Winds Of Disdain

The Circle
rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Winds of Disdain
02. Take These Tears
03. No Colours Left
04. Blood Red Halo

While symphonic metal aficionados will already be aware of TRAIL OF TEARS, over a decade has passed since the Norwegians last released new music, which means that "Winds of Disdain" will be many people's first taste of the band. With seven studio albums already on the books, they have a long-established identity and sound that was always slightly too extreme to rival the likes of NIGHTWISH and EPICA for commercial impact.

Nonetheless, records like "A New Dimension of Might" (2002) and "Bloodstained Endurance" (2009) were as strong as any in this somewhat nebulous subgenre, and TRAIL OF TEARS seemed to rather enjoy dwelling in the shadows anyway. Effectively defunct since 2013, this reanimated crew arrive back to discover that their elected role as symphonic metal's darkest hearts remains theirs by right. Presumably a four-song precursor to something more substantial, "Winds of Disdain" is a simple statement of renewed intent.

This is a rejuvenated TRAIL OF TEARS, with several members returning from previous lineups, and a new vocalist — the enigmatic Ailyn Giménez García — who is the ideal new foil for growling frontman Ronny Thorsen. There are no radical departures from the death-metal-meets-gothic-pomp hybrid of previous efforts, but an injection of new blood and a reconvening of old relationships has obviously had a profound effect.

The opening title track takes off at a rigorous pace, Thorsen snarling away as if the last 11 years never happened, and Ailyn gracing us with her presence and wonderfully ethereal voice. TRAIL OF TEARS always had a stronger connection to (mostly melodic) death metal than the majority of their peers, and "Winds of Disdain" holds nothing back when it comes to barbarity. The contrast with Ailyn's gorgeous, ghostly chorus is stark, but the transition between the two is seamless.

This band's songwriting mojo has clearly been on charge throughout their hiatus. "Take These Tears" takes a straighter line, a more overt melo-death direction, and combines it with a darkly theatrical chorus hook and many layers of choral operatics. Again, Ailyn is a disarming, angelic presence, while Thorsen plays the mad-eyed, master of ceremonies. On "No Colours Left", the sinister theatrics give way to an unstoppable wave of melancholy, in which grubbily authentic moments of old-school death metal simplicity become entwined with the sumptuous, emotional highs of gothic metal at its most potent. Better still, "Blood Red Halo" stitches together another exquisite collision between beauty and beastliness, as spine-juddering tech-death-via-MACHINE-HEAD riffs share space with dreamy, opera reveries, spectacular, progged-out guitar solos and yet another vast, melodic chorus.

It is all performed with such vigor and verve that we might as well be listening to a new band on their first record. TRAIL OF TEARS are reborn, and "Winds of Disdain" bodes extremely well for whatever comes next.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).