Gomorrha - s/t + Trauma. 1970/1971 Germany


Gomorrha - s/t. 1970 Cornet
Gomorrha - Trauma. 1971 BASF Cornet

CD reissues (for both albums on one disc): 1998 Second Battle; 2013 Long Hair
CD reissues (for Trauma only): 1992 Second Battle; 1996 Spalax (France)

LP reissue (for Trauma only): 2013 Long Hair

Packaging: As originals, both are pretty rare, though less expensive than their 3rd album "I Turned to See Whose Voice It Was" on Brain. The English language "Trauma" is more desirable, whereas the debut in German is truly rare. My introduction to "Trauma" was via the 1992 Second Battle CD, which featured as a bonus the 'Trauma' track from the 1970 album. I sold it in the late 90s and hadn't really thought about it until recently. Fortunately Long Hair has come through with a fresh batch of reissues. Since the liner notes are the same, I went forward with the CD rather than the LP, primarily because the CD has both albums in full. Overall, it's an excellent presentation, and it sounds great. I wouldn't mind having an original of "Trauma" but I'm not going to drain the bank account for one.

Notes for Trauma: In many ways, Gomorrha's "Trauma" is like the My Solid Ground album. At its core, Gomorrha are a straightforward psychedelic hard rock band. Perhaps a very good psychedelic hard rock band, but nothing more than that. But there's the one centerpiece track that calls a much greater attention to it. And it's monumental in scope. With My Solid Ground it's the 13 minute+ 'Dirty Yellow Mist'. And with Gomorrha it's the 13 minute+ title track 'Trauma', which is a magnificent psychedelic Krautrock piece just oozing with underground atmosphere. The loud acid guitar leads and droning organ chords go a long way to sending the message down that, yes indeed, you are in 1971 Germany.
 

As is well documented, "Trauma" is the English language recording of their self-titled debut. But that was a full year before, and the band had honed their skills just that much further since then. The variation in sound is significantly different, and you'll want to own both for comparison. And it's easy to do so, as most of the CD reissues feature both recordings on one disc. My copy is the new version on Long Hair (2013), though the Second Battle version will more than suffice. Make no mistake, "Trauma" is a huge improvement on the debut, at least for cosmic Krautrock fans.

For those keeping score, here's the matrix between the re-recording 1971 "Trauma" and the 1970 "Gomorrha" album:

A1: Journey =  A4: Reise
A2: Trauma = B3: Trauma
A3: Yesterday = A6: Gestern
B1: Lola = A1: Lola
B2: Dead Land = A2: Totes Land
B3: Summer = B2: Sommer
B4: Rainbowlight = A5: Regenbogenschein
B5: Dance of Circles = B1: Kreiseltanz
B6: Firehands = A3: Flammenhände


And to think, they actually improved from here on "I Turned to See Whose Voice it Was"!


Notes for Gomorrha: Interesting to hear this album after absorbing the English language "Trauma" for a number of years. On the plus side, it's always great to hear a band sing in their native language - at least it is for me. But the big difference here is that the debut is clearly a product of the psychedelic 60s, whereas "Trauma" is more geared toward the 70s Krautrock / hard rock underground. The vocal harmonies and psychedelic fuzz solos are the blueprint for any great psych album coming from the US in 1968/69. Even the long cosmic track is toned down a bit here, at least in comparison to the molten 1971 "Trauma" version. Definitely an album you'll want to get as a bonus to the "Trauma" album, which most of the CD's possess. On its own, it's not worth tracking down, especially if you already know what the followup brings.

Here's the UMR feature for "I Turned to See Whose Voice it Was". I've updated that entry as well, since I picked up the Long Hair LP copy for that title.

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