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Tribulation - Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Award winner

Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
by Chris Hawkins at 25 January 2021, 7:17 PM

TRIBULATION is proof that one never knows what lies around the corner.  Beginning in 2005, the Swedish band started their unique trek as a distinctly Death Metal unit.  Fast forward a decade later when the band released their third album, “Children of the Night,” and their newfound style of blending Heavy Metal, Gothic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, and Black Metal was an affair that ubiquitously signaled a new era for the band.  “Where the Gloom Becomes Sound” is the second album to follow that momentous stylistic shift and showcases an astutely mature approach to songwriting as it further expands the TRIBULATION ethos in its exploration of the abyss, the ether, and that which lies beyond the veil.

Delicately introduced, a unison of slightly distorted guitars and a solitary bell ring out the melody to set the moon in the first track, “In Remembrance”.  When the band arrives in full, the atmosphere is an intoxicating haze of opium-flavored smoke rings, dark crimson velvet, and overflowing candle wax gathering into stout piles of distorted shapes.  The song is not only well-written but also structured to provide the maximum return on the myriad visions conjured forth from such highly effecting music.  In essence, it is the perfect union of creativity and tradition, working the TRIBULATION sound into a format easily digested by a public pre-programmed with certain structural expectations.

Hour of the Wolf” flows and benefits from the momentum established by such a serendipitously fitting first track.  Essentially, this is another step in immersion and one cannot help but be swept away.  TRIBULATION is a band that contrary to the standard approach in Metal of stringing riffs together, carefully layers the guitar parts to create a diverse texture that further elaborates the melodic idea.

As the album rolls on, what has become apparent is the prestige of the overall sound.  It was when the fourth song, “Dirge of a Dying Soul,” was playing that it became clear that a unique parallel can be made.  In its clarity, scope, and ambition, the album is reminiscent of DEF LEPPARD’s career zenith “Hysteria”.  This is not at all to say the sound is mimicking the radio veterans, but rather, that pristine clarity couple with enchanting hooks that one can hear in tracks like “Women” and “Animal” is mirrored on this recording.  It is a wholly consuming affair, one that requires an attentive listener to unravel the many musical twists and turns contained within.

The production is nothing short of stunning.  With such myriad guitar tones employed, the mission of blending them carefully was a resounding success.  TRIBULATION has a unique approach to songwriting and with such a reliance upon single note melodies from two guitars, effectively blending them is imperative.  Thankfully, the bass isn’t buried either bur rather rumbles beneath with a constant growl.

TRIBULATION is an anomaly in the Metal community.  It is rare to be able to say a bad is truly original, but there is no doubt how prodigiously cutting edge this band is.  In fact, I challenge non-Metal fans to not be impressed by the seductively dark, enticing melodies inhabiting this creation.  For it to still be January, the bar is therefore set incredibly high by TRIBULATION.  While it was inevitable this album would impress, it is pleasantly surprising just how good it really is.  They really don’t make albums like this anymore!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. In Remembrance
2. Hour of the Wolf
3. Leviathans
4. Dirge of a Dying Soul
5. Lethe
6. Daughters of the Djinn
7. Elementals
8. Inanna
9. Funeral Pyre
10. The Wilderness
Johannes Andersson – Bass, Vocals
Adam Zaars – Guitar
Oscar Leander – Drums
Joseph Tholl - Guitar
Record Label: Century Media Records


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