Tribune hails from the province of British Columbia, Canada and “Tales” is their most recent release. Admittedly, I’d not heard of them before receiving this review assignment from the team at Extreme Metal TV but after having spent a week or so with the album, listening in various situations, I can say wholeheartedly that I am very pleased to have become familiar with them.
The first order of business was to peruse the media kit which was sent along with the tracks. I was intrigued to read that the website MetalAsFuck.net had this to say about Tribune – “If prog-infused death/thrash sounds like your thing then wrap this around your ears and don’t stop…”
I’ve been a big prog-rock/prog-metal fan since the ‘70’s, loving Peter Gabriel era Genesis and Rush’s prog period whose zenith was achieved with their 2112 album of 1976. I’ve also been a huge Dream Theater fan since the band’s debut and haven’t missed a tour since 1999. That being said you can safely conclude that I know a thing or two about progressive rock and metal from the time it was invented to the present day. Thus, when I read that site’s assertion about Tribune I was intrigued… would they deliver the goods?
The answer is a resounding yes. Lyrically, Tribune cites influences from the literary world that are impressive - H.P. Lovecraft, Homer, and George R.R. Martin to name a few. While that’s all well and good the question is what do they do with those influences?
The album is aptly titled Tales and vocalist/lyricist Bryan Baker weaves fantastic narratives through each song. The first track serves as an introduction to the fantasy styled, epic tunes that follow. Songs ebb and flow through time changes and vocal styles: what is particularly impressive about Baker’s singing is that he does it in three distinctive voices throughout the album – beautifully melodic, a death metal screech and a black metal guttural growl. As the narratives weave in and around the tales each voice serves to tell that individual song’s story and does it extremely well.
My favourite tune on the album is the fourth track, titled, “From Funeral to Funeral”. All of the aforementioned elements work very well on this tune making it a very memorable musical journey that kicks some major ass. As for the remaining eight tracks there truly isn’t a weak one amongst the group. Just make sure you spend your first listen or two with the CD booklet so that you can enjoy the terrific storytelling while banging your head.
I highly recommend this release.
Reverend Rock’s rating: 80/100