Finland’s Trauma Field should definitely be on the radar of prog metal fans. While their debut album, 2013’s Harvest is supposedly more laid-back dark-influenced prog release, for this year’s Changing Tides could be said that it’s Trauma Field’s first full length progressive metal record.
Take note fans of Opeth, Amorphis, Shadow Gallery, and maybe even Sonata Arctica. This album is one for the record shelf. Better yet, clear a spot in your CD changer… Changing Tides is going to get some heavy play.
Mixing classic prog rock elements with modern progressive metal pieces, Trauma Field should have something for fans of progressive music in general.
“Changing Tides” is an ambient intro that leads seamlessly into “Aeons,” a well-crafted jaunt complete ringing guitar riffs that rival singer Jaakko Pesu in terms of melodic quality.
“Life Passed” could well be the album’s highlight. It should be the first song antsy fans head to. If you’re looking to see what Trauma Field is all about, definitely check this one out.
“High Tide” mixes classic rock styling with progressive metal, throws in a bit of the death metal vocal delivery, and is only made stronger by some killer musicianship that prog metal fans expect from bands in the genre. Pesu’s excellent vocal delivery is accentuated by his and Ville Koskinen‘s tasteful guitar leads and rhythms that don’t take the front stage, but instead add to the song’s stellar quality.
Ultimately, that’s what makes Changing Tides so good… It’s all the small things Trauma Field does TOGETHER that make it so damn catchy, so damn awe-inspiring, and so awesome. Antero Jokinen adds in his keyboards and piano, which are reminiscent of more classic prog rock bands, and Mikael Saalasti and Atte Toivola show they are more than capable of holding their own on drums and bass respectively.
Even though there are a few standout tracks that definitely could do well on their own, don’t go skipping around too much, though. It is Changing Tides as a whole that fans of Trauma Field and prog metal alike should be looking at.
A melancholy mixture of mainstream prog rock and progressive metal, Changing Tides is an entertaining album front to back. These Finns might not be as brutal as Between The Buried And Me or as harmony happy as Dream Theater, but they surely contain enough of each of the elements that made those band the titans they are today.
To keep this gem out of the stereos of progressive metal fans the world over would be a shame.