Released by: Century Media Records
Release Date: January 26th, 2018
Genre: Goth Metal/Heavy Metal
Johannes Andersson – vocals, bass
Adam Zaars – guitars
Jonathan Hultén – guitars
Oscar Leander – drums
3. Lady Death
6. Cries From the Underworld
8. The World
9. Here Be Dragons
The latest 9 track offering from Sweden’s TRIBULATION titled Down Below has arrived which takes fans back to the traditional Swedish gothic horror metal sound that TRIBULATION has been known for in the early days. This latest offering is full of hooks and technical brutality that both old and new fans of the band will enjoy.
Upon the band’s formation in 2005 in Arvika, Sweden – TRIBULATION released their first studio album in 2009 titled The Horror – A widely praised death metal release in the underground. Releasing two further albums The Formulas of Death (2013) and Children of the Night (2015) – The band grew and developed their sound within each era of experimentation and technique. Fans of the band experienced the new boundaries which were broken and followed the journey of the music into deeper and darker, burning paths. TRIBULATION has been no stranger to change their sound on each record by adding clean sections, piano and up-tempo while still remaining true to their roots and the sound which they created back in the year leading up to their 2009 release.
After giving Down Below a first listen our HiFi speakers reminisced bands such as In Solitude and Watain and the combination of a different atmosphere in the band. The hypnotic catchy drum patterns, technical minor guitar scales, and howls from the graveyard were everything we expected and more.
The opening track “The Lament” is one of three singles which were released in advance of the album coming out. It begins with a mellow clean guitar before bursting into the main melody of the song which is a catchy heavy driven darkened rock n roll riff. The band’s sound has distorted rhythm guitar with the reverbed lead guitar which creates an eerie atmosphere. The chorus is very well constructed and the song is a powerful opener at first listen.
The raw tone of Johannes vocals are back with a more stripped down and simplified old school approach as the power-chord riffs and slow tempo drumming from Oscar create an eerie backdrop for tales of pure darkness.
Talking about the album guitarist Adam Zaars says “You can fit a lot into the space that we’re creating, but it’ always got to be of the right substance. It’s all a matter of balancing on the edge and not falling. I think that’s often what we do, actually. We push it all quite hard in many different directions and try not to fall over, be it cheesiness, pretentiousness or whatever. As an example, we have been writing about the vampire theme for a while now, a theme that is very, very cheesy if you do it in the wrong way (which to me is pretty much every way). Vampires and folk influences, it sounds like a pretty horrible mix, but it’s all very dear to us and so we treat it with respect. We try the same approach in music, we take it all very seriously and hopefully that works.”
Down Below hallmarks these Lost Boys from Sweden’s return to the scene with extra thrown in such as creepy pipe-organs, John Carpenter-esque slasher movements, ominous church bells, and monk calls woven into the band’s death filled backdrop.
Notable stand out tracks on the album include the Lady Death, the second single which the band released via their Facebook page and YouTube two weeks ago which was then followed by The World. Lacrimosa in particular showcases the bands more progressive and experimental approach which unveils hard hitting double bass from new recruit Oscar, Johannes reptilian death rock vocals, Jonathan and Adam’s technical guitar ability. Around the halfway mark through this track, we hear the monk chants and bells chime as the chaos builds into one of the albums best guitar solos which would go down great live.
Written by: David Bell
TRIBULATION will return to the stage supporting Down Below on January 12th in Munich, Germany.
TRIBULATION Down Below is out January 26th, 2018 through Century Media Records. We think that all old and new fans will enjoy picking up this album and attending the bands upcoming shows.