Trauma (formerly Thanatos) is a Polish death metal band formed in 1986 in Elblag. The band plays energetic technical music with an emphasis on colorful guitar techniques and extremely accurate kick fast on drums. Trauma has ranked among the top bands in the Polish death metal scene. We had a great interview with these real masters of Technical Death Metal.

How you guys are doing?

Hi! Thanks, all is perfectly fine here in Trauma crew. We have just finished Tramatic Campaign Tour 2015 which promoted our 10th studio album „Karma Obscura”. We are totally satisfied with all gigs, our live performances and overall attendance. It was a pleasure to visit new places, meet new people, as well as return to cities we have been playing repeatedly in the past years. There’s always a group of fans that can see us live for the first time, and it’s damn motivating to earn their approval. We need to be absolutely prepared for each gig, despite huge experience we gained throughout almost 3 decades. We make no exceptions! Always on full speed, since this is the only way to unleash pure Metal energy for all our fans and Metal maniax. It is also the only way to stay true with ourselves.

How is it to be a death metal band in Poland right now?

It’s not easy to play any of extreme genres nowadays, regardless of country of origin or wherever You are on this globe. It;s an elite music for chosen and dedicated people. Naturally, in USA, Scandinavia or western Europe number of labels, booking agencies and promoters is higher, so it seems easier for Death, Black and Thrash bands to exists. Still, Metal will remain underground music, since it’s so inaccessible for an average shit-pop music listener, who can tolerate only unchallanging sounds of today mainstream market. Because of that, it’s really harsh to make some reasonable profits for a band like us and it’s not easy to be a part of music scene. Yet, no one ever promised wonders, so we do not expect it to change rapidly. Trauma plays continously since mid 80s and we never had any doubts in sense of our existence. We have recorded tons of fantastic music and played hundreds of exceptional shows throughout last 3 decades and it’s the only thing that matters

What about the old Polish metal record labels like: Morbid Noizz, Vox Mortis and Pagan? what happened with this record labels you where signed with in the past?

It’s sad to say that majority of labels we collaborated with bites the dust right now. Changes that took place in Poland after the fall of „The Iron Curtain” overwhelmed them and the only label left from what You’ve mentioned is Pagan Recs. Rest of them are unfortunately dead for quite a long time now. As we all know everything has it’s time and place and it seems time of those labels was pretty short. It’s nothing unusual in music industry. For some people it’s just a short adventure in such business, for some it’s like a normal job, a meaning of life and passion.

 Poland has a lot of great death metal bands and a big history in metal music? can you tell us a littlebit how and when Trauma started?

It’s really hard to understand, but since my very first memorings, polish Metal scene was filled with countless good Metal bands. And it still is. Maybe, that;s because Poland is not as rich country as some of Western European ones, maybe bacause we had to overthrow communism, maybe because of hundred other reasons, or all summed up….it can be discussed for a long time, so guess we can skip that for this moment.

Our beginning – well, well. It’s been almost 30 years ago and it’s hard to believe so many days have passed since that moment. We were a bunch of kids playing in various local Punk and Thrash bands. Suprisingly, despite young age, all of us were skilled musicians these days, so when we met on our first rehearsal, we were on quite a high technical level already. United by admiration to gods of Metal – Slayer, we decided that we want to create music of this particual genre. We put enormous energy and dedicated majority of our time to play. We had 3-4 rehearsals weekly and before „Deo Optimo Maximo” demo recording sessions, we played everyday. Thanks to our high skills, we gained popularity in very rapid way. TRAUMA for the first 4 years of existence was known as THANATOS, under which brand we released two highly acclaimed demos. When Your compatriots from Dutch Thanatos started to be more and more known worldwide, we made a decision to switch name to Trauma, so to avoid any problems in the future. We changed name to TRAUMA in 1992, but we decided to use same logo styling, so that fans will know that Thanatos and Trauma is still the same band. History was to be written once again thou, so in spring 1992, TRAUMA recorded legendary „Invisible Reality” giving us a huge popularity and opening a new chapter in our Death Metal lives.


I just read on your website that you released a Vinyl EP this year, can you tell us something about it?

CRAVING FOR…” is a 7-inch split with other polish band – Offence. On Trauma side, listeners can find an alternative version for „Craving” track, which we recorded in two versions during „Hamartia” mini album recording session. We didn’t want this track to become forgotten and decided to use alternative version for this release. Also, it’s the first split in our discography and we are really glad with it’s premiere, since it’s a bridge between two full – length Trauma albums. Label responsible for release of this vinyl is an underground DEFORMEATHING Rec, which currently makes a hellish good job promoting this material and Trauma. We must say, that we are positively suprised with this cooperation and maybe it’s not last release with Deformeathing logo attached.

What about a new album?

Everything has it’s time and this rule applies to new Trauma album. Recently, we did a lot of touring and we increased band promotional issues, so to reach new places and new fans. Such activities are opposite to isolation requiied to create music. Trauma is in this pleasant situation, that we can release new music only when we have something new and really good to tell, only when we feel it’s the most adequate moment to unleash new album. Since we are under no rush, no stress, we carefully choose the beginning of composing process. As I said earlier, we have just finished another „Karma Obscura” promotional tour, so it’s a about time to start writing completely new songs. We are working on it for few weeks now and it goes perfectly smooth. There are few lyrics ready, there’s also few track arrangments done. It all sound great. We hope that in 2016 You will be able to check effects of our hard work and hear a totally new Trauma album.

Trauma for me is a great, professional, technical death metal band, a top band in the scene? why Trauma didn’t get the attention in Europe that Trauma should get. Like Vader, Behemoth, Decapitated, Yattering or Hate? 

Bands that you mentioned are undoubtedly very hard working crews, that made an enormous work to be in the place they are today. We had less luck, and maybe we didn’t push as much, or maybe we just couldn’t break some barriers of global music market. In Poland, we have a really great status for many years and we are proud to be treated with highest respect from our fans. Trauma did not have any help from professional management company and up till now we handle all marketing mainly by ourselves. Still, we are musicians, not marketing specialists, we do not have so many connections e.g. to summer open air festivals. We won;t comply in any way, but we simply have less possibilities make satisfactory band promotion. Our country of origin can also be a barrier, yet we are not ashamed to be from Poland. We will continue to do what we love the most and thanks to it we can name our crew as a pack of happy people. Showbusiness didn’t consume our passion as it commonly does, so maybe current Trauma situation is some sort of help for creating better music.

Did you ever play live outside of Poland?

Yeah, naturally. We were in many venues in Germany, we also played in cities including Holland, Lithuania, Ukraine. We just come back from a gig in Norway. We are currently planning UK tour, maybe Finland and the Balkans – all for 2016. We hope it will all take place. Time will tell.


Are you guys also playing in other bands or doing projects with other Polish musicians or bands?

We were involved in other projects and even regular bands, now we decided to focus mainly on Trauma. This does not exclude cooperating with others bands or making own projects, it’s just the fact that Trauma requires more time at this moment. If there is any occastion for side projects, we will definetely go for it, if there;s enough time and energy. For example, I have few projects started some years ago, and I did not have enough time to finish even a single one of them. I know there will be a moment in life to return to these projects, because I always finish what I’ve started. In past, each one of us was a member of other bands. Chudy, our vocalist, was frontman in Death Metal horde MASTABAH and they recorded two albums. Extremely brutal stuff with ultra fast drummer! I, along with Maly (Trauma’s drummer) had been involved in Heavy/Power band LAFAYN for about a decade. We recorded two really good albums few years ago. Same goes to Bubek, our bassist and Grall, second guitarist. Bubek played in NEYRA and Grall is a member of Death/Black MANSLAUGHTER

Where readers can find Trauma info on the internet?

You should check our official profiles and sites for current info on Trauma, listed below. You can find us on Facebook, YouTube, BandCamp, Spotify, Reverbnation, MetalStorm, Metal Archives and more.

Your last full album Karma Obscura came out in 2013. How this album was received by the metal press and the fans and what happended after this release with the band?

Karma Obscura” was reviewed by media and our fans as one of the best Trauma albums. First print was sold out in 8 months after it’s release. Our label was forced to reprint this album, since interest was still huge. I can’t really tell which album was the best one, which was the worst. I cant’ be objective enough to review my own music. Each album of Trauma is a sentimental voyage for me, each one carries different emotions with it. It’s a little like a family photo album, like a recording of various moments of our lifes. Moments that took place once and will never again happen. Because of that each Trauma album is unique. Since „Karma Obscura” premiere, we are playing live as often as it is possible and we promote this CD in this way mainly. We played a lot and only major change in Trauma crew was that place of our second session guitarist took Grall, instead of Kristo. This is actually the only significant change in few past years.


What are the favorite bands of the bandmembers (to name a few important) and what bands inspired the bandmembers to start Trauma and to play Death Metal? 

I raised in 80s and back then I started playing and composing in all of my bands of that times. In mid 80s I was fascinated by Metallica and their „Master of Puppets”. This album took it’s toll on my life for many years. I was also inspired by Testament (specially „The Legacy”), Dark Angel, Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Overkill and Sepultura. And then, one day, I encountered Slayer. I was totally crushed. They took me for a real helliride and infected me completely with their extreme sound. I was lucky to meet four other people in my hometown, who had same feelings regarding Slayer and who were overwhelmed with their music. We really wanted to play like Slayer and scream blasphemous lyrics from the stage. That’s how Thanatos was born in the second part of the 80s. I am in the band since the very beginning and I remember all stages of it’s evolution. First Thanatos demo is highly infected by Slayer, yet our second demo from 1990 had it’s own, more sophisticated feeling with influences from southamerican bands, my european Metal heroes from Pestilence, Gorefest, Napalm Death, Celtic Frost and gods from beyond the ocean: MOrbid Angel, Immolation, Brutality, Brutal Truth, Deicide, Suffocation. Those bands had impact on our style later when we changed name from Thanatos to Trauma. I am still under their inflluence.

How was it to play Death Metal in the 90’s? was there any oppression from the Church then and maybe even at the moment?

Poland is still quite a catholic country, so more known bands like Vader or Behemoth have their problems with live concerts. Religious fanatics organize their protest marches from time to time, they even try to impose pressure on local autonomic government. Sometimes, if regional authorities are afraid of losing their position, shows are cancelled, which eventually leads to better promotion and advertises extreme music throughout the country. Trauma never had a show cancelled due to ideological issues, maybe because there’s not as much Devil in our lyrics as in Behemoth for example. Suprisingly, there were less such problems in the 90s and there were a lot of gigs then as well. Church in our country still tries to have impact on politics and it sometimes leaks into everyday life. Nowadays, more and more people – mainly young and mid-aged – became sick and tired because of catholic movement, so they turn back on church. During the communism era, catholic church was rather a symbol of opposition to government’s repression, but this is long gone. Kids today do not remember this and they don’t give a shit. Well, we could discuss it further, but it should be enough for now.

Trauma played live together with the greatest in the scene like: Monstrosity, Vomitory, Vader, Soulfly, Samael, Nevermore, Krisiun, Obituary, Decapitated, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower etc. How was it to play with these bands?

We played with many of bands from entire globe, which names are well known for extreme music maniax. It’s always a pleasure to see profesionally prepared shows. One can learn from it and master their own skills, ideas for gigs etc. It’s always awesome to see gigs of such bands unless you encounter a completely unprepared, weak show of big band…that can be a real pity for a fan of Metal and for an active musician. Don;t take me wrong, but we are active for last 27 years and we don;t have to look behind. We perfectly know how to play Death Metal and we do it passionately, what we proved may times and will prove every single day in forthcoming future.

Do you have a last word to the readers of Bonavox Magazine?

Thanks for this interview, your support and interest. I hope that we will soon come to your country and kick your asses with our Death Metal. Feel free to write to us and support Trauma in your region.. All the best from all Trauma members. Stay Traumed!!!!