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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TRIBULATION Discography

TRIBULATION albums / top albums

TRIBULATION The Horror album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
The Horror
Death Metal 2009
TRIBULATION The Formulas of Death album cover 3.93 | 7 ratings
The Formulas of Death
Death Metal 2013
TRIBULATION The Children of the Night album cover 4.17 | 11 ratings
The Children of the Night
Gothic Metal 2015
TRIBULATION Down Below album cover 4.08 | 7 ratings
Down Below
Gothic Metal 2018
TRIBULATION Where The Gloom Becomes Sound album cover 3.88 | 3 ratings
Where The Gloom Becomes Sound
Gothic Metal 2021

TRIBULATION EPs & splits

TRIBULATION Putrid Rebirth album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Putrid Rebirth
Death Metal 2006
TRIBULATION Melancholia album cover 3.17 | 2 ratings
Melancholia
Gothic Metal 2016
TRIBULATION Lady Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lady Death
Gothic Metal 2017

TRIBULATION live albums

TRIBULATION Alive & Dead at Södra Teatern album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Alive & Dead at Södra Teatern
Gothic Metal 2019

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 Where The Gloom Becomes Sound

Album · 2021 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Where The Gloom Becomes Sound" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Tribulation. The album was released through Century Media Records in January 2021. It´s the successor to "Down Below" from 2018 and features no lineup changes since the precessor.

Stylistically "Where The Gloom Becomes Sound" pretty much continues where "Down Below (2018)" left of. Dark, melancholic, and atmospheric gothic tinged heavy metal, featuring blackened snarling vocals. The vocals aren´t extreme in nature, but they are raw and snarling. Tribulation come from a past playing both aggressive death/thrash metal and progressive death metal, so it was quite a change of pace when they released the 2015 goth metal influenced album "The Children of the Night". "Where The Gloom Becomes Sound" is now the third album from Tribulation in a similar style, so it must probably be concluded that they´ve now settled and feel completely comfortable with the sound they play.

...and play it well they do. There hasn´t been much development since "Down Below (2018)", but Tribulation deliver their brand of gothic tinged heavy metal with both great passion and conviction. It´s obvious these guys are skilled musicians and that they also know how to write an effectful and memorable song. If I have to mention an act which in many ways have a similar approach it would be fellow countrymen Tiamat, although Tribulation are slightly darker and more heavy. One of the great assets of the music are the many well played lead parts and harmonies, which provide the album with a suiting dark and melancholic atmosphere. Most of the album goes by at mid-pace but some tracks are slower and touches doom metal territory.

"Where The Gloom Becomes Sound" features a dark and gloomy sounding production job, which is professional and suits the album well, but sometimes becomes just a little too dense and murky. Some of the riffs could have stood a little sharper in the soundscape with a slightly more clear sounding guitar tone. Other than that and maybe the fact that the vocals are slightly too one-dimensional in nature, "Where The Gloom Becomes Sound" is a high quality release through and through. Fans of the two direct predecessors should find this one a great listen to. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

TRIBULATION Where The Gloom Becomes Sound

Album · 2021 · Gothic Metal
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Nightfly
Big news in the Tribulation camp recently was that longtime guitarist Jonathan Hultén has left the band after 16 years. As he was one of the main songwriters his leaving may in the future have an impact on the sound and direction of the band. Not so on the band’s latest album though as Where The Gloom Becomes sound was written and recorded while Hultén was still on board.

Where The Gloom Becomes Sound finds Tribulation in the same musical territory they’ve been in since 2015’s Children Of The Night where they ditched the death metal in favour of a gothic rock/metal approach. The only thing retained being Johannes Andersson’s growling vocal delivery. The new album wasn’t as immediate as the last couple, apart from a few tracks like Hour Of The Wolf and Leviathans which with their strong hooks and (often used) guitar arpeggios got under the skin straight away. A few plays though and it’s apparent all is well on a musical level as their melancholic melodies take hold. WTGBS is probably slightly heavier than Children Of The Night and Down Below in places like on the driving Daughters of Djinn and Funeral Pyre though the band’s sound remains intact with few changes overall. A minor criticism is the album finds Tribulation re-treading old ground a bit too close for comfort here and there and as a whole the strength of the songs doesn’t quite live up to the last two albums. That aside WTGBS remains another strong collection of quality songwriting.

With new guitarist Joseph Tholl now in place it’ll be interesting to see if he has any impact on the direction Tribulation take. At a release rate of an album every three years or so we may be waiting a while yet , but for now this one will do very nicely.

TRIBULATION Down Below

Album · 2018 · Gothic Metal
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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 star (70%) rating is still deserved though.

TRIBULATION The Formulas of Death

Album · 2013 · Death Metal
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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
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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.

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