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Review: Trauma (USA) - As the World Dies
Trauma (USA)
As the World Dies

Label: Independent
Year released: 2018
Duration: 44:19
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Thrash


Review online: July 8, 2018
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (11 Votes)

San Francisco-based power thrashers Trauma (originally formed in 1981 - and yes, a band Cliff Burton started before joining Metallica in 1982) are back in the limelight with their third album, titled As the World Dies, which features 10 new songs.

For those of you who don't know much of the band's background, the band existed between 1981-85 and recorded just one album titled Scratch and Scream. The band reformed in 2013 and the follow-up album, Rapture and Wrath, followed two years later, in 2015.

Back to this new album. I for one even didn't know there's one in the works until the band's guitarist Joe Fraulob contacted me via email, asking whether I would be interested in reviewing the album for The Metal Crypt. My answer was simple: "Hell yeah, I would."

To me, As the World Dies represents the band's tougher side musically; it's way more Thrash Metal orientated than their two previous albums, mixed with Power/Heavy Metal that is still the basic foundation of Trauma's music. The songs sound really good overall: they are all structured well, have enough hooks and sound. One of the band's strongest assets has always been vocalist Don Hillier's powerful vocal parts, fitting the songs like a well-greased glove. The axe duo, Steve Robello, and Joe Fraulob, rip their instruments like there's no tomorrow, whereas Greg Christian (ex-Testament) on bass and Kris Gustofson on drums, do their best to follow the 6-string masters in action.

This album offers a lot of things to like. The balance between faster, thrashier and heavier parts ("From Here to Hell" versus the kind of Sabbath-ish title track), strikes an optimal harmony, reminding me of bands like Metal Church and Heathen that both keep their stuff constantly varied and hence exciting for their listeners. Trauma has much the same in their songs on As the World Dies. On the other hand, on "Last Rites", the band has their Maiden moment going on.

Trauma is back with a big bang, there's no question about that.

More about Trauma (USA)...
Review: As the World Dies (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Awakening (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with drummer Kris Gustofson, vocalist Donny Hiller, guitarists Steve Robello and Joe Fraulob and bassist Marcel Eaton on April 8, 2017 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer Kris Gustofson on November 15, 2022 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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