One of the favorites of the death metal scene is Tribulation without a doubt. Formed in Sweden in 2004 under a different name, the band may be considered as underrated when we think about the famous names but with numerous albums and live shows, they have secured their place with a strong fan base. After keeping the fans waiting for 3 years, they are back with a new full-length record called “Down Below”.
It has always been about certain concepts, the darkness and the horror when we are talking about Tribulation. “Down Below” is no different. This time and actually for a while now, the band has been influenced from and working on the vampiric and folk concepts… You may say “What? It’s cheesy as hell” but expect no typical cheesy vampiric themes from Tribulation; the band manages to deliver this concept from their own perspective and they do it perfectly. While spinning the album, you will realize that the band is not your typical death metal band and that’s what makes them special; their style dances between death/black metal but is also heavily inspired by the 80s and even occult rock… What a fine mixture this is! What surprised me this time was this ‘classical music’ vibe in the record; think about that feeling when you listen to classical music pieces? You will feel those similar sensations during the bits and pieces in songs, the tunes or the guitar solos. In this sense, the record is also instrumental at times and delivers the concept of necroromance quite well. Just like in those movie soundtracks…
One highlight the Tribulation fans know is that the band is not afraid to experiment and take risks. With “Down Below”, I think that the band pushed the boundaries even more. So for some of you fans, it might take a while to get used to this record. As a matter of fact, this was the case with me. As I span the record over and over again, I thought to myself “Why not a concept album? They could have pulled it off so well”. The first half of the album caught my attention a lot more and some songs do not stand out when I take a look at the album as a whole. So the album could have been maybe a bit more consistent and could have sounded as a whole.But one thing is certain; they have a vision and they depict it very well both visually and soundwise. Definitely recommended for the lovers of the darkness, death metal and especially for those who like their death metal the Swedish way.
Highlights: Nightbound, Subterranea, The World
Adam Zaars – guitars
Jonathan Hultén – guitars
Johannes Andersson – vocals, bass
Oscar Leander – drums