Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! The Saw asks, “Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combine the Old School acts Morbid Angel and Obituary?” Well, the answer is the New School newcomers Tribal Gaze. The Nine Choirs, Tribal Gaze’s debut LP, was released on September 16, 2022 (Maggot Stomp). And speaking of Maggot Stomp, whenever you see a new band on their label, just go ahead and prepare to love it – They are perfect so far!
Tribal Gaze formed in 2020, in Longview, TX. Again, The Saw asks, “What is up with Texas and all the great METAL coming out of the state?!” The band released their debut EP – Godless Voyage – via Indie label Desert Wastelands on March 5, 2021. Tribal Gaze remixed, re-mastered, and reissued the EP (upon signing with Maggot Stomp) on March 16, 2022. And now we have The Nine Choirs, their full-length, in just two years since the band’s formation.
The Nine Choirs – so named for the nine songs on the album – sounds as if Tribal Gaze is a veteran act with decades under their belt. Right from the album opener, “Cold Devotion,” a crushing riff pummels you into submission. The entire record, no matter the track, is a riff banger! Usually, the pace is slow to mid-range; sometimes with winding, spiraling, time warping riffs (think Morbid Angel-like) and sometimes with straight-forward crushing, bouncing, banging riff brilliance (Obituary-like). But, at times, it’s a fast-paced tempo that sweeps you up and takes you for a ride.
The drumming (Quintin Stauts) is an awesome, pure Death Metal, attack. Along with excellent riffs, eerie solos and melodies accompany the onslaught (Ian Kilmer and Quintin Stauts). The bass (Zachary Denton) fills the bottom-end to such an extent that the sound seems bottomless – deep and cavernous – at all times. The vocal assault (McKenna Holland) is what separates Tribal Gaze from the aforementioned Old School bands – combining a Hardcore gutteral with a deep register, roaring Death Metal gutteral in every song gives you a real sense of the narrative unfolding. The lyrical theme is religious (or, rather, anti-religious). From “Cold Devotion,” through “Jealous Messiah,” to “Shapeless Sovereign” and “Worthless Offering,” and every track scattered in between (just look at the album cover!), The Nine Choirs is a challenging commentary on our historical belief systems, and an unholy shove into the darkness.
Rating: 10/10!! Just a great New School Death Metal record all the way around!
Favorite Songs: And How They Wept for Eternity, To Gather in its Presence, As A Thousand Voices Sing