|Tribune - Elder Lore/The Dark Arts
20 March 2012
01. It Came From The Swamps…
02. The Succubus
03. Chemistry Arrives
04. The Warrior Mentality
06. We, The Black
07. Man On The Outside
08. The World's Greatest Cynic
Being eclectic is not always a great thing. Take Tribune for example; they managed to mix some death, metalcore, progressive thrash, and even a bit of traditional heavy metal & hard rock. The problem? They obviously have spread themselves far too thin, as they don't perform any of the above all that well.
All that is not saying these guys are bad musicians or anything, because they aren't, which is what makes Elder Lore/The Dark Arts an actually pretty disappointing listen. You can almost hear what it is they're trying to do, but somehow it just rarely lands any knockout punches. With music like this, the eclecticism should be about how you bring it together; either throw it together in surprising, break-neck ways, or pull it together with some great flow. Tribune do none of the above; they perform some acceptable death, thrash, metalcore, or prog moments, not in any incredible way, but listenable, then have them strung together haphazardly. It's like that couch that you found at the dump years ago, which is now being held together by duct tape, shoe lace and bubblegum; there may be some individual parts that give the impression it was once a nice couch, but as a whole it's pretty disposable.
As we already went over, there are some individual parts that are quite nice that build Elder Lore/The Dark Arts into a really anticlimactic album. Had these guys took the time to develop these individual parts more appropriately, instead of trying to jump all over the map as frequently as possible, we would have had a much stronger album here.
Eclecticism is good, but if it takes the front seat ahead of cohesive songwriting, it's going to fall flat. Hopefully this talented band will manage to keep that in mind next time around.
Written on 12.03.2012 by
Former EIC, now semi-retired.