Tribunal – The Weight of Remembrance

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The Vancouver doom/gothic duo Tribunal is a newcomer to the realm of doom and their debut full-length album 'The Weight of Remembrance' released via 20 Buck Spin on January 20th, 2023 has everything to offer to the fans of this genre. The duo Soren Mourne (cello, bass, vocals, songwriting, and lyrics) and Etienne Flinn (vocals, guitars, songwriting, and lyrics) maintain a gloomy backdrop between the beautiful cello segments and the trudging guitars, but what Tribunal truly covers on the seven tracks is the range of the dual vocals. The line-up also features Julia Geaman (drums), Jessica Yang (guitars) and Dallas (keyboards).

The cello is omnipresent, weaving dark tapestry underneath the chugging guitars which make a beautiful contrast that adds to the haunting atmosphere of the songs. Surprisingly, the female vocals dominate most of the songs. The opening requiem ‘Initiation’ instantly grabs the listener into a mournful parade of weeping cello and slow trudging guitars that intermingle with the dreary vocals of Soren Mourne. On the other hand, the music gets heavier, adding atmosphere like a funeral grief, Tribunal’s music is rooted in the gothic domains of the 90s. The guitars and the rich atmosphere on the following track ‘Of Creeping Moss and Crumbled Stone’ send you to spooky castles.

The opening riff immediately sends shivers down my spine. The guitars are weighty and upfront with keyboards conjuring up the haze, but the rocking moments of this song arrive with the majestic female vocals. ‘The Weight of Remembrance’ is a bleak affair, yet gracefully crafted. It also emphasizes a precise timing of layering the vocal performance. The guitars are effective in the plodding tempos and while all these elements work well in the favor of the album, there is immense power in the sinister vocals of Etienne Flinn. Each of the seven tracks adds gloomy settings that come crumbling down like the wings of darkness. For example, Apathy’s Keep’ peaks at the sorrowful vocals, and the music opens doors and holds true to the style of gothic doom.

The Weight Of Remembrance’ focuses on the heavy guitars and slower chords. The cello notes are wholly unique and mesmerizing, but also integrate shades of gloom. Then we stumble upon the interval track ‘Remembrance’ which solely features bleak piano notes and the sound of the rain. Even in this instrumental track the piano melodies are beautifully woven. ‘A World Beyond Shadow’ is enhanced by the bleak female vocals. You’ll sense the fathomless feeling of suffocating in darkness, once the cello strings are played seamlessly into the beautiful vocals. Tribunal often verges on the gothic side and this actually summons up the memory of Aleah Starbridge R.I.P. (Trees of Eternity).

The remarkable interplay of the instruments and the melancholy atmosphere the duo offer on the debut and the weaving of the contrasting elements seem to suffuse the songs with a thick mist. Tribunal imparts a feeling of dread. Although I would have preferred if the vocals of Etienne Flinn were more deep and guttural, instead of sinister howls. There are many elements from the changes of pace and the macabre crescendo to the guitar leads, keyboards and vocals. Across the 48 minutes, Tribunal awakens a sense of darkness with the crescendo that reflects the otherworldliness of the atmosphere and the dramatic vocals.

Without Answer’ consists of sorrowful cello sections that come to full manifestation in their atmospheric form. Sinister howls followed by slow doomy guitars are overshadowed by the weeping cello and the gloomy mood of the background, serving the plodding drums. The duo maintains the doomy tone showcasing their inspiration despite the captivating performance the guitars echo in dark crushing reverb, bringing a sense of refined gothic beauty that makes the album one of the best female-fronted doom gothic albums I’ve heard in recent years.

The Weight of Remembrance’ brings heartwrenching sorrowful melodies that fit together with the vocals and minimalist synth. In the final track ‘The Path’ the cello and the guitars provide the backbone for this 12-minute gloomy closure. From its opening moments, the cello lends proceedings to the chugging guitars and the plodding drums. The dense atmosphere adds an extra layer to the song, bringing a delicate, yet powerful resonance between the strumming guitars and the haunting melodies. ‘The Weight of Remembrance’ is a coherent, yet diverse album due to the incredible mixture of gothic and doom metal that leaves the listener to delve deep into such miserable themes of darkness.



  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 8/10

The Vancouver duo take their debut offering to the towering heights of grand gothic castles. The album comes highly recommended for fans of Estatic Fear, Trees of Eternity and Theatre of Tragedy.

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