Review Summary: The weight of guitars.
I seem to be making a habit of comparing some doom metal bands to Draconian, and Tribunal are the next victims. Considering the juxtaposition of clean, female vocals with male harsh vox the comparison is astute. With some string work as well in this doom metal release with lengthy tracks I’m reminded of Draconian’s album Sovran. That album attempted to create an old school doom metal experience, and likewise, Tribunal’s latest almost belongs in another era. Both the production and singing style bring me back to another time, and it is wonderful.
The Weight of Remembrance is packed with moody ambience, and heavy, heavy
riffs. Take the second track, which enters with a crushing blast and low gutturals. The track continues to dip down darker, yet beautiful strings accompany, and the result is a haunting presence. The lead singer sounds somewhat similar to Draconian’s original singer throughout the album, with an assertive, spectral command. Combined with echoing growls, the haunted setting provides the perfect motif for various elements to sit comfy.
Perhaps the largest drawback of this fairly somber album is its lack of memorable moments. I wouldn’t say catchiness is the band’s expertise, tracks trudge along to the next growl or whistful melodic guitar segment. Go here and do this — don’t forget that cool riff. Ideas are plentiful, but something to ground them aside from the ambience would’ve been welcome. I’m not saying every track needs a catchy chorus, but something is certainly missing. Unless one is already a fan of this type of doom metal, some may wonder which track is the highlight.
Speaking as a fan of this doom metal variant, this album does almost everything right. It was great to hear the constant focus on heaviness, a motif that kept me engaged. The brutal punch was never sacrificed despite blissful strings and melodies. The vocal work impressed continually, and I look forward to seeing their evolution in future albums. Long story short, this album gets a strong recommendation from me.