Tribulation
The Horror


4.0
excellent

Review

by John Anderton USER (27 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2009 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blisteringly harsh death/thrash.

It’s a strange scenario to consider, this constant combining of genres. It doesn’t help that each person has their own beliefs as to what belongs in what genre and what belongs in other genres, and even worse yet that some people will create entirely new genres for bands (Brocore, Power Pop, Breath Metal). Considering the capacity of combining two things to spectacularly fail, one would expect bands to try to play it safe and stick to what they know best. This is why Deathened Thrash Metal or Thrashy Death Metal or whatever inane label can be thought of is an extremely volatile genre.

Considering Thrash metal, the genre has been stagnant since its inception, with bands constantly rewriting each other’s riffs to the point where upon a single listen of any thrash metal album, a listener has realized the entirety of what thrash has to offer considering riffs. Considering Death Metal, however, there’s a genre that is on a perpetual downward spiral into bludgeoning mediocrity. Sometimes there’s an instance of “the lesser of two evils”; death metal just has two evils: deathcore and technical death metal. Both genres, when done right (which is nigh impossible), sound fantastic. Deathcore, with its barrage of identical breakdowns, shrill ‘brees’, and consistently astoundingly bad vocals, often induces upon the listener a state of awe and consternation that something can sound so boring and be played by such talented musicians. Technical Death metal is what happens when people skip the songwriting part of music and go straight to the instrument playing. All shred, no substance. So with the temperamental capabilities of both thrash metal and death metal, it’s safe to presume that only the most ballsy of men and women would attempt combining the two.


Tribulation, of Sweden, are just such a group of ballsy people. On their latest release, the originally titled The Horror, they accomplish a daunting task. Combining punishing riffs with the groovy headbanging tendencies of thrash, they manage to exact with acute precision only the most wonderful aspects of both their genres. Leaning more towards the death metal side than thrash, both genres can still be heard throughout the entirety of the album. However, just mixing the two genres adeptly isn’t enough to make the music interesting; what these guys have going for themselves is precision. As a band, it’s very evident that everyone in the band is able to play off of each other; no parts of the sound clash with each other, and no member is over-exerting themselves while others take a lackadaisical approach. This can also come across as a flaw, unfortunately, because while everything they accomplish on their latest outing is technically flawless and proficient, it is also astoundingly uninventive. Perhaps a flaw of the sub-genre itself, and more profoundly of thrash itself, but nothing accomplished on The Horror is new; it’s just very well done. Points for breathing life into the genre, but what Tribulation have accomplished on their latest outing is akin to sending a deceased pet to a taxidermist; it only appears to be alive, yet it is still empty inside. Such is the debacle behind their new album; it accomplishes nothing more than adding a new coat of paint to a ruined house.

This is not to say that the album is not worth checking out. Fans of thrash metal will enjoy the groovy sections thrash is well known for, and fans of death metal will surely enjoy what an impressively crushing resonance that they achieve. Not to be taken lightly, Tribulation attain a sound that is uncompromisingly heavy; stalwarts of both genres have a hard time achieving the dense sound that this band achieves. With this denseness, however, comes a feeling of exactitude; the band never tries to sound heavier than they can be. Reaching a sort of audible climax, the band is as punishing as possible without sounding overbearing. This sound may come off as tiring, however, because there are very few breaks on the album; a short intro leads into the standout second track, and a short break in the middle of the album provides some eerie synthesizers to distract the listener. Nothing inventive, and perhaps too little too late; rather than a stop for the aural train that is The Horror, it comes off more like a distraction. Not to be forgotten are the throaty attempts at brutality by the vocalist. Though he is clearly an accomplished growler, he does nothing more than he has to; both a detriment and a helper to their sound, this allows the instrumentalists to show off a tad more, but the listener can’t help but quite wonder if they could achieve a more dynamic sound with an increased focus on vocals.

One, perhaps unintended, consequence of this style is that they sound incredibly evil. As cliché as it may sound, The Horror sounds vicious and infernal; a sound that many desperately grasp at but frequently fail to achieve. It is arguable whether or not Tribulation were attempting to bring about such a vile tone, but it is inarguable that such a sound exists. Then again, considering the album title, it is perhaps too much of a coincidence to argue that it was an accident. The vibe given off by the album is at times both unsettling and somewhat scary.

The Horror won’t change the minds of anyone who does already like Deathened Thrash or Thrashy Death or Deathrash or whatever. Anyone who already counts themselves as a fan can do absolutely no harm to themselves by giving this band a shot, however. Crushing riffs with groovy lines, Tribulation combine everything important to both genres and come away without hitting any of the excruciating aspects of either. Especially worth checking out for fans of the first two Deathchain albums and Withered.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Essence
April 3rd 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


fantastic when I try to edit some nitpicks it yells at me for having an invalid file type for the album art which is ALREADY IN PLACE

This Message Edited On 04.03.09

fireaboveicebelow
April 3rd 2009


6837 Comments


getting

Essence
April 3rd 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

by the way, thanks zoo for the album

gaslightanthem
April 3rd 2009


5209 Comments


good review not getting

Gyromania
April 3rd 2009


15712 Comments


Another good review, Joey. This sounds pretty good. pos'd

Essence
April 3rd 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

reviewing darkwave next. I AM BACK IN ACTION FOLKS

BallsToTheWall
April 3rd 2009


44378 Comments


Great review son. Darkwave is amazing, go for it brother. Oh, and btw, professor Fate rules.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Tyler
Emeritus
April 3rd 2009


7926 Comments


On their latest release, the originally titled Combining punishing riffs with the groovy headbanging tendencies of thrash, they manage to exact with acute precision only the most wonderful aspects of both their genres.

huh

Essence
April 3rd 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

woops. fixing.
stupid review editor.

that would be where I had a thought

then had another one and went back to add it, but forgot to make them go together

lol
*fixed*

This Message Edited On 04.03.09

jingledeath
April 3rd 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^yeah that bit confused me as well but otherwise excellent review man.

this album is a real good kick to the nuts

edit: cool you fixed itThis Message Edited On 04.03.09

Essence
April 3rd 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i should just post my reviews with intentional typos and wait for cocaine to quote all of them

jrowa001
April 3rd 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i didnt care much for this at first, but after a few more listens it grew on me and its a punishing album

OllieS
April 3rd 2009


2031 Comments


very good review.

Willie
Moderator
April 3rd 2009


15976 Comments


I really don't agree with your assessment of thrash, bit otherwise good review. ;)

Digging: Necropoli - I

DBlitz
April 3rd 2009


1690 Comments


album is goood

Zoo
April 3rd 2009


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album's bitchin as is the review.

rasputin
April 3rd 2009


14544 Comments


good review. album didn't strike me as all that fabulous when i first heard it, i might have to give it another listen

Essence
April 4th 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fantastic, I've been troll negged.

Wizard
April 4th 2009


19406 Comments


So I'm guessing a retarded old school thrasher neg'ed this well written review?

This sounds really good, considering I love Withered and Deathchain.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Essence
April 4th 2009


3585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh hell yeah man, you would love this.



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