Friday, December 19, 2003

Review: Trator - From Hell (2002)

From Hell

What I enjoy most about being involved with the indie metal scene is the thrill of coming across a young band whose pure talent, raw energy, and love for the music they create permeates each and every one of their songs. Some of these oft-called "diamonds in the rough" evolve into metal icons, while others spend their careers gracing the underground with their quality music. Hailing from Brazil, Trator is one such band who've a lot refinement ahead of them but clearly show they have what it takes to create something special.

The demo From Hell shows a band working to find their own way. Bouncing from thrash, to power metal, to a more modern death/thrash sound, the band manages to overcome the inconsistency with excellent musicianship. Drummer Marlo Lustosa impresses time and again with his intricate beats, while guitarists Leandro Buchmann and Márcio Grohmann belt out the twin-guitar harmonies at a furious pace. I was overly impressed with the tricky leads and solos worked into each and every track. Sandro Schneider's bass was never out of sync with Marlo, giving each song a solid foundation over which Leandro and Márcio laid down their crunchy riffs. While not terribly wide-ranging, the angered shouts of frontman Thomas Rost drift from a Phil Anselmo growl (on "Final Chapter") to a mid-range power metal style ("Cadaverina" and "Necrodome"). Thomas' vocal skills are raw, particularly when it comes to the higher ranges and sustained notes, but as his skills mature and he establishes his comfort zone I'm certain he'll be a good fit for whatever musical direction Trator takes.

Personally, I'd like to see them pursue their power metal potential. "Cadaverina" is a highlight of From Hell and my favorite track on the album. The blistering twin guitar assault from Leandro and Márcio is killer while Marlo is a madman behind the kit. Thomas is perhaps at his weakest here, but as he finds his range the power in his voice will be unleashed. Other highlights are "Eviscerator" and "Necrodome", primarily for the outstanding riffs and melodies from Leandro and Márcio.

Overall the production is a little thin and the band has a bit of tightening to do, but these are things that are in no way unexpected from a band at such an early point in their career. Time will erase the flaws as Trator continues to evolve and mature. From Hell is a solid demo and a sign of good things to come.

Track Listing
1 Eviscerator
2 Two Steps Away From Hell
3 Final Chapter
4 Cadaverina
5 Nameless Grave
6 Necrodome
7 Napalm Child
8 Blow

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