With the arrival of ‘The Nine Choirs’, the new school death metal collective pays tribute to the sound that inspired them, the state that strengthened them, and the greats that paved the way.
Texas-bred Tribal Gaze are among the latest to emerge from The Lone Star State as heavy music’s next on deck. Earning the acclaim of genre OGs and the hype of like-minded prospects, the band’s brand of modernized, yet traditionally-tapped in extremity is a powerful collision of old and new school.
Making their Maggot Stomp debut, The Nine Choirs marks the studio album arrival of band that has already become a cult favorite in their campaign for all that is enduring about the genre. Straddling the stylistic balance of classic, break-neck aggression and contemporary, crushing delivery, Tribal Gaze prove merciless on the nine track assault.
Even more impressive than the band’s dominant brand of death is the relatively short amount of time it has taken the collective to sharpen their blades. Forming in 2020, Tribal Gaze had already asserted their brawn a year later with their Godless Voyage EP and by the start of 2022, were already working with Taylor Young at The Pit Recording Studio (Regional Justice Center, Drain, God’s Hate) on what would become the existential extremity of The Nine Choirs.
More than an outfit that pays homage to their predecessors by rehashing their influences, Tribal Gaze asserts that death metal still has room to grow with new generations. Paying respect to the legends that have paved the way thus far, the Texas collective uses their brawn to build on the sound in a way that is both familiar and forward-thinking.
Guitarist Quintin Stauts checked in to discuss the evolution of the band thus far, how the project quickly grew from something to pass the pandemic time, and how their Texas linage played a crucial role in brutality of The Nine Choirs.
The band is currently on the road with Creeping Death, 200 Stab Wounds and bands like Spirit World, Vomit Forth, and Age Of Apocalypse. Does it feel like there is a new wave of emerging heavy artists and does it give you any validation to be included in that class?
Stauts – The current wave of heavy music is incredible. We’re honored to be a part of it and to have made so many friends in these insanely talented bands that are coming up.
What has the anticipation been like for you as a band given the hype that has surrounded the arrival of The Nine Choirs? What has it been like knowing you are getting ready to deliver a knockout punch?
Stauts – It’s a powerful feeling. We absolutely love playing our music and the work that Taylor Young put into the production brought it to life in a way that far exceeded our expectations. We’re extremely fortunate that we didn’t have to wait long to put it out. I know plenty of bands that have had to sit on an album for two or more years so it’s amazing to be able to release the music while it’s fresh out of the studio.
Few emerging bands get the seal of approval from OGs like Max Cavalera, but Tribal Gaze hadn’t even dropped their full length debut yet and is already getting that cosign. Is it important to you that such respected veterans are showing you guys such love?
Stauts – When we started this band it was literally just a fun project to keep a group of friends busy during the quarantine. When we hear about something as monumental as Max Cavalera shouting us out, it’s still almost impossible to grasp that someone that important to our musical upbringing knows who we are, let alone likes our music. Getting the opportunity to make the veterans of our music culture proud is a once in a lifetime kind of thing and we couldn’t be more appreciative.
Creeping Death, Frozen Soul, Fugitive, Skeleton – the talent coming out of Texas as far as the new wave of heavy music is incredibly prolific. What about the region makes it such a ripe location for extreme art?
Stauts – Growing up in this scene, Iron Age, Humanerror, End Times, Nigh, Mammoth Grinder, Power Trip completely shaped my idea of what heavy evil music is supposed to sound like. When those are your influences, you want your contribution to the table to be worthy. When you’re from Texas I think it almost gives you a confidence boost from the start to write the best music you possibly can, resulting in so many talented bands that inspire and push each other to keep the Texas shit going.
Another common denominator for the new school of bands coming out of Texas seems to be a reverence for tradition. All of the bands mentioned pay tribute to the old school without repeating what has already been done. How important is it to pay homage to your lineage?
Stauts – Very important. It needs to be very clear that we would simply not exist if not for the bands I just mentioned. I loved those bands more than any other thing happening at the time, so we try to maintain the energy going to day that they started over 10 years ago.
How quickly did the songs on The Nine Choirs come together and did the events of the last two years have any effect on the final product from a creative standpoint?
Stauts – The songs were written over the course of a few months at the beginning of the year. The beginning of the pandemic gave us the opportunity to get familiar with home studio gear and time to learn how to record ourselves so sitting down and writing the album couldn’t have been an easier or more comfortable process.
Tribal Gaze has a ton of momentum at the moment. Does any pressure come with that kind of hype? Is there any sense of expectation you feel ahead of the release of your full length debut?
Stauts – To be honest I think we feel zero pressure. We’ve had so much fun on tour spending time with each other and the other bands it hasn’t even crossed our minds what we should expect. As long as we get to riff with our friends in different cities and put out music we like, we are completely satisfied.
As a band, what do you hope the fans take away from The Nine Choirs. For those just getting introduced to Tribal Gaze – what do you hope they get from the album?
Stauts – I just want to give people riffs that can get stuck in their head. Or riffs that make them want to swing as hard as they can in a pit. And then, if they venture into the lyrics they find that we put just as much effort into delivering words worth reading. The art, lyrics, vocal patterns, drums, solos, samples, and riffs were all written for anyone who wanted a death metal record that cut no corners. We think each song has its own personality and we hope everyone just has fun with it.
The Nine Choirs drops is now available on various formats via Maggot Stomp. The vinyl edition will launch early 2023. Order the album – HERE.
Tribal Gaze finish out their tour with Creeping Death, 200 Stab Wounds and more. See the remaining dates below.