Trail of Tears
Existentia

I really enjoyed this Norwegian extreme Goth outfit’s last record, Free Fall Into Fear, but for some reason Existentia is not hitting me with the same impact. Whether it is the stripped down line-up, the slightly more mid paced, less varied and more Gothic material, or just rather ‘meh’ songs, something is just missing.

The band is still far more aggressive than your average growl/scream/ female vocal combo, but lacking some of the cyber blasts and progressive black metal tones, the band appears far more average than I remember, and in fact, I’m having a hard time coming up with any sort of descriptive terms for the album other than just “OK”.

Still, the less artistic, less avant-garde, more straight forward dualistic Goth tones are par for the course, and not completely dreary or mopey as their more emotional peers. However, the last portion of the album, starting with ballad “Empty Rooms” and “Poisonous Tongues” does start headed that direction with a rather listless last four tracks, that sort of cement the albums overall lack of bite. Even up to that point though, the prior 6 tracks just don’t do anything for me; Operatic opener “Deceptive Mirrors”, chunky “My Comfort” and the album most aggressive track “Venom Inside My Veins” start with promise, but the material is just ‘there’ and never comes remotely close to Free Fall Into Fear.

Earlier this year rumors circled of the band breaking up after this release, but lone member Ronny Thorsen came out and said Trail of Tears will continue despite the mass exodus of members. But I think it might be time for Thorsen to lay this project to bed and focus on Blood Red Throne and Tristania.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 12th, 2007

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