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Review: Am I Blood - Existence of Trauma
Am I Blood
Existence of Trauma

Label: A1 Music
Year released: 2012
Duration: 38:20
Tracks: 11
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: July 14, 2012
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Existence of Trauma

Rated 3.14/5 (62.86%) (7 Votes)

I wasn't even aware of the fact that Finnish metallers Am I Blood were still alive and breathing until I saw an advertisement for their latest (and fourth) studio album. For those unfamiliar with Am I Blood's history, the band changed to that name in 1997 having previously released a couple of albums and an EP under the St. Mucus moniker. Am I Blood's previous and, in my opinion, best album, The Truth Inside the Dying Sun, was released 10 long years ago. It was the kind of album Metallica should have recorded after the millions-selling "Black" album. Sadly, they never did so it was kind of funny and even strange to hear an album that sounded very much like a mix of ...And Justice for All and Metallica. Am I Blood's The Truth Inside the Dying Sun was a perfect synthesis of those two albums and, no denying it, I loved it. Sort of.

So, the big question is, does this Metallica Justice/Black clone theme continue on Am I Blood's new 11-track record, Existence of Trauma? Unfortunately, not that much, if at all. Am I Blood have hardly any of their old sound left over from The Truth... album, pushing them away from shamelessly being the best Metallica clone of their era. For example, the song "Devil of Your Head" has a strong Rob Zombie vibe (I'll let you decide if that is good or bad.) Also, keyboards are featured on Existence of Trauma and these were completely missing from their previous record. Undoubtedly the guys got fed up with all the Metallica comparisons and decided to do something musically different, regardless of how enjoyable The Truth... was (especially for Metallica fanboys.) While the keyboards give Existence of Trauma a more original sound, Am I Blood still let the guitars thrash hard here and there, kind of reminding everyone of their roots. Vocalist Janne Kerminen has always had a strong resemblance to Mr. Hetfield's tone and that has not disappeared. That's not to say he hasn't tried a few new things as proven by the Rob Zombie plagiarism on "Devil of Your Head." As a whole, there's quite a few good things going on in this record but then again it is nowhere near as good as the one before.

After the "Black" album, Metallica decided to go further and recorded a Country music album called Load. After the T.T.o.D.S. album, the Finns in Am I Blood decided to get rid of the comparisons to their "big brothers" and recorded Existence of Trauma, an album that has more Metallica in it than Metallica managed to squeeze out for Load. Using simple mathematics, Am I Blood wins the Load vs. Existence of Trauma battle for best follow-up album to one that sounds like Metallica.

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