thanatos these Polish death metallers quickly changed moniker in 1992 because of their Dutch pioneering namesakes, who formed in 1984 under that name already. “Archetype Of Chaos” is the band’s seventh album, the first for Witching Hour Productions, and their most brutal so far. Compared to the likes of Vader this band has never shied from integrating modern songstructures and Trauma do not at any point sound like an act that has been around for over two decades. Where 2005’s “DetermiNation” (licensed for North American release to Unique Leader Records in 2006) saw Trauma breaking through a wider audience, consistent bad luck has always driven them back to the underground. The music is groovy, hateful combined with eerie melodies, good leads/solos and neckbreaking rhythm sections. The production by Hertz Studio is uniformly amazing and expertly executed with a crunchy guitar tone, audible bass lines and massive sounding drums. Artwork, design and lay-out by Mentalporn (Hell-Born, Lost Soul). As a second-tier death metal act Trauma are the cream of the crop and they should be rewarded for their persistence, headstrong determination and sheer perseverance. Where other second-tier acts (Azarath, Convent, Devilyn, Dies Irae) have fallen by the wayside – Trauma have always survived. Why genre titans Vader didn’t opt to hire Arkadiusz “Maly” Sinica, as he’s so incredibly versatile in style and attack, in their newest line-up is anyone’s guess. It’s time for the established Polish acts to take Trauma on the road with them.