TRIBULATION

Death Metal / Gothic Metal • Sweden
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TRIBULATION is a Swedish death metal act from Arvika, whose style is closer to the Stockholm sound than to the more melodic Gothenburg sound. They started out playing death/thrash metal, shifted towards a more old school Swedish death metal sound, and later became more progressive.

TRIBULATION was formed in 2004 but had functioned as HAZARD in the 2001 - 2004 period and had released a couple of demos under than monicker. The "The Ascending Dead" demo from 2005 was the first release under the TRIBULATION monicker followed by the "Putrid Rebirth" EP in 2006. TRIBULATION released their debut full-length studio album "The Horror" in 2009.

(Biography re-written and edited by UMUR, 20th of May 2015.)



Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and UMUR for the updates

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Down BelowDown Below
Century Media 2018
$11.18
$5.39 (used)
The Children of the NightThe Children of the Night
Century Media 2015
$12.97
$8.09 (used)
HorrorHorror
Century Media Records 2016
$16.58
$18.42 (used)
Lady DeathLady Death
Century Media Int'L 2017
$9.89
$14.64 (used)
MelancholiaMelancholia
EP · Limited Edition
Century Media Records 2016
$14.57
$18.09 (used)
MelancholiaMelancholia
Century Media Int'L 2019
$26.99
NightboundNightbound
Century Media Int'L 2018
$9.27
$14.64 (used)
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TRIBULATION Discography

TRIBULATION albums / top albums

TRIBULATION The Horror album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Horror
Death Metal 2009
TRIBULATION The Formulas of Death album cover 3.93 | 6 ratings
The Formulas of Death
Death Metal 2013
TRIBULATION The Children of the Night album cover 4.18 | 9 ratings
The Children of the Night
Gothic Metal 2015
TRIBULATION Down Below album cover 4.08 | 5 ratings
Down Below
Gothic Metal 2018

TRIBULATION EPs & splits

TRIBULATION Putrid Rebirth album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Putrid Rebirth
Death Metal 2006
TRIBULATION Melancholia album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Melancholia
Gothic Metal 2016
TRIBULATION Lady Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lady Death
Gothic Metal 2017

TRIBULATION live albums

TRIBULATION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TRIBULATION The Ascending Dead album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ascending Dead
Death Metal 2005
TRIBULATION Devilock / Death Comes Ripping album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Devilock / Death Comes Ripping
Death Metal 2016

TRIBULATION re-issues & compilations

TRIBULATION singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Death & Rebirth of…
Death Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Waiting for the Death Blow
Death Metal 2015

TRIBULATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

TRIBULATION Reviews

TRIBULATION Down Below

Album · 2018 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Down Below" is the 4th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Tribulation. The album was released through Century Media Records in January 2018. It´s the successor to "The Children of the Night" from 2015 and features one lineup change as drummer Jakob Ljungberg has been replaced by Oscar Leander. Since forming in 2001 (originally under the Hazard monicker), Tribulation have been through quite the stylistic development, playing aggressive death/thrash metal act on the "Putrid Rebirth (2006)" EP, changing their sound to a more old school death metal oriented one on their debut full-length studio album "The Horror (2009)", and then morphing into a rather adventurous progressive and psychadelic tinged death metal act on their sophomore studio album "The Formulas of Death (2013)". "The Children of the Night (2015)" saw the band once again change course to a slightly more simple and atmospheric (gothic tinged) heavy metal style with raw vocals...

...and maybe a bit surprisingly they´ve pretty much stuck to that style on "Down Below". On the other hand a band have to settle at some point, when they feel they´ve found a musical identity, and that´s probably what has happened with Tribulation on "Down Below".

It´s obvious too why they have opted to release a relatively similar sounding album to "The Children of the Night (2015)", because that release gave them something of an underground breakthrough and once you´ve tasted success, it´s not something you give up easily. Tribulation are also very good at writing music in this style and perform their music with great skill and conviction too, so those who enjoyed "The Children of the Night (2015)", will pretty surely find appeal in "Down Below" too.

"Down Below" features a dark and organic toned sound production which suits the material well. Regarding the 9 tracks on the 46:40 minutes long album most are pretty regular vers/chorus structured compositions, typically with a dark and heavy vers and a slighly more melodic/atmospheric and uplifting/epic chorus (not light though). It´s when the band break free of their formula and do something a bit different (like the closing minutes of "Here Be Dragons"), that they are most interesting though, and upon conclusion "Down Below" does have a tendency to sound a little too safe and predictable. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved though.

TRIBULATION The Formulas of Death

Album · 2013 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Formulas of Death" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Tribulation. The album was released through Invictus Productions/The Ajna Offensive in March 2013. It´s been a few years since the release of "The Horror (2009)", and there´s been one lineup change as drummer Jakob Johansson has been replaced by Jakob Ljungberg.

However judging by the sound of "The Formulas of Death" the longer recording break probably had little to do with lineup changes and more to do with time spend with the development of the band´s sound. Tribulation were founded under the Hazard monicker in 2001 but changed their name to Tribulation in 2004. They initially played a fast-paced and brutal death/thrash metal style, which is also heard on the "Putrid Rebirth" EP from 2009. They tweaked their sound towards a more old school type of death metal on their debut full-length studio album "The Horror (2009)" (still with nods towards more aggressive death/thrash though), but has changed their sound again on "The Formulas of Death". This time around the listener is treated to a progresive and psychadelic tinged death metal that is quite unusual sounding.

The material on the 11 track, 75:48 minutes long album is generally pretty adventurous with both long structures and innovative ideas. There´s a retro 70s feel to some of the proceedings, but it´s only an element of the band´s sound. The organic sounding production further enhances that feeling. This is still old school death metal in many ways though, and at times also rather brutal, but seldom for long before a laid back psychadelic section kicks in, or a tempo change or break leads to something else. The tracks are still pretty consistent though, and nothing feels completely out of place or forced. It´s music that takes a bit of getting used to though, and to my ears the growling vocals (which are actually higher pitced and aggressive rather than deep and growling) are slightly monotone and could easily have prospered from more variation (and a higher place in the mix).

Upon conclusion "The Formulas of Death" is a very bold move by Tribulation, which could have sunk their career by alienating their fans, but as far as I understand it´s an album which has received almost universal praise. And it´s obvious why. The songwriting is simply on a higher level than on most contemporary releases on the scene and paired with strong musicianship, and a very well sounding production, "The Formulas of Death" ultimately comes off as a very high quality release. There are a few issues like the ones mentioned above and the too long playing time is also a slight issue, but other than that it´s a great release for fans of innovative/progressive old school death metal with a psychadelic twist and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

TRIBULATION The Horror

Album · 2009 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Horror" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Tribulation. The album was released through Pulverised Records in January 2009. Tribulation were founded under the Hazard monicker in 2001 but changed their name to Tribulation in 2004. They initially played a fast-paced and brutal death/thrash metal style, but on "The Horror" things have changed.

Instead of the ultra fast-paced and technically well played death/thrash style of the "Putric Rebirth" EP from 2006, which was the band´s last release before "The Horror", Tribulation now leans more towards an old school Swedish type of death metal, but if you listen a bit more closely it´s soon revealed that "The Horror" isn´t your everyday retro death metal album. There are still strong ties to thrash metal, and the music is also generally played with great technical skill. Especially the latter isn´t always true on old school sounding death metal releases. Or maybe more correctly, it´s often not the focus.

The material is delivered with fierce aggression and often in an energetic pace, with snarling growling vocals, rhythmically varied beats and riffs, and blistering guitar solos. This is one of those performances where you can feel they really mean it. The sound production is suitingly raw, yet detailed and clear enough for all instruments and vocals to stand out. "The Horror" is a school example of how to make an album with old school credibility, yet with a different enough twist to it to make it stand out on the scene. The very convincing delivery and the well sounding production are also great assets as mentioned above, so a 4 star (80%) rating isn´t all wrong.

TRIBULATION Putrid Rebirth

EP · 2006 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Putrid Rebirth" is an EP release by Swedish death/thrash metal act Tribulation. The EP was released through Blood Harvest in May 2006 and is the band´s first label release. It´s the follow up to the "The Ascending Dead" demo from 2005, which was the band´s first release under the Tribulation monicker. The band functioned under the Hazard monicker in the 2001 - 2004 period.

Tribulation is probably best known for playing old school Swedish death metal with progressive leanings (and later a darker and more gothic tinged style), but on "Putrid Rebirth" they play a technical, aggressive, and ultra-fast death/thrash metal style, which sounds a bit like 1986 Dark Angel on steroids. A reference to their Danish neighbours in Invocator (early) is probably even more valid. This is very raw and aggressive but also played with great skill and conviction. The snarling and vitriol filled growling vocals are very effective and the feature on the EP, which is closest related to death metal. The instrumental part of the music, including the screaming chromatic guitar solos, is brutal and raw thrash metal through and through. The lyrics are your typical death, zombie, and occult themed lyrics.

In addition to the fierce musical performance, and some raw and effective songwriting, the 4 track, 17:53 minutes long EP features a powerful and raw sounding production. I had to look twice when I saw that "Putrid Rebirth" was released in 2006, because the sound is so authentic late 80s/early 90s, that I was convinced I was listening to a lost death/thrash gem from that time. So it´s safe to say the music isn´t very original sounding, but it´s so intense and and well performed that it doesn´t matter much if you appreciate the style. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

TRIBULATION Down Below

Album · 2018 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
With 2015’s Children Of The Night Swedes Tribulation had made the move they’d hinted at on The Formulas Of Death into more accessible territory. From early days where they were a blackened death metal band they had diversified their sound considerably to include gothic, traditional and prog metal. The result was a brilliant album of some of the catchiest metal, without resorting to any form of compromise, that I’d heard that year.

The single Lady Death, released late last year, suggested the band would be following a similar path on Down Below. That has proved to be the case but if anything they’ve streamlined the sound more and gone for a simpler and more direct approach, at least for much of the time, immediately apparent from the simple 4/4 drum pattern laid down by new drummer Oscar Leander which comes in on opener The Lament. The strong melodies that were such an integral part of COTN remain intact – we’re talking musically here as vocalist Johannes Andersson still sings with his black/death rasp which is perhaps the only barrier from Tribulation reaching a mainstream rock audience such is the accessibility of these songs. Once again the lead guitar work of Jonathan Hultén and Adam Zaars is fantastic – as I remember saying in my review of COTH they’re more old school with an emphasis on well-chosen notes taking precedence over a blur of notes. The same can be said for guitar work in general with no shortage strong riffs interspersed with arpeggios and licks, the overall feel often having a melancholic vibe no better demonstrated on the instrumental Purgatorio . If anything the second half of the album gets even better, the songs becoming a bit more expansive with more twists and turns - listen to Lacrimosa and album closer Here Be Dragons, the latter in particular with its slow build which is a brilliant way to close the album. The icing on the cake is the top notch production – organic and powerful with a rock solid drum sound.

In terms of style and feel Down Below can be considered Children Of The Night part 2. I wouldn’t say it’s better but if you loved that album as much as I do then this has got to be essential listening for you. So early in the year we’ve had excellent albums from Watain, Hamferð and Sinistro and Tribulation can join that list. At this rate I’ll have my top 10 of 2018 by March!

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