CD Review: “The Aftermath of Lies” by Tribulance

Twenty-two years since its sole album, Trials and Tribulations, Arizona metal act Tribulance return with The Aftermath of Lies. The chugging riffs and soaring vocals are equal parts Pantera and Judas Priest, and that is not a bad thing. The American metal scene is currently saturated with tech death metal and bad doom metal groups. In that regard Tribulance’s vintage sound is somewhat refreshing. Sure, we have it before but nothing is original under the sun. The quartet gets straight to business on “Oblivious” which opens with pounding drums and a descending riff. The band transitions between a bumpy groove and thrash. Vocalist Mike Vidal’s lofty voice is Halfordesque and is certainly a highlight on this track. “Conflict” is a down and gritty hardcore track with punchy guitar riffs that sound like mallets hitting concrete. The title track continues in the same vein with its mid-tempo and swarming guitar riff. The only soft spot is the guitar soloing as Sal Flores just throws notes together and ends it with half hearted guitar tapping. Still, the band shoots for groove over virtuosity and it works. Album closer “Walk The Talk” is the heaviest track on Aftermath. It is a relentless thrasher with dynamic riffing and an aggressive attitude.

The Aftermath of Lies has a Nineties sound with its groove laden tracks and “street” attitude. It is not as confrontational as A Vulgar Display of Power or Burn My Eyes, but those records are a clear influence. It sounds like the angry younger brother emulating his older siblings and does a fairly decent job. There is little variety on the album. However, the clean vocals and decent guitar work keep things interesting for 39 minutes. The album’s brevity is a plus as Tribulance makes its point and gets out. The production is good considering the members produced it themselves. The guitar sound is thick but not overdone while Vidal’s vocals are very clear in the mix.

The Aftermath of Lies is worth a listen for fans of groove metal. It is a fun record that will keep your head bobbing. Tribulance would certainly do well to tour on this album as it will get a pit started. Tribulance proves you cannot keep the old school down.

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