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Trail of Tears > Winds of Disdain > Reviews > MarkDarkness
Trail of Tears - Winds of Disdain

A return to form - 90%

MarkDarkness, June 8th, 2024
Written based on this version: 2024, CD, The Circle Music

Trail of Tears is a band that has walked in several different directions over the course of their existence, from the beautiful and sorrowful gothic metal presented in their debut "Disclosure in Red", to the extremely heavy and violent "Free Fall Into Fear", then into something more accessible with "Oscillation". Oscillation was too accessible and didn't quite sound like the band anymore, and it doesn't help that vocalist Cathrine Paulsen wasn't as talented as her predecessor Helena Michaelsen, which was fine for support vocals, but certainly couldn't carry an entire album. The band split and Ronny Thorsen went on to work on other projects.

Now we slowly witness the rebirth of Trail of Tears after two singles, followed by the "Winds of Disdain" EP. It is a very welcome return, seeing as the band appears to be trying hard to piece together the elements that made them great in the first place, and are now reinforced by the mighty female vocals of Ailyn (ex-Sirenia). The chugging guitars with tons of palm muting are present here, as are the bombastic symphonic pieces and choirs, and an abundance of double bass drum and snare action. The band was never really afraid of mixing straight up synth sounds into their songs, and we hear those here being used to great effect.

I miss the rawer, more plucked bass from previous releases, which shows up a bit in 'Blood Red Halo' but could be used much more in future songs... the bass mixing is maybe just not punchy enough in this EP. As a treat to fans of "Disclosure", we get a beautiful acoustic introduction to 'Take These Tears' that is reminiscent of the bridge from 'Mournful Pigeon', but I can't help but feel that there could be more acoustic work. These are minor concerns in an overall great release, but they are worthy of pointing out.

Overall, it feels like the project is picking up steam again and gearing up to the release of a great album. As it stands, I would definitely already recommend this EP to anybody who appreciates gothic or symphonic metal, and of course to longtime fans of the band as well that lost faith after Oscillation.