Flickering candles make shadows dance around the room as rain steadily taps on the windows. Lightning flashes momentarily illuminating impossibly dark skies. The storm continues, seemingly unending. Gothic doom duo Tribunal conjures these images through their haunting music. Making their mark with their impressive debut, The Weight of Remembrance, these seven tracks swirl to envelop listeners and bring them in. Vast soundscapes are created by the two members of the band—Soren Mourne contributing bass, cello, vocals and Etienne Flinn contributing guitar, vocals—while guest musicians provide some extra dramatics and rhythms. This up and coming band has started their discography off strong with this dark and beautiful debut.
The Weight of Remembrance opens with the ring of a bell tower and rainfall before vocalization ensues and a drumbeat matching the rhythm of the rain begins marching. A guitar melody comes in and soon so do harsh black metal vocals. This opening track unfolds more with each passing second until the steady sounds come together in full with Mourne’s enchanting clean vocals combined with growls. Ambient sounds with a mix of vocal styles, and doomy riffs are heard throughout the album. Cello and string sounds are laced in adding a melancholy that fits perfectly. A short instrumental atmospheric track is placed in the middle of the album offering an intermission of sorts. This track, “Remembrance,” is pure gothic vibes with an echoing piano melody that rings out while rain falls in the background.
Immediately following is “A World Beyond Shadow” which brings an eerie cello melody with doom riffs, echoing vocals, and is cinematic in nature. This is one of my favorites on the album and builds to harsh vocals with a stomping drumline. The mix of aggressive techniques and serene instrumentation brings the storm heard in the back of some earlier tracks to life. The final track on The Weight of Remembrance, “The Path,” runs just over 12 minutes and is the longest of the bunch. This piece is aptly named as it takes listeners on a journey. Earlier elements are heard here bringing the album together and closing in an epic way. Mourne’s cello contributions make the track something unique and very haunting. Flinn’s black metal growls juxtaposed against Mourne’s ethereal singing adds a depth and a darkness unique to Tribunal.
I am excited to follow Tribunal’s journey and watch them grow in the metal world. The Weight of Remembrance is an amazing debut and I look forward to seeing more releases from the talented duo. The combination of instrumentals (especially the use of cello which is played in a way I have not heard before) with sonic moments and a killer vocal variety makes this emotive release memorable and one to keep coming back to. Let the music embrace you and take you to a haunted candle lit gothic cathedral where you escape the ongoing storm with The Weight of Remembrance.