Tribulation - Down Below review



Reviewer:
8.5

235 users:
8.09
Band: Tribulation
Album: Down Below
Release date: January 2018


01. The Lament
02. Nightbound
03. Lady Death
04. Subterranea
05. Purgatorio
06. Cries From The Underworld
07. Lacrimosa
08. The World
09. Here Be Dragons
10. Come, Become, To Be [Bonus]
11. One Hundred Years [The Cure cover] [Japanese bonus]
12. Pay The Man [The Offspring cover] [Japanese bonus]


For many, the Swedish four piece that is Tribulation reached the peak of their ambition in songwriting with 2013's The Formulas Of Death, a challenging, polymorphic mix of death metal, black metal, and dark, ethereal atmospheres. Children Of The Night followed in 2015, a curveball that saw the band really cranking up the gothic influences. While good, it felt a little unrefined, as if it was sort of the missing link between The Formulas and an excellent new album in the future. This year, Down Below is indeed that "excellent new album."

With the big ball of enjoyable that is Down Below, we essentially have the "grown up version" of Children Of The Night. Like its predecessor, Down Below is overall more inclined towards the gothic influences and sort of turns down the volume on the extreme metal of earlier. Not "gothic" as in weepy girls in all black, lace, and spandex at some cyber club smearing their makeup over My Chemical Romance. More "epic" gothic laced with some underlying horror influences: replete with dark melodies, occasional synth use, and an overall aura that feels slightly symphonic without descending into the cliched cheese typical of most symphonic metal bands. "The Lament" is as great an opener as any to get this party between Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley started.

What's this? "Party," you say, Apothecary? Why yes indeed. While not a word one would often associate much with extreme metal, many moments on Down Below do indeed feel almost danceable and party-like. This is owed not only to the boosted gothic influence, but also to how Tribulation have shifted the way in which their extreme metal influences are channeled into it. These ingredients are still there in the vocals and in occasional riff patterns more characteristic of death and black metal. The trick is that now they're more an extra spice upon the meat as opposed to the meat itself, added more for the sake of groove and making the music more "bouncy" and upbeat than for the sake of extremity and frantic barrages. And it's certainly working to still keep the music highly catchy and memorable, albeit in a different way. I would be genuinely surprised if some of the various riffs and melodies on this album don't end up getting stuck in listeners' heads for days on end. "Subterranea" is a definite favorite of mine in this regard.

Major stylistic leaps are something not many bands within the metal genre can really handle effectively. Often they result in gimmicky, half assed efforts, or efforts that are genuine and more for the sake of experimenting than anything, but that nonetheless fail to stick hard enough on fans to win them over. Tribulation, however, have managed to push boundaries, evolve their sounds, and still maintain a hearty dose of support in the process. Want a strong modern example of a band that significantly revised the formula, cooked something new in the lab, and still kept most of its fans throughout? Look no farther than Tribulation and Down Below.

It's time to go down like it's 1816 at the Villa Diodati.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 28.02.2018 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 169 users
28.02.2018 - 18:26
nikarg
Old Nick
Upbeat goth. Fuckin' love it. And the review as well
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28.02.2018 - 18:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by nikarg on 28.02.2018 at 18:26

Upbeat goth. Fuckin' love it.

It's fun as all hell, isn't it? Really makes me wish they were coming to Roadburn this year... Rod and I saw em there back in 2014 right after The Formulas Of Death had exploded in the underground. Phenomenal set, don't get me wrong, but now I really want to see how this new stuff they've been up to lately goes down live as well.
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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28.02.2018 - 21:16
musicalkaratekid
I really enjoyed this album, it proves that Tribulation are really stepping things up and putting 100% effort into this new direction. Saw them live supporting Arch Enemy a few weeks ago and, whilst they weren't necessarily the best band there (Wintersun kinda performed better in my opinion, despite me not being much of a fan in the first place), I did enjoy how the newer material translated live.
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28.02.2018 - 21:18
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 28.02.2018 at 18:44

It's fun as all hell, isn't it? Really makes me wish they were coming to Roadburn this year... Rod and I saw em there back in 2014 right after The Formulas Of Death had exploded in the underground. Phenomenal set, don't get me wrong, but now I really want to see how this new stuff they've been up to lately goes down live as well.

Haven't seen them live yet. The Formulas Of Death remains my favourite from them, but this is so catchy!
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28.02.2018 - 22:12
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by musicalkaratekid on 28.02.2018 at 21:16

I really enjoyed this album, it proves that Tribulation are really stepping things up and putting 100% effort into this new direction. Saw them live supporting Arch Enemy a few weeks ago and, whilst they weren't necessarily the best band there (Wintersun kinda performed better in my opinion, despite me not being much of a fan in the first place), I did enjoy how the newer material translated live.

Good to hear that it's doing well onstage! I hope to catch em again for Round 2 soon myself
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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28.02.2018 - 22:18
s_t_s
I'm going to attend an Insomnium gig in April and since Tribulation is handling the first part it's high time I get into this band, who knows ? I could even like them !
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01.03.2018 - 18:23
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Great review! Album feels like a totally natural progression from the style they developed on Formulas of Death in my opinion, and I totally love it
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02.03.2018 - 23:51
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Very solid album. Haven been enjoying it a lot.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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08.03.2018 - 20:57
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by nikarg on 28.02.2018 at 21:18

Written by Apothecary on 28.02.2018 at 18:44

It's fun as all hell, isn't it? Really makes me wish they were coming to Roadburn this year... Rod and I saw em there back in 2014 right after The Formulas Of Death had exploded in the underground. Phenomenal set, don't get me wrong, but now I really want to see how this new stuff they've been up to lately goes down live as well.

Haven't seen them live yet. The Formulas Of Death remains my favourite from them, but this is so catchy!


all band albums and music is ''I don't like it what is this, but when listen, then wtf I want more, so far non albums and songs was same. interesting band.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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