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Trauma – Awakening

by Metal Wim at 09 August 2022, 11:32 PM

Bay Area Thrash has always been on the forefront of my eardrums. I am old enough to have witnessed the rise of many of the giants coming from that area. One of the names everybody knew was TRAUMA. Unfortunately for them that had nothing to do with their musical prowess, but with the fact that they were that band the Cliff Burton left to join METALLICA. So, if you haven’t heard any of their endeavours before, nobody will feel that you were left out.

What kind of band is TRAUMA? They are a pure thrash metal band that has quite a long history, but they have only been releasing their own music from 2014 onwards. “Awakening” is the first album I ever have heard from these guys, and it is what it says, a wake-up call. Thrash Metal like you are used to by many a Bay Area band, and with some old hands in their midst that is exactly what you would expect.

The Thrash they play is pure, the voice clean and the production sound.  But, and yes there is a big one, it is all too mediocre. You can hear all the influences floating around in the music, with FLOTSAM & JETSAM being the most prominent one, but it all falls just under the radar. Nowhere do these guys give you the feeling you are listening to a band that is trying to prove themselves. TRAUMA play solidly, but that’s all they do. This becomes most evident in the way the guitar solos are constructed. You can actually predict every tone that is going to be played.

To me that is a real downer. I expected a whole lot more of “Awakening”. Let me emphasize that this is not a quiet album, as they go for the throat, but it’s all been done before, and better as well. What I do believe is that if you have a possibility to see TRAUMA live, they will blow you off your feet. But that’s not what this review is about. This concerns “Awakening”, and for me this is more like a wet blanket softly thrown onto my body instead of one being slapped across my face with venom. What this does prove that even though you might be an old hand at making Thrash Metal, you still have to put up a fight to get the most of all your efforts. Unfortunately, TRAUMA haven’t succeeded in doing just that.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Walk Away
2. Ted Talks
3. Death Of The Angel
4. Meat
5. The River Red
6. Burn
7. Falling Down
8. Voodoo
9. End Of Everything
10. Blind
11. Death Machine
Brian Allen - Vocals
Steve Robello - Guitars
Joe Fraulob - Guitars
Greg Christian - Bass
Kris Gustofson - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 28 September 2022

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