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Trail Of Tears - Oscillation

Trail Of Tears
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 30 May 2013, 1:37 PM

How long is the trail of tears? The endless feuds, the splits, let offs, let downs and the overbearing conspiracies that like a strain of cancer devour all that is good in a band. Yes, it happened again to TRAIL OF TEARS, the Gothic Metal band from Norway, which was supposed to be led by Ronny Thorsen.  Evidently, it was decided that Thorsen would suffer a similar fate as happened previously, where the entire band left him hanging, but this time it was the other way around, led by Cathrine Paulsen, which suffered the band’s politics in the past, it was decided that the band’s newest album, “Oscillation”, via Massacre Records, will be their last as TRAIL OF TEARS, thus letting go of Thorsen, the band’s founder, as an active member of the band. I wouldn’t want to sink in too deep with this mess and ego wars between the main personas of the band as it is too frustrating and disappointing to notice professionals acting like that. Therefore, all that remains is the music behind “Oscillation”, a foundation of anger, distress and anguish, besieged within the realms of Euro Gothic Metal.

Generally, since I had chances to experience earlier releases of TRAIL OF TEARS, whether with inner commotions or not, the music remained the same, even with the change of personal that took effect on the band’s line up after 2007. It can be inferred the “Oscillation” is a sort of continuity of the previous “Bloodstained Endurance”, maybe slightly colder in contrast. Musically, I believe that Cathrine Paulsen (Female Vocals) and the wondrous keyboards’ touch of the session player, Audun Gronnestad, which also manned the entire orchestra overheads, actually made the difference. Honestly, I have always enjoyed Thorsen’s growl vocals that have always been clear, demonic and exhilarating, yet I deemed that he wasn’t as dominant as I would have sought, letting Paulsen’s semi-Operatic / angelic tone of voice take on the reins. It is not that she didn’t perform gracefully of course; she surely did as a matter of fact. Actually the duo songs that I mostly enjoyed from out of this release displayed her finest vocal features, “Vultures Guard My Shadow”, “Sleep Forever”, “Lost In Life” and “The Dawning”. Nonetheless, I also was impressed by the guitar work of Bjørn Ness. On a personal note, I wished for a stronger melodic edge other than countless rhythm guitar riffery types running through the tracklist, but at least the keyboards capitalized the shortcoming for just a tad.

In general, “Oscillation” didn’t showcase any newly made ground work. Positively, I think that this crew could have worked with one another for another decade with possibilities to shape up something incredible like the previous release and the group’s old era. “Oscillation” is undoubtedly piercing and distinctive than your average Goth Metal experimentalism, though it’s obvious catchiness (one of the genre’s markings), but it didn’t excite me that much. I appreciated the coldness, bursting flamboyant emotions engulfing the soul through the icy chilling effect of the instruments, but I would have cherished a musical piece that would set my mood on fire even more. TRAIL OF TEARS might not be revealing a truce any time soon, but at least it would bring something fresh, possibly two bands aiming at the same thing. Ohh the irony…

3 Star Rating

1. Waves Of Existence
2. Scream Out Loud
3. Crimson Leads On The Trail of Tears
4. Oscillation
5. Path Of Destruction
6. Vultures Guard My Shadow
7. The Dawning
8. Room 306
9. Our Grave Philosoph
10. Lost in Life
11. Eradicate
12. Sleep Forever
13. Quick Fix Of Shame
Ronny Thorsen - Vocals
Cathrine Paulsen - Vocals
Endre Moe - Bass
Bjørn Ness - Guitars
Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow - Drums
Audun Gronnestad – Keyboards (Session)
Record Label: Massacre Records


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