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TRAUMATIC VOYAGE
TRAUMATIC VOYAGE
Traumaturgie
(Merciless Records)
94:28min

If you've never heard of TRAUMATIC VOYAGE, Metal Archives will tell you they play "Progressive Death Metal". In reality, TRAUMATIC VOYAGE is a one man Avant-Garde Black / Death project from Munich, Germany that creates truly insane music. His latest release, the double-album "Traumaturgie", is no exception. It sucks the listener into the mind of Mark Edward Astorian, the mad scientist who gave birth to TRAUMATIC VOYAGE, tugging the emotions into dark places at the back of the mind. While it's recognizably TRAUMATIC VOYAGE, "Traumaturgie" is not as all-out horrifying and dissonant as the classic "Traumatized...", instead focusing on melancholy Black Metal tremolo picking and slow, contemplative clean riffs. This album feels different than previous works, as if Astorian now suffers from crushing depression rather than schizophrenic insanity. Tortured call and response vocals and reverb laden guitars, convey a feeling of confusion, listlessness, and despair to the listener. The songs do tend to flow together and not really stick out, but for me TRAUMATIC VOYAGE has always been a band to listen to laying in the dark with my eyes closed, allowing the music to pull me into a kind of trance. Both discs are similar, and both are good, but I will say that disc 2 is better, because it contains two amazing stand out tracks, while the first disc holds one. Disc 1 features 'The Other Way (Voluntary Outcast)'. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, it attacks with poignant, dramatic melodic Death Metal riffs and female vocals and spoken word that are so subtle an unattentive listener might not even notice them. Disc 2 lays claim to 'Egregora (The Real Think!!!)' and 'Spiritual Coalescence', which are both over 10 minutes long and seperated by the comparatively short 4 minute 'Clairvoyage'. These songs almost sound like one gargantuan epic, a 26 minute journey to a dead dimension of floating Lovecraftian monoliths. If you're not a fan of progressive extreme Metal, you won't like this, and even if you do, it might be too convoluted and strange for your digestion. It's also a bit difficult to casually sit through, both discs totaling 94 minutes, but either half can be listened to as a standalone and still be enjoyable. Fans of TRAUMATIC VOYAGE will find this a rewarding listen, as will anyone who likes truly strange music. I'd also say this is more accessible (though it's still a musically impenetrable fog of mental malady) than some of Mr. Astorian's other work, so if you've never been on a TRAUMATIC VOYAGE of your own, consider starting with this. www.traumatic-voyage.de, www.merciless-records.de

Sam Osborn

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