KARIBOW – A Tribal Treat (2023)

KARIBOW - A Tribal Treat (2023) - full

A Tribal Treat” is KARIBOW‘s fully reworked and completely re-recorded reissue of the band’s long sold out millennium albums: “Tribe” was originally released in 2000, “Tribal Avenue” was originally published in 2001. Now both albums are finally available again as one up-to-date double release.
KariBoW was founded by Oliver Rüsing in late 1996. After a long musical development from AOR to melodic progressive rock, the band was eventually rewarded with the German Rock & Pop Award in the “Best Arrangement” category (2011) and again in 2014 for “Best Progressive Band”. In 2017 won the Akademia Award for “Best Rock Song”.
While KariBoW style evolved over the years into a more progressive sound, the material from the era these songs come from is mostly Melodic Rock / AOR. The songs on ”A Tribal Treat” are a pure delight of clean vocal melodies, refined arrangements, crystal clear production, and a definitive ’80s rock feel.
Think a mix of the most song oriented / melodic Marillion, Saga hooks, and the Scandinavian Melodic Rock from the 2000’s with a light proggy feel at places. There are some truly outstanding songs here, 20 tracks into 2 CD’s that flow with delicious amusement.

There isn’t a weak song on “A Tribal Treat”. All are good.
CD1 ”Tribe” begins with ‘Told’, an uptempo opener measured with some different synth styles and tight drums. Guitars come in with the hookline chorus bringing high energy. A true and solid melodic rock beginning. ‘Rain Kid’ starts with a nice soft entry soon followed by the same vitality as ‘Told’. A longer song with a very good vocals and a fine chorus. A wonderful solo begins with a staccato rhythm leading into a smooth electric guitar piece. after a soft singing section a rich distorted guitar solo brings passion.
‘Time to Wonder’ is a lovely melodic song. It is with deeper feeling and a more lavish melody in the background. A guitar solo that to me could have featured in any song on Rush’s ‘Grace Under Pressure’ album. It finishes with a high paced flourish.

‘Out of my Head’ runs in a midtempo melodic rock elaboration with a catchy hook and chorus. Another worthy guitar solo perfectly matches the song leading to the final chorus.
‘Hey You (Ashes to Ashes)’ is a highlight, intelligent arrangements and an AORish feel all over. Oliver’s singing really delivers for the chorus that absorbs and sticks in your head. The guitar solo is soft and meaningful which brings a full rounded sense of sound before the song ends. Then ‘Life is More’ is a rousing ballad starting with gentle guitar and then suddenly building into an anthemic, strong and emotional climax.

‘The Line Between’ is just another elegant melodic rock song with light proggy in between with a quick and strong synth-guitar combination entrance with a positive singing style that again gives us a chorus to sing along to. An imaginative guitar solo is the ice of the cake.
‘Blessed’ is comfortable to the ear with ita poppy nature and adds variation with a memorable alto sax solo. ‘Shadow Dancing’ is also different with an ominous sounding start followed by Oliver’s voice singing in a state of mystery.
For the end, ‘Water’ is proggy song on the album and the longest on this disc. It has a high rhythmic keyboard succeeded by rhythm guitars leading into the anthem. Nice guitar moments are interspersed before we hear the next verse. A single note piano part comes in half way through, then a melodic guitar leading into a full instrumentation uptempo climax.

CD ‘Tribal Avenue’ is evem more melodic and rocking. Opener ‘Fly High’ is another highlight with a good guitar and synth beginning. An excellent build to the chorus giving us the clear hint to the title of this song. The feeling of being on top of life. A quick and satisfying guitar solo before the final singing section ensues. ‘Green Tea’ is even better, dynamic and melodic.
A good rock beat sets off ‘Saint’. This ushers into the song title with differing styles of soloing, majestic vocals and melodies. ‘Little Rebel’ adds more pepper with an energetic rhythm and a quick pulse that you can jump up and down to.

‘Make It Up’ opens with electronics then a fast bass tone comes in before the first highlight of the song. This is soon surpassed by a stunning section of piano that is played so tight, water could not pass through. Of course ‘Tribe’ starts with a tribal beat. Then a powerful full blown wall of sound breaks through with a strong background singing. Soft pipe sounds enter before Oliver sings the chorus for a second time. There’s a real tribe facet here in terms of music and story.

‘Come Into This World has a midtempo melodic rock heart with yet another anthemic hook that gets trapped in your mind. Oliver really has a knack in this regard which is probably why he has become the successful songwriter he has become. The music is always a constant even when it is the background to his singing.
We are taken on a roller coaster of music with ‘Follow’. Nice long guitar notes with energetic synth work and solid vocals. A very expressive guitar solo enhances this song in a wonderful way, ending in a highly exciting rhythmic climax. This is another highlight song for me.
There’s a magnetic heavy beat on ‘Point of View’, a melodic rocker with a catchy chorus. The album ends with ‘Stories of the Dead’, a song that breathes with emotive vocals, gives moments of elaborated guitar parts in between verses.

Both these albums have in my opinion a definitive 80’s rock feel, and we love it.
A superb addition to any collection.
HIGHLY Recommended


CD 1 – Tribe:
01. Told
02. Rain Kid
03. Time To Wonder
04. Out Of My Head
05. Hey You (Ashes To Ashes)
06. Life Is More
07. The Line Between
08. Blessed
09. Shadow Dancing
10. Water

CD 2 – Tribal Avenue:
01. Fly High
02. Green Tea
03. Saint
04. Little Rebel
05. Make It Up
06. Tribe
07. Come Into This World
08. Follow
09. Point Of View
10. Stories Of The Dead

Oliver Rusing – Vocals, All instruments
Berthold Fehmer – Keyboards, synths



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