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Tribal Gaze - The Nine Choirs

Tribal Gaze
The Nine Choirs
by David Hough at 09 November 2022, 11:11 PM

TRIBAL GAZE is a death metal band from Longview, Texas. Their particular brand of death metal is infused with hardcore punk elements. They began making music in 2020. “The Nine Choirs” is their first full-length release. They dropped an EP in 2021 and also appeared on a split album in 2022.

The first track, “Cold Devotion,” begins with an old-fashioned gospel sample. The first riff that they play is an exceptional introduction to their signature sound. The riffs are bouncy and catchy. The vocals are shouted at first, but the growls aren’t far behind. At six and a half minutes, this track is almost too long. However, they fill that time well with some hardcore breakdowns and two lead guitar solos.

And How They Wept For Eternity” opens with a sustained growl that sounds like it is played backward. The hook is a chugging riff that plays well into groove metal territory. The vocals are again a mixture of shouts and growls. It is a fast-paced song that culminates in a well-placed sample from televangelist Kenneth Copeland for the sake of sarcasm.

Track five, “As A Thousand Voices Sing,” doesn’t bother with a proper intro. They immediately come out swinging with some in-your-face death metal. Early on, there is a pause where all music stops for a couple of beats and then builds in intensity throughout the rest of the song. That stop-start metal trope gets me fired up every time. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, the song closes with some well-placed jazz guitar licks.

Shapeless Sovereign” starts with a short static hum, then some full-on crunchy death metal. The riffs are bouncy and pure ear candy. The low, growled vocals complement the riffing well. The bouncy, chunky riffs are also punctuated with intervals of full-force death metal. It’s a well-written song through and through.

The album’s closer, “Worthless Offering,” begins with the wailing and screaming of the tortured. The guitar then begins to play a fat doom metal riff before the rest of the accompaniment joins the fray. The music is driven, and Holland’s authoritative shouts demand attention. The song then changes slightly into standard death metal fare. The fact that the song structure works so well is a testament to their songwriting ability.

The Nine Choirs” shows promise. There is just barely enough unexpected material separating TRIBAL GAZE apart from the rest of the death metal field. The hardcore shouts and breakdowns have been used before by similar bands. The riffs are catchy and fun, but at the end of the day, with “The Nine Choirs,” TRIBAL GAZE does very little in the way of innovation to make them stand out in a significant manner.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Cold Devotion
2. And How They Wept for Eternity
3. With This Creature I Return
4. To Gather in its Presence
5. As a Thousand Voices Sing
6. Jealous Messiah
7. Shapeless Sovereign
8. Jungle Rituals
9. Worthless Offering
Zachary Denton - Bass
Quintin Stauts - Drums
Ian Kilmer - Guitars
McKenna Holland - Vocals
Cesar “Ceezbone” De Los Santos - Drums
Record Label: Maggot Stomp


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