Saturday, 1 July 2017

Timothy Steven Clarke "Tribes 2" (2001)

Following up on the Starsiege soundtrack we have another title from the same universe of mechanized PC games published by Sierra around the millennium. Its the only other piece of work Timothy has had published under his name. Tribes 2 is rather similar beast, fusing Industrial noise with metallic guitar licks and a whole host of bombarding samples for a dense and weighty soundtrack.

This time around the experience is a toned down and tied together for a less abrasive, unsurprising listen, in favor of a more consistent and metallic experience. The distortion guitars are notably more present, louder and driving, sometimes offering big mechanical chunks of groove with clunky, robotic power chords or occasionally drifting into the distance, behind the other sounds to provide a layer of depth. A few quirky lead licks, soaked in flange, reminded me of Korn, a possible influence, however the direction is far more Industrial Metal with a distinct lack of a focal melody. These songs lay down sizeable industrial foundations to parry away any obvious sense of tune. Armed up with fast percussive loops and endless samples and whirling synths, dense blocks of sound pave the way for, distorted, manipulated cultural singing samples to rise to the top, becoming the focal point of a cybernetic noise storm.

The record consists of seven tracks, which appear to be themed around levels or arenas in the game, all roughly four and a half minutes. It is obviously designed with the game in mind and so the records and songs themselves start and stop with not much story or progression, probably as they were designed to be looped during game play. An exception to "Badlands" however, the guitar takes on a form of its own as the song builds tension, devolving into a riff fest that expands into somewhat of a solo, quite a nice touch. Either way it fits right into that quirky era where Industrial Metal's popularity crossed over into game soundtracks. I'd like to hear more of this if I can find some.

 Favorite Tracks: Desert, Ice, Starwolf
Rating: 5/10

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