Traumatic Voyage - _Khiaoscuro_
(Merciless Records, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
Primarily the project of Astorian, Traumatic Voyage has been releasing albums since 1992. _Khiaoscuro_ was recorded in 2004 but was only released two years later. The music within is black metal, but Astorian has foregone the usual intro clichés in favour of a number that is a mix between Abruptum-esque despair and EBM. It sounds like a bad joke and I don't think I can describe in any way that will make it sound appealing -- all I can say is that against all odds, it somehow does work. There is another atmospheric intermezzo and closer, but these are more conventional expressions and lack the wild eclecticism of the opener. Sadly, this appears to be the highlight of the album, as this ingenuity is not carried through to the meat and potatoes work.

The first couple of post-intro songs have a frenzied and chaotic feel to them, which fades as the album develops and the songs become longer and more intricate. The last few songs are rather staid and boring by comparison to the opening tracks, and possess the faint whiff of filler. Throughout the album, there are cleanly strung arpeggios and a female voice, used in a surprisingly non-cliché manner. Despite being a rather mixed bag, Traumatic Voyage is sufficiently engaging to provide a not so painful sojourn.


(article published 1/9/2008)

1/22/2009 Q Kalis 4 Traumatic Voyage - Cogito Ergo Sum
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