“Existentia” by Trail Of Tears

Artist: Trail Of Tears
Title: “Existentia”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 1/26/2007
Genre: Dark Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

This follow up to Trail Of Tears monster piece “Free Fall Into Fear” would utilize some of the same principles that worked well for that recording but this time around a little more emphasis would be placed on the Dark Gothic Metal aspect. While possessing three sets of vocals on previous recordings the dueling male voices would be more upfront this time around and the result is a thunderous and brooding piece that gets things going right away with the opener “Deceptive Mirrors”. It’s here we find the growls of Ronny Thorsen backed by the deep and dramatic voice of Green Carnation’s Kjetil Nordhus over a driving musical score that even adds some symphonic chorals for good measure. The light and dark aspect of the male vocalists works well for TOT and it’s all complimented by the beautiful voice of Emmanuelle Zoldan. “Existentia” would be my second experience with the band and compared to “FFIF” I can definitely say that this release might be a little more accessible to the listeners of other Gothic Metal bands like Tristania and perhaps even Therion. I enjoy what the Darker side of Goth Metal brings to the table as it takes the conventional stuff and makes it all the more dramatic and thereby making the music a little more exciting and unpredictable. The numerous vocal tradeoffs here make the listener feel as though they are experiencing a scripted stage performance at times.

“Empty Room” has the ability to be a lead single for the band since it’s the most atmospheric and elegant of the albums offerings and pretty much showcases Emmanuelle the most out of the remaining tracks. When it gets to “As It Penetrates” we find Kjetil’s clean style handling more of the tune than Ronny’s darker side and its one of the recordings most appealing numbers as far as overall drive is concerned. The music under all the vocals is to be commended for there is not a bad riff on the album and thanks to Runar Hansen (guitar), Kjell Hagen (bass), Frank Hagen (keyboards) and Jonathan Perez (drums) we get some incredible head banging moments. Hagen’s keyboards are lush and really bring the atmospheric end to life wherever he can fit them in but it’s not overused at all. Once you place this one in your stereo it’s almost impossible to take it out after only a couple of songs. The band intrigues enough to make you let the whole thing play out and allow you the opportunity to enjoy in full the intense riffs that are presented in full throttle power. Trail Of Tears is a band that serves your need should you be seeking intense music with dynamic and interesting vocals. Given the way they combine all their elements their fifth album “Existentia” remains exciting with each and every listen that you give it.

The release does come with some dramatics as far as personnel is concerned as shortly after this was recorded all members of the band except for Thorsen decided to move on to other projects and interests. Thorsen has said he will continue the band with new members but only time will tell on how easy or hard that will be for him to accomplish. If “Existentia” is the bands last hurrah then talk about going out with a bang. Check this one out when you can.

Track Listing:

1. Deceptive Mirrors
2. My Comfort
3. Venom Inside My Veins
4. Decadence Becomes Me
5. She Weaves Shadows
6. The Closing Walls
7. Empty Room
8. Poisonous Tongues
9. As It Penetrates
10. Shades Of Yesterday

Official Website: www.trailoftears.org
Amazon Code:

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