Tribunal – The Weight of Remembrance (20 Buck Spin)

Wednesday, 18th January 2023
Rating: 8 / 10

There have been a number of intriguing deviations in the realm of doom metal throughout the years that have kept the style fresh and engaging. A lot of new blood is partially to thank for many of these innovations. The latest being in the form of Vancouver duo Tribunal, with their debut album The Weight of Remembrance.

Tribunal offers up an amalgamation of classic doom stylings, abridged with gothic and death metal influences, with a dose of cello for extra brooding. All of the elements are present; however, do they add up to a concoction worth one’s investment?

The pattering of raindrops fittingly introduces the opening track “Initiation,” transitioning slowly (naturally) into a despondent riff that sets the mood. The varying vocal approaches here are intriguing – going from blackened shrieks to beautifully somber female cleans, rounded out with bellowing death growls. The performance quality is high and keeps the listener guessing as to which direction this journey will go next. “Of Creeping Moss and Crumbled Stone” melds foreboding lead guitars with more tonally nasty rhythms, along with low death growls that will make any death/doom fan nod in approval. “Apathy’s Keep” is another standout, leaning more on the melodic side of the Tribunal’s sound, while “Without Answer” changes the tempo multiple times with big guitar chugs and a downtrodden cello piece that rounds off the sharper edges.

The mesmerizing clean vocal contributions of Soren Mourne (who also plays cello and bass on the album) are a standout feature throughout, providing a melancholic contrast that enhances everything on offer. She has a truly unique voice that aids in creating the aura that the band presents. Equally impressive is the versatile guitars and multi-faceted vocal work courtesy of Etienne Flinn. Combined, these two are a force. The production also has the right balance of grime and clarity, whereas the mix allows all individual aspects to be impactful yet cohesive when forged together.

Tribunal weaves an eclectic tapestry with The Weight of Remembrance, of which results in an album that enshrouds the listener in a cornucopia of gloom. The impressively stringent attention to detail, especially for a first full-length, goes a long way in making this release stand out. Tribunal is out to carve out a niche, and they’re off to a serious start.

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