Tribe – The Human Deviant (2012)

The Cover?

An offspring to the romanticism based around the apocalyptic zombie-scenario. Or at least the romanticism when it comes of depicting it, because it doesn’t seem to be that jolly to begin with. Since Tribe is a D.I.Y-band, it’s impressing how much detail that’s actually been worked into the cover. A solid texture around the font of the band-name, almost like an infection spreading through your veins and corrupting them to a degree that you’d look like you were on steroids. Apart from that, it also matches the apocalyptic theme of the front-cover.

What may not be noticeable by on the picture above, is that it’s a rogue-zombie standing in the middle of a burning and empty village. Apparently on the edge of an already pretty unpopulated area, since it seems to be pretty remote. The zombie is wearing some kind of mask beneath its nose and is reaching for you like it’s trying to say: “I’m coming for you next!“. Not much more to say about this cover than the noticeable amount of time that’s been put down on it. Even though I’d hope it’d be less of a sepia and a more ghastly combination of less colorful buildings as a contrast to the burning fire in the background. Something tells me that it’s a little bit over-edited, but fortunately not that much. Great cover anyway.

The cover of the CD-disc is actually more to my liking, a more colorful appearance and the missing contrast of colorfulness and grayness. You also get a little inlay seven pages long that depicts the lyrics and also show some pictures of the band-members. On the back of the page it’s a Thank You-note for everyone who participated in helping them make the album. I love the D.I.Y.-feeling to it and a Thank You-note is always something good, a pretty long one at that too.

The Songs?

1. Intro (1:47)

Time to start with the first one, which is called Intro. Since this song sets the mood for the rest of the album, I hope it’s good. When it starts off, it sounds like some old doom and gloom from the 90’s, where they used a lot of moodiness in a lot of songs. Somehow it reminds me (vaguely) about an abomination of death-doom metal. To begin with, it’s got those suspiciously “kind” riffs going on at the same time, with a baseline that lays out the foundation for the guitar-riffs to get them backed up in this forsaken sound-scape. It got my hopes up for this to be in some kind of  death or doom-metal region, since I like that genre a lot. Later on, the riffing gets more intense and all hell breaks loose when the sound-scape fills up to the brink with standard drumming, nocturnal riffing and all-around goodness. Hopefully I’ll be right.

2. Bad Old Time (3:33)

Hop onto the train and make your way, it’s time for song number two which is called Bad Old Time. It starts out with a down-tuned technical death-metal approach, whereas the sound-scape sounds more technical than melodic. In comes a pig-squeal, which efficiently made my arms make its way up to my ears. I don’t really like the death-core sense of it, since it mostly builds around down-tuning your guitars and relying on a load of breakdowns. Or, yeah, at least the last part with breakdowns. Even though the beginning sounds more death-metal and promising than that, there’s somewhat of an anti-climax when the drums were galloping along with the horde of guitars and I thought there was going to be a satisfying round-up of asskicking in the riff-department. But instead, I got a slower breakdown á la deathcore. But somehow they manage to make their way out of that down-tuned and uninteresting piece, going for blast-beats and all-round growling. The best thing about the song is the heavy riffing, enjoyable growling and insane sound-scape they know how to make. Squabbling that away on some down-tuned, uninteresting, dull and frankly annoying breakdowns, slowly-paced and extremely inane riffing is beyond my imagination. This could’ve been so much better, but at least I’m saved by the good parts of the sound-scape.

3. Sick Whore (feat. Daniel X) (3:32)

So, how’s this song then? Titled: Sick Whore. Featuring Daniel X from Bloodattack. What can I say, the intro sounds a lot like the former one, but it lacks any interesting structure and build-up. Even though I like the propaganda-sounding voice that recite some words in the beginning, it doesn’t take away any further than the predictable deathcore-breakdowns. One of the few interesting passages and changes in the sound-scape comes about a minute in, which sounds promising, but here comes the Slipknot-like intermission that I couldn’t stand. It’s weird how the slip in and move out of the general death-metal sphere in mere seconds, it sounds like they wanted it to be as varied as possible, but they managed to make it annoying too. I like their thought about it, since it brings a lot of body to the sound-scape, but some of the passages are outright boring. Listening to it makes me want to do something else, I’m not really hooked as for yet but the things that keep me listening to this album are the satisfactory death-metal influences that are brought up to my ears, but then they’re shoveled away for something else that doesn’t carry the sound-scape very well. Daniel X manages to carry the sound-scape somewhat with his voice, which makes this song a little bit better than the others. I’m still lacking the enjoyable elements of the intro-song and the death-metal craziness that could take this thing into a whole other dimension in terms of enjoyment.

4. Uncertainness (About The Reasons) (3:27)

Moving on to the fourth song on the album, titled: Uncertainness (About The Reasons). Now we’re talking! This is the kind of mayhem I’m looking for, and it’s executed in symbiosis with the deathcore-influences but makes more love to death-metal than anything. Or yeah, I was wrong again, but the intro was kicking ass and enjoyable every minute of listening. After some build-up and escalation in the sound-scape, the same inane and frustrating deathcore-breakdown comes into it and ruins it wholly. Here are the obligatory passages of deathcore, if you missed it! Which I didn’t, I just skipped them after a while since I had listened to them so many times and found it to be pale. Even though the singer uses more of his potential, it gets ruined like the sound-scape as a whole. Just because they had to include this. I wouldn’t really complain if there were a little bit more interesting build-ups later on in the song and a little bit more exciting melodies and riffing going on. The beginning started fine, so why did they have to mess with it? I don’t really have any answer to that question. Hopefully it will be answered later on, and not in the form or manner of a regular pig-squeal or unsatisfactory sound-scape passage.

5. Wake Up (04:00)

Entering the fifth song of the album, titled Wake Up. At the same time that I’m hoping for less predictability and more death-metal, I get my ears wrecked by a pretty nice intro. It almost sounds like something Morbid Angel would throw out in recent years. But unfortunately, that intro isn’t lengthy enough to have me appreciating it. They delve into the same category like they’ve done the past few songs and I’m honestly getting tired of the simultaneously down-tuned breakdowns that give nothing to the sound-scape really. However, they’ve got a tune-up of death-metal in this song which makes it trustworthy so far. But somewhere in between, these annoyances seep through the musical crack. I like the riffing and the drumming, they’re giving quite an edge to the sound-scape musically, but the pig-squeals could be replaced by some more of the growling. What I like about it is the chaotic landscape that forms throughout and changes its shape throughout, it’s not your regular run-to-the-mill deathcore mixed with death-metal instruments. The melodies can sometimes be enlightening too, but as I said before, the outdrawn breakdowns and regular riffing don’t really do it for me thus far.

6. Suffering Breaks Out (3:10)

With a somewhat better intro, but the same deathcore-ish feeling to it. I stumble onto the sixth track of the album. I think that the intro-riffing was great, but then it suddenly turned into the obligatory breakdown which I don’t like as much. The predictability is (by now) overwhelming. A couple of riffs here and there, nothing wrong with that, a little bit of death-metal but then the down-tuned silliness continues once again. It couldn’t be more obvious now than the fact that I’m in dire need of some kind of variation. The only things that hold up this song is the drumming, riffing and growling at times of the song. Also, the faster tempos in the song makes me greatful, and the more melodic part a little bit further into the song also makes me want to continue listening to the song. But they’re at times few and far in between, so I’d appreciate it if the next song would add a little bit more variation than the one I’ve been getting. I’d also want some less predictability in the structure.

7. Death Trip (4:45)

This song is a little bit longer, and it’s the sixth song. I like the intro a lot since it demonstrates that Tribe is much more than deathcore and down-tuned breakdowns. But amidst all the melodic and entrancing riffs, there’s this obligatory sense of havhing to fill it out with that or anything related. Fortunately, it gets saved by picking up the tempo a little bit and blastbeating their way throughout growls and pig-squeals. When the strongest card is shown, the sound-scape gets so much better and gets rid of the overridden and simplified riffs, which I believe they’ve managed to make their song better with. Of course, a little bit longer into the song, there’s the obligatory breakdown – but at least it’s not as predictable as before. I believe they heeded my call for variation and took it seriously, and that’s good since I’m so far into the album by now that I almost know everything about it. It’s great to have some hidden mystique amidst a safe-haven for that nonsense kind of thing. There’s also a lot of outdrawn, down-tuned, speedy riffs that contribute to make this concoction worth carrying on.

8. Confession (4:59)

So let’s continue with the eighth song on the album called: Confession. Even though it gets quite repetitive, the intros for the different songs are what makes me keep listening to them. I think their intros are well-thought out but in this song they demonstrate what they’ve demonstrated throughout the last few songs. Like some kind of genre-hopping, but not in the good way. They’re trying to be unclassified but they’re incorporating the worst elements of deathcore into this mix which I do not like at all. The passages of death-metal are, however, very stylistically and intact with the riffing and the sound-scape as a whole. It took me some time to grasp this song, but for once I actually like the pig-squealing in the background since it suits the overall mood of the album and the song as a whole benefits from it. But somewhere in between they return to the down-tuned stuff and it’s frankly a sleeping pill, which isn’t what I’d expect from the faster tempo of the songs at times. There are too many breakdowns and some of them don’t make any sense at all, they just take away the tempo and strength of the death-metal riffing and sound-scape. I don’t know what to qualify this as, and I’ll step out of my zone to not get too comfortable. Maybe I’ll get used to it, it’s after all one of their first releases.

9. Embrace Of Death ft. Sascha A (Mindplague) (3:18)

Here’s a name that I recognize, I’ve reviewed Mindplague before and I’m hoping that this song will cut it out for me. The intro is actually made up of the down-tuned madness we’ve heard before, with a hint of doom. But this is actually suitable for the introductory and fits it well. It sets the tempo and introduces me into a total mayhem where Sascha A throws in his vocals. Like a switch in between the two, which is a breath of fresh air. Actually a very good song that cuts it out for me, where the breakdowns actually matter and complement the sound-scape as a whole. A total conversion from the latter songs that I’ve had some trouble with. I like how the texture of Saschas song kind of bounce of the deeper seeded growls and screams from Tribes singer. All-in-all a great song that actually doesn’t turn out to be a disappointment, which holds up the rest of the album marvelously. Now I only hope that the last song is of the same caliber even though I might doubt it deep in my own mind. But hopefully.

10. Hold Me Tight (3:38)

The last and final song of the album that I’ve struggled with for a longer time. Whereas the doom-elements of the album come in greater proportions and the deathcore ones stand in the background for almost the whole song at least and lets the death-metal potential shine through like it should. Even though I wouldn’t call them 100% death-metal, this pretty much sums up what they should’ve been doing on the rest of the album. Because there’s nothing wrong with the death-metal that they’ve got inside and that’s been showing up in the background. Innovative riffing and well-thought out structures of the song battle for the last space to breathe. I also like the placement of this song since this one makes up for old mistakes. And it carries the albun on its shoulders, even though it doesn’t give the song-title any justice, it gives the extremely nice riffing a platform to stand on and show that it’s actually there somewhere beneath the mud trying to make its way out. Great ending, at least.

My final judgement: 3/5

(held up by the final songs)

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