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


Gomorrah (1970): 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.

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, 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. 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!


Personal collection
CD: 2013 Long Hair

As originals both are pretty 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.

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