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While browsing the band-sanctioned downloads section, I noticed a very eye-catching band name; Tribes of Caïn, apparently belonging to a melodic death metal band from Switzerland. I checked out both their independent releases, and have decided to review the sophomore effort.
Supra Absurdum is an improvement over the debut, released only one year apart. On the debut, all the main starting ingredients were there - intense, harsh vocals and soaring, melodic guitar work, nice solos, and aggressive lyrical content. On the other hand, on a couple tracks the drums lacked energy or sounded a bit clunky ("Nature's Liquid Life") and some songs were slightly too long for their own good ("Mourning of Time" comes to mind).
On this release, everything just seems a little tighter: the drums are always solid, the guitar lines are more melodic and varied... the bass is still rather hidden like in so many bands, but over-all Supra feels a bit more focused than its predecessor, and it makes more a better listen.
This album starts and ends (sort of) with catchy intros and outros. The "Outro" bit is a nice, driving instrumental that fades out after around 2 and a half minutes, and a few minutes later, there's a bonus extended version of track 4, which at times sounds like a whole different song. It sounds slightly further away than the previous album tracks, especially the drums, but I find it a pretty enjoyable song, much improved over the original version. There are numerous other excellent, quite memorable melodic riffs and pounding beats on this album. Stand-outs include the main riffs in "Decorated with Flowers" and the riffs in the instrumental sections of "Soliloquy". I only took off points for the "Tribes of Caïn" song (I find it the least melodic track and the drums don't really work for me on this one, not a bad solo though) and "A Perilous Path" (find it somewhat dull to be honest, though the extended version has sections that make up for it).
Tribes of Caïn have a great vocalist, he's got a really nice growling style that works side-by-side with the drums. Along with the guitar work, it all makes for a powerful and very satisfying melo-death album which kicks a lotta ass. Recommended to basically any fan of the genre. Check 'em out, you won't be disappointed!