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NORWAY, Kristiansand

Date Formed 1997

Categories: Dark Metal, Gothic Metal

TRAIL OF TEARS

Current Members

Past Members

Live Session Members

Studio Session Members

Biography

Founded in Kristiansand as NATT during 1994, TRAIL OF TEARS is an ambitious Black edged Metal act employing both male and female lead vocals. As NATT the group recorded a self-titled set of demos during February 1996 at pre-Jailhouse Studio. At this juncture the group comprised vocalists Ronny Thorsen and Ales Vik, guitarists Michael Krumins and Terje Heiseldal, bassist Kjell Rune Hagen with Vidar Uleberg on drums.

The band was wrought with perpetual line-up challenges on the path to the debut November 1998 album, 'Disclosure In Red', for Dutch label DSFA Records. Original female singer Ales Vik exited in favour of Helena Irena Michaelsen upfront of the April 1997 demo 'When Silence Cries'. Further changes saw drummer Vidar Uleberg on his way out, to join Power Metal band GUARDIANS OF TIME, in favour of Jonathon Perez and the augmentation of keyboards to the band courtesy of Frank Roald Hagen.

Following the demo release guitarist Michael Krumins decamped and in came Runar Hansen. Supporting the promotion of the 'Disclosure In Red' album, TRAIL OF TEARS toured with guests GAIL OF GOD prior to further dates alongside THE SINS OF THY BELOVED, ANTICHRISIS and headliners TRISTANIA. Subsequent Japanese variants of 'Disclosure In Red', emerging on the Avalon Marquee label in May 1999, hosted two extra tracks, 'Once A Paradise' and 'Orroro'. November 1999 found TRAIL OF TEARS on the road with CALLENISH CIRCLE.

The second album, 'Profoundemonium' released in October 2000, would also be made available as a picture disc album limited to 1000 copies. However, it also witnessed an acrimonious split with Michaelsen as TRAIL OF TEARS handed over the position of lead female vocals to Cathrine Paulsen, the latter making her live debut with the band in November.

TRAIL OF TEARS vocalist Ronni Thorsen also forms part of SCARIOT, the band project assembled by IN THE WOODS drummer Anders Kobros and ex-SATYRICON guitarist Daniel Olaisen. Thorsen would also lend his talents to TRISTANIA's 'World Of Glass' album as well as to BLOODRED THRONE.

TRAIL OF TEARS third album, September 2002's 'A New Dimension Of Might', would be set to include a cover version of FAITH NO MORE's 'Caffeine'. Former TRAIL OF TEARS vocalist Helena Iren Michaelsen would join erstwhile AFTER FOREVER guitarist Mark Jansen's Dutch based SAHARA DUST project band but her stay was brief. Subsequently Michaelsen united with GOD DETHRONED drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek to found a new act billed as IMPERIA. TRAIL OF TEARS formed up part of 'The Magic Of Angels' tour of Germany in May 2003, packaged alongside running mates EDENBRIDGE, SIRENIA, BATTLELORE and SALTATIO MORTIS. The band would subsequently re-enter the studio to cut a version of DEAD CAN DANCE's 'The Arcane' for the tribute album 'The Lotuseaters' issued through the Greek Black Lotus label.

In 2004 Paulsen guested on the track 'Realistic Paint' for Brazilian Doom metal band TENOTITLAN's album 'Torment Eyes'. TRAIL OF TEARS entered the Dub recording studios with producer Endre Kirkesola in March 2004 for a new studio album 'Free Fall Into Fear'. The group underwent changes in the process, adding Kjetil Nordhus of GREEN CARNATION as an official member but losing Cathrine Paulsen. The band hooked up with THERION and TRISTANIA for a mammoth Euro tour throughout the Autumn, taking in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Holland, Austria, Slovenia, Hungaria, Italy, Switzerland, England and Spain. Mexican gigs projected for 2005 would be announced but then cancelled.

Gigs in Holland during January of 2006 would be supported by XYSTUS. The band, working with producer Terje Refsnes, utilised Soundsuite Studio in Marseille, France during June to cut a new album entitled 'Existentia', wrapping up these sessions in August. TRAIL OF TEARS announced an extensive run of Mexican shows in November, supported by THE LEGION OF HETHERIA. Live work planned in December across Europe was to see the band hooking up with GOREFEST, MADDER MORTEM, BELPHEGOR, PROSTITUTE DISFIGUREMENT and DARZAMAT for the 'X-Mass' festivals set to commence December 8th at the Berlin K17 venue. However, this entire trek was cancelled just days beforehand.

Despite the impending January 2007 release of 'Existentia', TRAIL OF TEARS split up in late 2006. A statement read "It is with great regret that we announce that Jonathan Perez, Kjell Hagen, Runar Hansen and Kjetil Nordhus yesterday (November 28th, 2006) left TRAIL OF TEARS. The decision was taken with immediate effect, and thus the band does not longer exist." However, Ronny Thorsen immediately issued his own statement confirming the other band members had left but that TRAIL OF TEARS would continue.

TRAIL OF TEARS was rejoined by vocalist Cathrine Paulsen in January 2007.

TRAIL OF TEARS released its sixth album, 'Bloodstained Endurance', in May 2009 via Napalm Records. The album was recorded and mixed over a six-week period at Sound Suite Studio in Marseille, France with producer Terje Refsnes. Mastering duties were then handled by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios in Finland.

The band featured on the bill of the DORO headlined 'Metal Female Voices Fest VII' on 18th October 2009 at Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium.

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