Tribal Gaze make a tour stop with Creeping Death in Dallas

Singer McKenna Holland was 14 when he started honing his death metal chops. The East Texas native has always been a metalhead, but later discovered deathcore and extreme stuff – especially Suicide Silence, a Californian deathcore band and Revolver winner of the magazine’s Golden God Award.

Every day after school, Holland began practicing his vocal style by listening to Suicide Silence and Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan, a Sherman metalcore band. He turned to YouTube to learn how to perfect it.

“It took me a while to figure it out,” Holland says. “You kind of have to breathe heavily and push a lot of air out of the diaphragm and start making little sounds like grunts to get it going. But don’t use your vocal cords because that will destroy them.

He was also watching videos of the lead singer of Dallas thrash band Power Trip, Riley Gale, paying attention to his stage presence.

“He was so good, and it was just his stage presence and saying things between songs,” Holland says of Gale, who died in 2020 at 34. “It’s cool, some magic he did. I didn’t copy him but I was inspired.

In 2020, during the pandemic, Holland’s practice paid off when he joined Texas death metal band Tribal Gaze. A year later, the band released their first EP, Journey without Godand followed by a full release The nine choirs in September from the Maggot Stomp label. The recordings have received praise from Revolver magazine in a September 14 report and comparison with Morbid Angel and Obituary.

Now, Tribal Gaze is bringing their brand of Texas death metal to Amplified Live in Dallas on December 30. The band backs Denton’s death metal band Creeping Death and will be joined by Dallas death metal band Fugitive, which includes members of Power Trip and Creeping Death and Austin’s death metal band Saintpeeler.

Tribal Gaze just wrapped up a three-month tour with Creeping Death, playing “badass shows” across the United States and three days in Canada.

“We were smitten with Creeping Death, and we love these guys,” Holland says. “They’re a great group and we love watching them.”

Creeping Death guitarist Trey Pemberton feels the same way about Tribal Gaze.

“I think their collective talent is what jumps out at you, especially if you’ve never seen or heard of them before,” he says. “Every night I watched the crowd go from ‘Who is this band?’ to ‘Holy shit, they’re the heaviest band ever’ and losing your mind They’ve got enough riffs, solos, drum fills and killer vocals to get you hooked after their first song alone.

Online users agree. Tribal Gaze shared their Spotify stats for this year in early December, which revealed over 340,000 streams of this holy crap music.

The tour, says Pemberton, led to the closeness of the bands. A few of the Tribal Gaze crew hadn’t traveled often, and Pemberton says it was “sick” seeing them experience their first time in a ton of places and enjoying all of the defining moments. for Dallas and East Texas groups.

“One of my favourites,” he says, “was at the beginning when the tour package – [shoutout] at 200 stab wounds and ingrown — [when we] shared an Airbnb on a day off around Mesa, Arizona. We grilled and partied all night and pretty much figured out at that point that we were all going to be good friends and the tour was going to be awesome.

Several legs of the tour with Creeping Death stood out in Holland, including one in a small venue in North Carolina. It was a place where he didn’t expect a huge crowd, especially since only a few people were hanging out and waiting for the show to start. When the doors opened, a large crowd flooded the small room.

“Those are our favorite shows to play,” he says. “The energy is a lot more and through the roof. It’s closed with lots of people still having fun. I just loved the crowds everywhere.

Recalling the early days of Tribal Gaze, Holland says guitarists Quintin Stauts and Ian Kilmer were hanging out one day during the pandemic and had just started riffing. They were, like, “Damn, super sick” and started writing songs.

“Every night I watched the crowd go from ‘Who is this band?’ to ‘Holy shit, this is the heaviest band ever’ and losing your mind.” – Trey Pemberton of Creeping Death

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Holland had known the guitarists for a while and had seen them at a bunch of local gigs in East Texas, where the death metal scene isn’t huge but it is powerful. Holland had been fired from his job and wanted to make music.

Stauts and Kilmer began reaching out to their friends to get things moving. They contacted their friend Zachary Denton to play bass and asked Holland to sing. They found their drummer Cesar “Ceezbone” De Los Santos on Instagram.

Tribal Gaze, Holland says, was actually going to be a song title. The members had gone through several band names and found one they liked, only to learn that another band was using it. Later, Stauts and Kilmer were writing the lyrics for what would become known as “Godless Voyage” and considered naming the song “Tribal Gaze”, but Holland says they “thought that name was super badass”. for a group name.

“This song is about people showing up in a tribe or an island where native people live and trying to impose their religious views on them,” Holland said.

They recorded the Journey without God EP in Kilmer’s house and released it in 2021 via Desert Wastelands Production. Holland says he didn’t explode but got a lot of attention.

This attention led to an offer from Maggot Stomp to re-press Journey without God and make their next feature film The nine choirsan album that Stauts told Revolver “has its own gravitational pull, an album that will have you abhorring heaven, and an album that transcends trends and phrases.”

Tribal Gaze’s signature Texas groove can be heard in “pendulum-like rhythms”, such as Revolver underlined in the september review. Songs such as “With This Creature I Return,” “Jealous Messiah,” and “Shapeless Sovereign” don’t necessarily elicit fear of heaven, but rather terror about how people use organized religion to persecute those who don’t fit. not from their point of view. the world.

Holland says “With This Creature I Return”, for example, does not offer a message but “aims at organized religion and how it is used as a tool for evil and power”.

Tickets for Tribal Gaze and Creeping Death are on sale now.

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