At a show in early 2013, the members of the Canadian heavy metal band Tribune were chatting with another band, and were asked about how long they’d been playing together. Vocalist Bryan Baker responded, “Well, I guess you can count Blacklist as the first incarnation of Tribune, since that’s when Terry (Anderson, guitars), Jason (Brown, drums), and I wrote most of the material that ended up on the first Tribune album. We started that band in, what, 2004, I think? Wait…9 years ago? Is that right?”
Yes, that’s right. 9 years.
The group’s bass player, Ryan O’Shea, started learning their material by the end of 2004, and in 2005 they officially changed their name to Tribune. In 2006 the group moved to Vancouver, B.C., and by the end of that year had added a fifth member, guitarist Shawn Culley. Their roster has remained unchanged since then.
What has changed, continually, is their sound.
Tribune were initially interested in a variety of ‘90s bands such as Clutch, Soulfly, Pantera, System Of A Down, and Superjoint Ritual, as well as the older thrash of acts like Metallica, Sepultura, and Slayer, and their sound reflected these influences. As the band added members, their appetite for more extreme metal increased, bringing some great bands to their attention; bands like Carcass, Death, and At The Gates. This, in turn, brought more of a death metal influence to Tribune’s sound. Now, as the band members and their musical tastes mature, you’re liable to hear the Tribune band van pumping just about anything – from Neil Young to Nile, from Iron Maiden to Incubus. Primus, or Protest The Hero. Scale The Summit, or Sublime. Born Of Osiris. The Black Dahlia Murder.
The thunderous reverberations of all of these groups, and more, can be heard echoing in the depths of Tribune’s music.
Now, with the group’s 2013 release Tales, Tribune is combining their myriad influences into a genre-shattering whole, a concept album tour-de-force which deftly marries their more melodic progressive side with extreme aggression. Although more melodic than ever, the heaviness of Tribune’s new music is not to be understated, and must be heard to be properly understood. Tribune is both brawn and brains, a collusion of extremity and accessibility. Metal at its finest.