Trail of Tears (band)

Trail of Tears (band)
Trail of Tears
Origin Kristiansand, Norway
Genres Gothic metal, symphonic black metal
Years active 1994-present
Labels Napalm
Ronny Thorsen
Cathrine Paulsen
Bjørn Erik Næss
Endre Moe
Cato Jensen
Past members
(see below)

Trail of Tears is a Norwegian gothic/symphonic black metal band originally formed in 1994 by vocalist Ronny Thorsen, under the name of Natt. Through most of their career the band emphasised the use of contrasting soprano and death grunt vocals, except for the release of Free Fall into Fear in 2005, in which the band switched this contrast mostly to tenor and death growls, with less frequent soprano passages.



Formation and Disclosure in Red (1994 – 2000)

Formed in 1994, the band's initial name was Natt; the band recorded a self-titled demo with that name. In 1997 their name was switched to Trail of Tears, in order to reflect the evolution of their sound and the changes that had been made from their initial line-up. The first demo the band recorded was When Silence Cries..., which contained three tracks and was released in April 1997. Guitarist Michael Krumins left the band and was replaced by Runar Hansen shortly thereafter.

The release of the demo lead the band to sign a contract for two albums with Dutch label DSFA Records. Their debut — Disclosure in Red — was released in that same year, and touring through Europe followed, alongside Tristania and The Sins of Thy Beloved.

Profoundemonium, A New Dimension of Might, and Free Fall into Fear (2000 – 2004)

Their second album, Profoundemonium, was released in 2000, and female vocalist Helena Iren Michaelsen left the band soon after, being replaced by Cathrine Paulsen in May of that year. The band proceeded to play in Europe several times during 2000. In the following year they signed a three-album deal with Napalm Records. Their third release, released in 2002, was entitled A New Dimension of Might and was produced by Terje Refsnes (producer of Tristania, Sirenia and Green Carnation).

2003 marked the band's first international concert, in Mexico. Female vocalist Catherine Paulsen left the band, and male vocalist Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation) joined Trail of Tears. This move prompted several changes in the band's sound, ultimately resulting in the 2004 album Free Fall into Fear, which was markedly heavier than their previous albums. A tour with Tristania and Therion followed the album's release.

Existentia and line-up changes (2004 – 2007)

Long term band members Terje Heiseldal and Frank Roald Hagen departed before the recording of the band's fifth album, with Gøran Bomann of Carpathian Forest standing in as a session live guitarist. The album was recorded as a five-piece with Runar Hansen recording all guitars and Bernt Moen being brought in as a guest musician to play keyboards.

Kjetil Nordhus, Runar Hansen, Kjell Rune Hagen, and Jonathan Perez walked out in November 2006 due to bad organisation leading to monetary loss for all the members of the band and posted a statement on the Trail of Tears' website saying the band had split up. Ronny Thorsen soon issued a statement saying they would in fact be carrying on without them and that they couldn't have chosen a worse time to leave the band due to the upcoming tour for the album Existentia. All tour dates had to be cancelled.

On February 1, 2007, it was stated that former Trail of Tears vocalist Cathrine Paulsen re-joined the band. The band was also confirmed for 2007's Sweden Rock Festival,[1] which was then followed with an extensive North American headlining tour alongside Echoes of Eternity and Unexpect.

Bloodstained Endurance (2008 – 2009)

The band entered Soundsuite Studio in Marseille, France with Terje Refsnes on November 3, 2008 to record their sixth studio album.[2] Since then, the band completed recording this album, titled Bloodstained Endurance. The album includes 11 songs and a limited edition album with an additional four or five bonus tracks will also be issued. The album was released on May 27, 2009.[3]

New album and guitarist departure (2010 onward)

In July 2010, Trail of Tears announced that guitarist Pål Olsen has left the band due to lack of time and wanting to focus more on his band Guardians of Time. The band will continue as a quintet, and the departure, according to the band, will not affect the upcoming live activity or the progress of the upcoming album.[4]


Current members

Former members

  • Ales Vik − soprano vocals (1994–1997)
  • Vidar Uleberg − drums (1994–1997)
  • Kjell Rune Hagen − bass guitar (1997–2006)
  • Frank Roald Hagen − synthesizers (1997–2006)
  • Jonathan Pérez − drums (1997–2006)
  • Terje Heiseldal − rhythm guitar (1997–2005)
  • Helena Iren Michaelsen − soprano vocals (1997–2000)
  • Michael Krumins − lead guitar (1997)
  • Runar Hansen − lead guitar (1997–2006)
  • Kjetil Nordhus − vocals (2003–2006, previously a session member)
  • Pål Olsen − guitars (2007–2010)




As Natt

  • Natt (1996)

As Trail of Tears

  • When Silence Cries... (1997)


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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