FRAIL GROUNDS - The Fields Of Trauma

Frail Grounds - The Fields Of Trauma

11 songs
55:25 minutes
***** ****


Norway is mostly known on the musical map for its fertile black metal scene, with bands like Emperor, Immortal, Darkthrone, Borknagar, Enslaved and many more being common household names. While many of these bands achieved incredibly great art, it’s also nice to come across a band like Frail Grounds who offer something completely different. Founded in 2005 in the country’s capital city Oslo, they released an EP and then worked on their debut longplayer The Fields Of Trauma in the years 2010 and 2011, before finally releasing it in late 2012.

The first regular track The Expedition at first creates the impression that we are in the presence of a hefty thrashcore band. It made me think of The Haunted, but the song is over eight minutes long and is continually wandering into more progressive territory. The initial growls are soon replaced by clean vocals, and the band is proving that they can play fast and complex at the same time. Especially the two guitarists are good at showing off their technical skills. The progressive component has a very important role in the band’s music, and thus it is natural to encounter material that is sounding anything but the earlier mentioned extreme parts. A Rural Trauma and The Sinister Road should for instance appeal also to fans of Dream Theater and Saga. Triptych is not only their record label’s name, but also the title of a short, quiet piece which is allowing for some respite halfway through the album. This little moment of relaxation is followed by Origin, one of the band’s more aggressive pieces where they show that Norwegians probably can’t avoid some successful black metal influences after all.

The Fields Of Trauma is a fascinating album that can be listened to with a good conscience from beginning to end. The band doesn’t necessarily offer anything groundbreakingly new, but they do manage to differentiate themselves from other genre bands. An undeniable freshness and impeccable technical finesse make for never ending fascination. This record shouldn’t be missing in any well sorted prog collection.

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