Trail of Tears - Winds of Disdain

Trail of Tears – Winds of Disdain (EP Review)

Trail of Tears band 2024

In the late ‘90s a new era was born within the music world where Gothic, Symphonic, and various Heavy Metal elements all fused together. A style that could be traced back to what Therion, Moonspell or what Rotting Christ were doing in other parts of Europe, over in Norway a slew of exciting new bands were also making their mark. In fact, 1998 was an important year in the Land of the Midnight Sun when bands like Tristania released Widow Weeds, The Sins of Thy Beloved put out Lake of Sorrow, and Trail of Tears debuted with Disclosure in Red. If you are versed on this subgenre of Metal music, these acts are largely the big 3 out of Norway, and sadly all have been inactive for some time… or have they? Well, Tristania disbanded in 2022, The Sins of Thy Beloved have not been active in over 15 years, however, Trail of Tears are back in 2024 with new music for the first time in over a decade.

An interesting reformation, if you recall the band’s impressive albums such as 2000’s Profoundemonium, 2002’s A New Dimension of Light, or 2007’s Existentia, the last time anyone has heard from Trail of Tears was all the way in 2013 with Oscillation. Worth checking out, in the years since, key members of Trail of Tears (Ronny Thorsen and Endre Moe) joined up in another project called Viper Solfa. Leaving many to believe that the Trail of Tears era was over, in 2020, around 7 years after their split, an announcement came that they would be reuniting, but with a new team of members. Something that might cause some skepticism, but fray not, because the lineup is led by consistent Vocalist Ronny Thorsen, and features original Guitarist Runar Hansen (whom has not been involved in the band since 2006). Joining them are  long-time Bassist Endre Moe, new Guitarist Nicolay Jørni Johnsen, but also talented female Vocalist Ailyn Giménez García. A very solid grouping, you may recall Ailyn’s tenure with Sirenia between 2008 and 2016; thus piquing your curiosity of her involvement with Trail of Tears.

These parts in place, the new lineup got to work on some new music, and on Friday, May 24, 2024 offer them to audiences in the form of an EP called Winds of Disdain. Available through Greek label The Circle Music, another apprehension may be, why only an EP? A fair question, the band initially reformed in 2020 and straight away announced there was new music in the works. A factor that would lead you to believe there would be a full-length record, if you think about it, perhaps Winds of Disdain is a table setter for more to come. After all, 10 years is a long time and you would probably want to quench the thirst of listeners before putting out a more extensive collection of songs.

All this in mind, Winds of Disdain consists of 4 songs, and in truth, is a great way to resurrect Trail of Tears. A matter of quality over quantity at this point, the tracks have the energy, feel, and emotion of some of the band’s most memorable works. Marrying all the elements they have utilized in the past – from Black, Gothic, to Symphonic Metal – these songs feel natural and sincere. First giving you a taste with the early release of the EP’s namesake track, along with “Blood Red Halo,” what remains are two more very potent pieces of music; with the engaging “Take These Tears” and “No Colors Left.”  

All fitting nicely together, the guitar riffs are razor-sharp, but inevitably, as with any music of this type, the mood is what hooks you in. As stated, in this regard it feels very authentic and reminiscent of the late 90s/ early 2000s period when this style of Metal was most captivating. In the end Winds of Disdain is a fantastic return from Trail of Tears and one which should reignite a dormant fanbase. That is why Cryptic Rock looks forward to more, giving this EP 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Trail of Tears - Winds of Disdain artwork
Trail of Tears – Winds of Disdain / The Circle Music (2024)

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