Tribus - Mega Shred

Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released CDR
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 32:05:00

With an album titled Mega Shred you'd expect something loud and obnoxious, right? A guy with his guitar firing off an arsenal of speedy runs and shrieking riffs, and doing so at the cost of any kind of song format. Well, Tribus is a little bit different from that. Firstly, the axe shredding here is a bass ? or truthfully, an assortment of basses that Carlos Soto plays. And though Tribus has become a trio with the addition of Alex Llorens on guitar and Voyce McGinley on drums for the latest release Too Late?Damage Is Done, it seems that it's just Soto here. There are drums, but they sound programmed (and McGinley doesn't include this in his discography, though he does another Tribus release, Oreology). And this isn't a shred fest for the sake of songs, though it is "samey" sounding. The solo riffs go in different directions, but the main rhythm seems pretty much the same. Like Soto starts with the same basic rhythm (though the pitch may change) then launches from there --- variations on a theme, in a way. "Shred Alert" is an energetic and lively piece to open the album and sets the rhythm. Soto does seem to have fun with some of the arrangements, a sense of playful give and take with the other instruments. But it is this that permeates 5 of the 6 tracks? and after a dozen listens or so, gets tedious to listen to. "Maximum Risk" takes the same basic rhythm, speeds it up and adds a few bass effects. When it does change ? well, interestingly I thought it sounded like the opening bit from Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back." Here it sounds more like a synth, though, as I mentioned, the credits only show what Soto played: 6-String Electric Bass, Lead Distortion Bass, Fretless Bass and Bass Effects. "Intensify" has a playful, upbeat rhythm (though it is the same rhythm, played just a little differently ? played a little faster, breaking the call and response part a little higher in the pattern. That is the first part plays a few beats fewer, the second parts a few more. "Freaky Fingers" is more of the same. What really differentiates these tracks are the solo breaks.

However, the track that stands out from the rest, that made me pause to check that it was the same CD playing, is "Latin Rican Night." This is a mellower piece, not unlike something Tony Levin did on his recent solo albums. The pattern or motif that we've heard up to now is absent.

Other than the sameness of each track, this CD is plagued by only one other thing ? muddy production. Well, maybe not muddy so much as flat. For me personally, I wanted it to "pop" a little more. A little more variety would have been welcome as well. The performance itself is good, but that only leaves us with an average album. The energy is there, though a little more separation in the mix would help bring that out - a more dynamic mix of instruments (or samples of instruments). Though "Latin Rican Night" stands out from the rest of the album, it's not enough to bring this album above an average rating.

Shred Alert (5:36) / Excess Force (5:49) / Maximum Risk (6:57) / Intensify (4:35) / Freaky Fingers (4:02) / Latin Rican Night (5:03)

Carlos Soto

Mega Shred (2001)
Manual Acrobatics (2002)
Too Late ? Damage Is Done (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: January 12th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 755
Language: english


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