Review: Tribunal ‘The Weight Of Remembrance’

A brand new entity of deep gothic doom, Vancouver duo Tribunal bring the crushing, velvety darkness on their debut record The Weight Of Remembrance, that’s due out 20th January through the revered 20 Buck Spin, a label who has taken the mantle for the finest extreme metal label out there at the moment with last year’s collection of releases. Will Tribunal kick their 2023 off in similar fashion?

Tribunal 'The Weight Of Remembrance'

Steeped in classic gothic doom tradition (think Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride), as soon as the lumbering weep of Initiation begins, you can feel immediately the promise. It has my essential element of a good doom record, a tolling bell, as well as a regal atmosphere curling around the duelling vocals of Etienne Flynn and Soren Mourne. This vocal duality between black metal-esque shrieks and growls and rich clean vocals is gorgeous, evoking both the deathly darkness that their guitar tone suggests and the sobbing misery of classic doom. But if Initiation opened the door, Of Creeping Moss And Crumbled Stone brings down the house; massive death/doom riffs crushing all before them into a shattered mess. Obviously the rainy, dark and deep forests of their homeland have inspired much melancholy here.

The despairing heft of Apathy’s Keep is another moment of triumph, and the definitive point where you begin to wonder just exactly how these two could have possibly created something so spell bindingly perfect on their DEBUT! An incredible balancing act between monumental riffs, forlorn melodies threading through like lost travellers on their way to the end of the world, and vocal interplay that emphasises the importance of light and shade in the gothic doom world.

A masterpiece of emotive, haunting gothic doom…

Add in the mournful cello work of Soren (who also did the artwork) and you’ve got your successor to early My Dying Bride. The gothic keys of Remembrance mark the halfway point of an album I’m already running out of words to talk about. A World Beyond Shadow has a more pronounced death metal feel to it, powering along under the auspices of doom, while the more traditional stomp of Without Answer is a titanic slab of Candlemassian proportions.

As the crumbling edifice of The Path snakes its way through mournful atmosphere, weeping riffs and morose melodies to a titanic conclusion, I can safely say that The Weight Of Remembrance has cemented its place at the top of my albums of 2023 so far. Sure, it’s only January but I think 2023 will struggle to bring out something that can top the generational talent sweeping across death, doom and gothic splendour that is Tribunal. A masterpiece of emotive, haunting gothic doom.

Label: 20 Buck Spin
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson