Twelve Tribes - Midwest Pandemic (Cover Artwork)

Twelve Tribes

Midwest Pandemic (2006)


Twelve Tribes are back with the followup to their vastly underrated full-length, The Rebirth of Tragedy. The five-piece unit out of Ohio has been playing a rather deceiving style of metal/hardcore and has been under the radar since their earlier days on Eulogy Recordings. While a few listens to any of their releases doesn't quite blow the listener away, it's the little things that take time to sink in. To some it just may be a massive array of sound and too chaotic to pick apart, yet Twelve Tribes' ability to create layered and extremely deep songs is still on showcase here on Midwest Pandemic, their second full-length released on Ferret Records.

Once again, it's the little things that make Midwest Pandemic just as strong as Rebirth of Tragedy was. The attention to detail is a nice touch and guitarists Andrew Corpus and Kevin Schindel have progressed as musicians. The melodies are stronger, the breakdowns heavier, and there's sill plenty of chaotic parts on the album. "Muzzle Order" is a rather good example of this, as the cleaner parts are improved and the heavier portions are still nailed perfectly.

However, Twelve Tribes have a few tricks up their sleeves this time around. "The Nine Year Tide" starts with a rather retro bass line and gives way to a slower song that includes melodic guitar lines over Adam Jackson's singing. While the melodic parts aren't too overbearing, the progression seen on Midwest Pandemic allow the album to reach into new territory that they couldn't previously get to. The title track, "Midwest Pandemic" highlights Twelve Tribes' ability to throw in some tempo changes and mix it up a bit. "The Recovery: In Three Parts" has this style of band doing the unthinkable: creating an eight-minute hardcore song that is able to keep the listener's interest throughout the entire duration.

Twelve Tribes have never drastically changed their sound, but they've always progressed in between albums. They continue this trend as Midwest Pandemic improves on everything they've done before and sees them venturing out into newer territory, which keeps the sound from getting too stale. The album delivers on every front and stands as one of the genre's best this year, easily. While Twelve Tribes have spent most of their career as an underrated band waiting to blow up, Midwest Pandemic just might be that album to help them break out.