Tribulation - The Horror
Pulverised Records
Death Metal
9 songs (32:45)
Release year: 2009
Official Website, Pulverised Records
Reviewed by Charles
Surprise of the month
Kind of odd band name, this. A “tribulation” may once have meant something pretty grim, but nowadays is generally used (round my way, at least) colloquially to mean something vaguely irritating. So, less “the horror” of endless unspeakable torment in hell, and more “the horror” of the local shop having run out of milk.

Speaking of tribulations, I confess to entertaining unfair national stereotypes when I first noticed this debut record, mentally putting together the equation of “Swedish + death metal = slightly generic Gothenburg sound”. With hindsight this was pretty stupid of me (err... Nihilist? Entombed?? Dismember?) and now I feel very sheepish listening to this excellent album.

Their sound takes the energetic, riff-driven death metal sound of Blessed... era Morbid Angel and melds it to the dense heaviness of pre-melodeath Swedish bands, such as the aforementioned Dismember or early Entombed. In fact, they strike a particularly nice balance between crushing power and ear-catching riffs, with the weight of their sound never overpowering its immediacy. Lead solos are certainly not a huge part of this, although they are impressive when they are employed, being held back most of the time so that their entry has maximum effect. They either punch you in the face with rapidfire lines, or else add depth to the albums rare moments where the music slows down to breathe.

There’s not that much variety throughout, but the album is fairly short and the unrelenting and up-tempo death metal on offer certainly does not outstay its welcome. Excepting a few slower, thudding opening sections, the only real oddity here is the latter part of Seduced by the Smell of Rotten Flesh, where descending piano runs seem to be trying to invoke a Fabio Frizzi soundtrack to a Lucio Fulci film- The Beyond in particular. A word of advice for bands wanting to get a glowing review from myself: make reference to Lucio and you will probably win both my attention and affection. This even works for Necrophagist.

Even without bringing Italian zombie cinema into it, this is a really good death metal album; old-school, uncompromising, and damned enjoyable to listen to. It is fast, pretty brutal, and completely devoid of pretension. If the opening few moments of Crypt of Thanatophilia don’t bring home what this music should be about, then nothing will. Definitely recommended.

Killing Songs :
Crypt of Thanatophilia, Seduced by the Smell of Rotting Flesh
Charles quoted 85 / 100
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Tribulation that we have reviewed:
Tribulation - Down Below reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
Tribulation - Children of the Night reviewed by Charles and quoted 85 / 100
Tribulation - Formulas of Death reviewed by Charles and quoted 94 / 100
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