Trail Of Tears Free Fall into Fear

The neo-classical gothic metal explosion of recent years can make it difficult to distinguish between bands of that style, and all but the most prominent tend to get swept under the carpet. Perhaps recognising that fact, Trail of Tears have undergone a minor self-reinvention. The band’s latest album — painstakingly brought together after a computer crash in the summer set the recording process back by months — offers moments of classical-inspired (synthetic) orchestration, choirs, and the odd female vocal line, but Free Fall into Fear has a more progressive atmosphere than the band’s previous works. Continually shifting arrangements feature sections of blistering black metal vocals and blast beats leading into or blending with clean male vocal harmonies and keyboard melodies, while other parts integrate electronics and organic gothiness and a powerful groove, or boast of a virtuosic guitar solo, and so on. Trail of Tears have crept out from under the rug with axes in hand. (Napalm)