TRAIL OF TEARS began as NATT in 1994, but it wasn't until 1997, when the band experienced drastic line-up changes including the replacement of Ales Vik by Helena Iren Michaelsen and drummer Vidar Uleberg by Jonathan Perez, as well as addition of a permanent keyboard player Frank Roald Hagen, twin bother of bass player Kjell Rune, which prompted a change in musical style, that the name TRAIL OF TEARS was instituted. Due to these changes, the band's musical direction evolved from the straigtforward, somewhat primitive metal to what is now TRAIL OF TEARS' signature style.
When silence cries..., a 3-track demo, was recorded in March/April 1997 at the Jailhouse Studio. Shortly thereafter, lead guitarist Michael Krumins left the band and was replaced by Runar Hansen. The demo prompted a spew of contractual offers and in early 1998, the band signed a two-album deal with Dutch label DSFA Records. The band entered Jailhouse Studio once again to record their debut, Disclosure in Red, released in November 1998. Heavy touring followed including a European tour with Tristania, The Sins of Thy Beloved, Siebenbürgen and Antichrisis. However, conflicts with female vocalist Helena Iren Michaelsen ensued both on later tours and in the studio forcing the band to bid her farewell following the completion of Profoundemonium, which was licensed to NAPALM RECORDS for distribution except in the Benelux countries. TRAIL OF TEARS welcomed Helena's replacement, Cathrine Paulsen, in May 2000.
TRAIL OF TEARS continued to stay active on the touring circuit between their song writing and recording responsibilities, having rocked festival stages across Europe: Dynamo Open Air (NL), Wacken Open Air (D), Eurorock (B), Quart Festival (N), and Metal Dayz (CH) to name a few. In the summer of 2001, the band signed a 3-album deal with NAPALM RECORDS, entering Soundsuite Studio in the mid February of the following year. Supervised by producer Terje Refsnes (Tristania, Sirenia), TRAIL OF TEARS recorded nine new tracks, as well as Faith No More’s Caffeine for the limited edition version of A New Dimension of Might.
2003 became a very hectic touring year for the band, including single shows throughout Europe and their first Mexican tour. The band also joined forces with Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation) on a permanent basis, as Kjetil had contributed on TOT’s last three recordings, while parting ways with Catherine Paulsen. The band cites a general disagreement as to the musical direction and escalating touring activity.
The remaining members opted to forge forth without replacing Catherine, while taking on a slightly new approach to their music.
The result of their efforts can be heard on their fourth album, "Free Fall into Fear". It was recorded in Norway..s Dub Studio in November 2004. The band also completed a very successful European tour with Therion and Tristania October/November 2004, which took the band to 14 European countries. "Free Fall into Fear" was released on Napalm Records on 28 Feb 2005.
After the release of “Free Fall into Fear” the band took a well deserved break to re-charge their batteries but it didn..t take too long before they started getting creative again in regards to song-writing. 12 months were spent crafting what was to be the band..s most mature and adventurous album to date, “Existentia”.
The album saw Trail of Tears once again returning to Sound Suite Studio and producer Terje Refsnes in the summer of 2006. Guests on the album features Norwegian keyboard wizard Bernt Moen and the amazing French singer Emmanuelle Zoldan.
In November 2006 the band returned to Mexico for the second tour of the country. Unfortunatly the tour was since the start ridden with problems of various kinds, more than anything on the promotional and financial side. Sadly, it all culminated with the departure of several members but Ronny Thorsen refused to ignore all the hard work and issued a statement that left no doubt that the band would continue with a new line-up.
As a result of this, “Existentia” was released in January 2007 by Napalm Records to much acclaim and overwhelming reviews. This further sparked Thorsen..s desire to take the band further and gather a new line-up of dedicated musicians to help achieving future goals.
2007 also sees the return of former female singer Cathrine Paulsen to the line-up! Along with the rest of the new blood Trail of Tears made their return to the live scene in August 2007, completing three promising and successful shows in The Netherlands. Heavy touring activity is planned for the future with the band..s first ever tour in North America from January 15.- February 10. 2008 as well as other tours in the works for Europe as well as South America.