Trail Of Tears - Existentia review


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Band: Trail Of Tears
Album: Existentia
Release date: January 2007

01. Deceptive Mirrors
02. My Comfort
03. Venom Inside My Veins
04. Decadence Becomes Me
05. She Weaves Shadows
06. The Closing Walls
07. The Empty Room
08. Poisonous Tongues
09. As It Penetrates
10. Shades Of Yesterday

After the appearance of Theatre Of Tragedy and the impact they had in the atmospheric metal scene, generally speaking, taking into consideration the amount of bands they influenced with the marriage of grunting male vocals and ethereal female ones, two important acts arose from the same country, Tristania and Trail Of Tears, two bands that followed their own course in the fields of gothic metal. Both bands are about to return during 2007 with two brand new albums and i'm here to talk about "Existentia" for now, the new album of Trail Of Tears.

So... "Existentia", what a title, an irony of fate? After the completion of the new album the band went on a tour at the region of Mexico and the big financial loss of this short tour made 4 members of the band decide to leave and a rumour was spread that the band is no more, but despite all these problems that appeared out of sudden(?) Ronny Thorsen, the figure behind Trail Of Tears, assured us all that this is not the end and the band will continue despite all the difficulties. The existence of Trail Of Tears was threatened, but "Existentia" is here to prove that they have a lot to offer and they are still around, ready to proceed to the next step when inspiration calls upon them.

"Existentia" consists of 10 compositions and will accompany you for about 45 minutes, a duration that seems to be the ideal one for the album, since all the ideas, emotions and atmospheres the band wants to emphasize in are being presented in such a magnificent way, leaving not a single chance of tiring the listener. Everything in this album is so beautifully decadent and distressing, the melodies, the atmosphere, the emotions, the groove of the album, everything pours its soul in the overall outcome, offering a continuus storm of intensity, without forgetting to offer moments of melancholic bloom and serenity. The guitar work is powerful and the riffing unfolds in a groovy and devastating way, whereas the more melodic or acoustic moments evoke a sense of caressing bitterness in the overburdened atmosphere. Something that helps a lot in the overall powerful feeling is the fact that both the bass lines and the drumming are vivid through the whole duration of the album and lend their vibrating pulses in the final outcome. The keyboard passages enrich the overburdened atmosphere in a charismatic threatening way, floating like wraiths of forlorn memories in the darkening horizon, evoking beauty and distress, magic and mayhem, adorning the world of Trail Of Tears succesfully. And then comes the part of the album which leaves you speechless, the vocal part, the triarchy of interpretation on "Existentia", Ronny Thorsen on the grunting/growling vocals, Kjetil on the clean ones and Emmanuelle Zolda on the female vocals is the quintessence of the album accompanied by the ensemble of sounds the rest of the band composes. The intensity and extreme passion of Ronny, the warm and heartfelt edge of Kjetil, breathing with moments of overwhelming strength, and the multi-expressive abilities of Emmanuelle who sounds operatic, heart-rending or more ethereal pace together in a flawless manner.

The compositions of "Existentia" are connecting links/acts of a complete theatric play that turns to life in front of your very eyes as its melodies unfold. There are some songs i could hardly choose among others, so i won't do it since this album is flowing as one, like an emotional winter with moments of bloom inbetween, one thing is for sure, if you're a gothic metal adorer then this is an album you should make a part of your life.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Written on 06.01.2007 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 8   Visited by: 98 users
07.01.2007 - 01:58
This really is a great album. I'd have given a 9, too. Going finish as one of the best of 2007, without a doubt for me.
07.01.2007 - 09:52
El Vikingo
Thanks a lot for this review! I really like the way this review was written and I'm definitely going to have to pick up this album as soon as I find it.
"The worst kind of death is getting eaten by someone you love."
08.01.2007 - 00:33
yeah this album is great, although i don't usually welcome a less aggressive offering compared to last from a band, this album is fantastic.

they've used the experience they gained from Free Fall Into Fear really well and composed a really well diversed album. definatly their best work compared with the first three albums.
08.01.2007 - 09:16
Jason W.
I'm thrilled to see Trail Of Tears getting such high marks, as I have always felt they have been underrated by the metal community. And AmRo is right - they've used the experience of their last CD and integrated it into a CD full of depth and emotion - exactly what this type of music is trying for And one of the rare gothic metal bands that has a strong guitar driven sound... certainly one of my favorites for 2007 even with its January release!
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
08.01.2007 - 14:12
I'm just hoping this one is better than Free Fall into Fear which, IMO of course, lacked unity and focus, and was not very consistent quality-wise. Some songs were absolute killers (like Carrier of the Scars of Life) but most of the rest was barely average. Hopefully they're back on track. I'll give it a listen though
10.01.2007 - 09:03
Account deleted
Yup this comeback has been a surprise, specailly after watching the turn around made by Tristania & Sirenia, here comes Ronnie to give us a good & whole album, with real metal in it, not so aggressive as the last one but ,imo, better in the whole spectrum. Maybe i cannot agree with the note, cause its too high, but sure its a good METAL piece, congrats to them. :Gunner:
10.01.2007 - 19:29
Dark Phoenix
I have put this album on for merely 3 times but I was impressed immediately!! This is a real relief after Frefall Into Fear that I didn't actually like the most. Existentia kinda reminds me of A New Dimension of Might, it has its brilliant highlighs, when the sound just explodes and the melodies are driven to the rawness, but still everything is just veiled into such melodic sound and darkened ambient. I seriously hope Ronny will go on will Trail of Tears and keep metalizing! A 9 is a fair and aquare rating for Existentia. And I just love the feeling when a band amazes me with something new!
15.07.2007 - 18:24
Great to see a great review of this album. I'd give it a 9 as well.

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