Giang hails from Vietnam, which is certainly not a place one would expect a black metal band to come from. After being sent this demo, I was informed by the “band” that this was actually a one-man black metal project, leaving me with the impression that this was going to be yet another low quality, low-fi production.Getting past the initial impressions though, it was fortunate that I decided to give this demo a spin.
The symphonic opening Diablo gives a hint of the production quality of the rest of the demo, and right from the beginning one can tell that this will be an experience unlike most other amateur black metal bands. The desolate mood in the music is brought out and emphasised by the melancholic guitar lines in the music. The drums also fit the music well, mostly going at a conventional pace with the exception of a few moments on She Found Death, where the drums goes at an insane, non-human speed, which alerts the unaware listener that the drums are in fact programmed.
While the music on Traumatic are mostly simple (and at times repetitive), they present a cold and depressive mood to the listener. Trauma is probably the most enjoyable track on the album, with the memorable and melodic riffs that sounds like a rawer and slower version of bands like Pestilential Shadows, complete with emotional passages. Giang’s vocals also shine on this track, drenching the song with his desperate shrieks, further enforcing the depressive theme of the album. Songs such as She Found Death also presents listeners with a surprisingly big sound on the guitars, especially after the quiet on Night.
Songs such as Night also present a variety in the music of Giang, sounding like a night scene in a rural setting, with the sound of crickets on the field and the occasional blaring of vehicles’ horns in the silent of the night. The inclusion of a recurring sound pattern at the background with an electronic music-inspired drum sample that gives way to somewhat soothing guitar chords reminds listeners of bands such as Benighted in Sodom with the fusion and experimentation of ambient and black metal music. The calming effect of Night brings to mind bands such as Pink Floyd as well. The 11:45 runtime is, however, slightly excessive, and could have been seen as a rather redundant inclusion on the demo.
The latter half of the album are also mostly made up of instrumental tracks, Lead Yourself to the Failure and Windflower, which are soothing numbers, a nice way to bring the album to an end. Traumatic ends with Tempest, starting off with a classical interlude before going into blasting mood once more, and Giang’s vocals makes a comeback, ending the demo with yet another erratic (but excellent) number. The heavy use of the piano and a synth-driven symphony at the background at times makes the song sound like it could easily come off an X Japan album.
Recording in a “bedroom studio” is certainly not an excuse to compromise one’s music, and Giang‘s Traumatic demo is certainly a good example of what “bedroom” black metal bands should sound like, with the sweet production quality and excellent songwriting in the music.