“Traum” means ‘dream’ in German, and is also the name of an Italian-Irish band from Bologna, a city known for it’s ancient architecture (some dating back to at least 1000 BC.) Also present in Bologna are the ancient civilizations of the Etruscan and Celtic peoples. It’s a fitting history for a city that gave rise to a three-piece metal group which includes two Italians and one Irishman, Alessandro Cavazza and Giulio Sangirardi on guitars, and Michael Harding on drums. Formed in 2012, this heavy instrumental band released a full length album in late 2014 called Erode. Guests appearing on the album are Gabriele Bufalini on the synthesizer, and Marco Dainese on violin. It was mixed and mastered by Nicola Manzan.
Even though it’s metal, I found that you can hear the influence of both Italian and Irish cultures in the music. The track titles derive names and meanings from a mix of cultures, adding to the album’s theme of history and conflict. The first track “Hefna” (Icelandic for revenge) is powerful yet, has guitar strumming reminiscent of something you would hear in traditional Italian music. “Oceano Antico” (or Ancient Ocean) is the longest track on the album at 8:23. The song rises and lulls like the swells of a sea voyage. “Erode,” the title track, has violin and guitar that suit the concept of the passage of time, once again bringing out the theme of history. In “Solas Dorcha”(Irish for dark light), you can hear the Moog synthesizer being used like a guiding beacon on a dark day. The tracks “Dagda” and “Ecate” both refer to mythological Gods, the former being Irish and latter being Greek. Heard in succession, they start with an almost reserved tranquility that later gives way to a sense of being berated by a deity for one’s blunder, but ultimately gaining absolution.
“Heavydale” is a cover from the 2006 album Esthetik of Destruction by Kling Klang, a band known for its use of synthesizers and percussion. Traum has made it their own by turning it into a more guitar-based sludge piece. The last track “Invasori” (invaders) is a fitting end to the album as it encompasses all the symbolic and musical elements heard throughout. It uses all the instruments and accumulates in a metal sound with hints of ancient cultures.
The cover art, done by Crigraphics, features a photo depicting a monument called “Sverd i fjell” created by sculptor Fritz Røed and located at the Hafrsfjord Fjord in Norway. It was unveiled by King Olav V of Norway in 1983 to commemorate an historic battle that took place there in 872. The larger sword represents King Harald Fairhair who united all of Norway under one crown.
Overall the album is an easy listen for any metal fan and even perhaps history buffs.
Writtten by Joey Beaudin