Yep, not a typing error, the band appear to like their name written with a capital R on the end, so as I did with BattleroaR last year, I shall humour them and carry on the tradition. TraumeR (see, told you…) are a Melodic Power Metal band from Brazil – and non too shabby at that! This album has already been well received by our Japanese friends last year, but up-and-coming European label Rock Of Angels are set to put it out for the rest of the world to devour.
This is actually the band’s third full-length album, but due to the hard-to-find nature of the previous albums, this is the first one I have personally come across so I’m judging it on it’s own merits. I find that there is a classy quality, almost Italian (but maybe slightly less…bombastic) approach that many Brazilian bands have to their Power Metal and TraumeR carry that tradition on well. Angra historically probably have a lot to do with that and there are certainly elements of Angra about TraumeR’s sound, but it often also incorporates the subsequent projects by some members of that band like Shaman, Andre Matos and Almah. Then there’s that smattering of Italian bands like Secret Sphere, Vision Divine and Labyrinth on the album too. TraumeR have an honest, melodic approach to Power Metal designed to hook the listener in rather than over complicate with progressive passages, which ironically does set them apart a little from similar sounding acts.
The vocals are mid-to-high and very well delivered – as they need to be, backed by great guitar-work and an energetic, fluid rhythm section that drives each song forward – whether it’s my personal favourite style of the band – the full-on double-kick Power-fests of ‘Revolution Has Begun’, ‘Seize The Day’ and ‘Guardians Of Time’ (Hang on…aren’t they now label mates with TraumeR?? Sounds a little bit like them too…), through the slightly Helloween-flavoured Metal of ‘Innocence’ and including the mainly more mid-paced tracks like ‘Turn Back The Night’ and ‘Lonely Rain’. Whichever variation in tempo the band deliver, they deliver it with conviction and talent, mixing things up whenever needed to keep the whole thing fresh and interesting.
So pretty much all positives really, this is a professional, well produced, well executed Melodic Power Metal album. It’s nothing particularly new or innovative, but then I don’t think it’s trying to be. Everything about it is polished, intelligent and thoughtfully arranged. It is what it is and is aimed at existing fans of the genre who enjoy all the bands/styles mentioned above. A familiar sound it may be, but when a seasoned listener can hear so many different, great influences from Metal bands of the past 20 or so years, it can’t be bad. Then this all ends up getting blended together, interpreted by new individual musicians and comes out the other side as something unique to TraumeR.
(8/10 Andy Barker)