The Fields of Trauma
(independent / 2014)
“The Fields of Trauma”, the first full-length album for this Norwegian band, has been around since somewhere 2012 but it’s still being shown and played around by FRAIL GROUNDS, as it represents so much of the work and effort they’ve committed with this release! The band itself started in 2004 under a different name and later changed it to the one they’ve been under since then, playing a kind of progressive metal where elements of both power and even melodic death can be found.
This album stands as a concept work around the narrative of an expedition sent to Siberia and forced to deal with such extreme conditions that a truly philosophical quest of discovery begins to take form, trying to understand the human limits, both physical and psychological! Along with this premise, FRAIL GROUNDS present a diverse range of metal influenced songs, incorporating clean vocals as well as some death metal growls, sometimes sounding like they could easily fit within the progressive metal category and within minutes going heavier with an almost melodic death approach!
I guess you’ve listened to enough progressive metal bands to know what to expect from these songs, more with the fact that we’re talking about a concept album, there’s a lot of different time-signatures and a very strong melodic guideline, even when things turn heavier. The keyboard presence is very noted, as it almost stands as the glue that keeps everything in its right place, not stealing the spotlight, but working as a very important frame! The songs are elaborate but not to the point of oversaturating everything with intricate detail and sometimes they even speed up things before coming back down again to the pace of the narrative! This is one for the prog fans.
[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]