Trauma’s album Scratch and Scream featuring Cliff Burton
Trauma is rather an unknown American metal band which was active from 1981 to 1985 and then resurfaced in 2011. The original line up for the band included Michael Overton and George Lady on guitars, Dennis Shafer on drums, Cliff Burton on bass, and Donny Hillier on vocals. The band took early influences from Anthrax, Judas Priest and Exciter. Trauma gained momentum in the California Bay Area by playing at famous venues. Later on Cliff Burton left to join Metallica and Trauma released their infamous album ‘Scratch and Scream’ in 1984 with their new band members. Trauma signed up with Shrapnel Records which was a dedicated American heavy metal recording company. The album received great reviews from metal magazines like Kerrang! and Metal Forces.
‘Scratch and Scream’ did not become available till its legitimate CD issue and is considered a classic album which is hard to get one’s hands on. It is not available in print now but fortunately the album lives on became of music websites on the internet. ‘Scratch and Scream’ reissue has been recently introduced by Shrapnel Records featuring nine songs and three bonus tracks which were recorded in the presence of the legendary bassist, Cliff Burton. The music is fast, heavy with a dose of restless drumming and shredded solos like the all-time classic speed and power metal. The album kicks in with the song ‘The Day All Hell Broke Loose’ which is a delight for speed metal fans. It is composed of loud guitar solos and over-the-top vocals which hit the right delicious tones, just enough not to go beyond the borderline and sound like noise to the ears. The next track ‘Bring the House Down’ is a song pure ‘80s metal track which will grip you to listen to the entire album. The title song brings in violence and complex guitar skills, all this without the refining by technology and computers. The rest of the songs contain high built tempo and various themes. ‘In The End’ is a ballad with great melodies and Trauma’s signature style with speed and high energized solos.
‘Scratch and Scream’ closes the act by ‘The Flight of the Raven’ where the vocals are toned down and give a Bruce Dickenson feel to the performance. Founding the peak right by the opening track, the album however slides downhill slowly as it progresses concluding at a simple ‘good’ level. Some critics did not appreciate the album’s futuristic experiments and mystery filled lyrics. To their opinion the later songs of the album lacked song writing skills without becoming memorable. Moreover Donny Hillier was criticised for his vocals being very shriek oriented to the point that they became irritating. ‘Scratch and Scream’ also contains the three bonus tracks which feature the late bassist Cliff Burton. Without a doubt they include solid bass and ignite like forest fire in the track titled ‘We’re Going Off’. The bass solo being the highlight is aggressive and highly powered. The last track ‘Woman Be Gone’ would not have sounded as remarkable without Burton’s bass effects. He perfectly brings out the creativity of the guitarists as well and leads one to ponder on what a great loss has the metal world suffered by his early aged demise. Best known for their member Burton, Trauma made a note-worthy impact with this album. ‘Scratch and Scream’ is something which all metal fans should become well acquainted with. Even though the original copy is difficult to find, the new production by their recording company is available. Trauma has recently performed shows in Oakland and San Francisco and is now currently in the studios finalizing their new album.