Gothic Beauty Meets Atmospheric Death Metal
C. A. Spellman | 10/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the type or release you jam in your player, sit back and detract yourself from the world around you and concentrate solely on the classy music that oozes from your speakers. Dim the lights and have a drink while your at it. Sounds like something you'd do for a Light Jazz or Classical album doesn't it?
TRAIL OF TEARS hail from Norway...you know, the place with all the funny accents, fjords, cold-... weather and hot women? Forget the [bad] Black Metal scene up there, here is a band that delivers solid, beautifully constructed, Gothic-inspired Death Metal with absorbing depth and soul. It was one simple sample of their sophomore album that got me interested. When I heard this debut album from a few years earlier I realized it was the better of the two. Now, understand please that I am not a huge fan of Gothic Metal. Quite the contrary, most of it I don't like much at all, save for the odd exception, but this is merely Gothic-inspired as stated, and falls more into a dark Melodic Death Metal classification. What I admire about TRAIL OF TEARS on Disclosure In Red is their patience, fluidity and majestic vision. They've created an enchanting, aesthetic, yet still hard-edged album that you might find yourself mellowing out to while finding your pulse quicken in those moments when the angelic female serenades give way to the deep, enveloping Death Metal vocals while the sweetened melodies turn to driving, sumptuous rhythms. With respect to the former vocal style, Helena Iren Michaelsen shows the remarkable ability to transition between operatic styles to a more traditional Rock approach and does so with impeccable professionalism. Listening to her sweep me into a state of nirvana on tracks like "Mournful Pigeon" , "Illusion?" and "Words Of The Fly", I had visions of this young lass (though I have never seen detailed photos of her) sprouting feathery angel wings, long Viking locks flowing in the wind. If she is as beautiful as her voice, move over Anneke van Giersbergen (THE GATHERING)! Damn, I love Nordic women.... Disclosure In Red is just more than lofty female chants and gruff male bellows. Its full of enchanting keyboard/dual guitar interplay. The flow of the album is seemingly flawless, like some gentle river weaving its path over the eons. And this is done so while the band alter their course, injecting mournful yet peaceful breaks where Helena takes us into the next plain of existence. Odd, how Death Metal can soothe the senses isn't it? This statement would have been heresy years ago. However, I can't off hand think of a band who can do this to the listener better, save for the timelessness of OPETH. Speaking of OPETH, I don't want to make too much of a comparison with the Swedish practitioners of perfection but there are definite elements of older OPETH found on this album. Perhaps that is why I find myself so enthralled by it. This band, this album, both have immeasurable scope and my appreciation for this album has suddenly increased several times in intensity since I first heard it not long ago. I don't think one needs to be a particularly big fan of this genre within a genre. This album, if listened to with the right forethought and patience, should appeal to anyone who admires the more emotional and sentimental aspects of dark Metal. Disclosure In Red is a terrific addition to the collection that craves diversity."