Polish death metal band Trauma is a long-running extreme music project, stretching out in various incarnations from its roots in the mid-'80s well into the 2010s. From early on, their sound focused on technical precision and inventive approaches to guitar, which made for varied shades of metal, ranging from speedy thrash to more intense brooding sludge, sometimes over the course of one song. With a myriad of members coming and going over the years, the band perfected their brand of metal on standout albums like 2003's Imperfect Like a God.
Before they were Trauma, the band spent some time going under the name Thanatos. Thanatos formed in the Polish city of Elblag in 1986 and completed a few demos before changing its name to Trauma in 1992. Made up at this point of vocalist Jacek Cholewa, guitarist Jarek Misterkiewicz, drummer Arek Sinica, and bassist Wojtek Sukow, the group quickly completed their first demo tape. Invisible Reality, in 1993. The band's first proper studio album, Comedy Is Over, followed in 1996, plagued by distribution problems and a cassette-only release. Signing to Pagan Records for the release of their next album, 1998's Daimonion, meant more exposure and a reissue of the band's earlier album. Trauma toured in Poland regularly, and started out the next decade by recording third album Suffocated in Slumber. The next year a massive package tour with Vader and Decapitated resulted in more exposure and provided the source material for the band's first live album, Crash Test: Live, released later that same year. Throughout the 2000s, the band would stay active with their first European tours as well as releasing some of their strongest albums, 2003's Imperfect Like a God, 2005's DetermiNation, and 2007's Neurotic Mass. As they entered the next decade, the band showed no signs of losing intensity, with more albums arriving regularly and non-stop touring and festival performances in support of their new work. In 2010 Archetype of Chaos was released. Its successor, Karma Obscura, was delayed due to issues with the label but eventually saw release in 2013. ~ Fred Thomas