Tribulation
The Formulas of Death


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (71 Reviews)
March 6th, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 03/01/2013 | Tracklist


Swedish death metalers Tribulation have been relatively under the radar since their 2009 debut release The Horror. Their unique hybrid of thrash, death, and black metal set them apart from their competitors, and now they’re back on The Formulas of Death with a dose of prog metal added to the mix. Not guitar noodling prog either – Tribulation try a more melodic approach to death metal, focusing more on interesting chord changes to formulate songs as opposed to a constant barrage of brutal riffage. Opener ‘Vagina Dentata’ immediately sets this apart from The Horror with its added emphasis on atmosphere. The album doesn’t really get started until the second track, where Tribulation really show their maturation in sound. Thrash metal isn’t nearly as present on The Formulas of Death; in fact, the production is about the thrashiest part of the album, and although musically some moments of thrash shine through, for the most part its presence is overshadowed by the largely increased progressive influence. Black metal overtones are also more apparent here than on The Horror. Tremolo picked riffs and hauntingly dark progressions are plentiful, and this heavy emphasis on atmosphere really brings out the bleak passages in songs such as ‘Wanderer in the Outer Darkness’ and ‘Through the Velvet Black.’

The true weakness of The Formulas of Death is its length. At 72 minutes, it’s not exactly the ideal length of a death metal record and although each track is solid in its own right, most could’ve had a couple minutes shaved off with no real damage done. ליל" (Hebrew for “night”) is one of the few exceptions. It’s a piano and clean guitar driven interlude with gorgeous backing synths, strings, and glockenspiel, and is one of the few songs that doesn’t overstay its runtime; on the contrary, it leaves you wanting more. On the opposite side of the spectrum is 13 minute closer ‘Apparitions,’ which admittedly has some brilliant moments and could’ve been the best track here had they trimmed the fat. The formula Tribulation used on The Formulas of Death is a successful one. By combining grim melodies, hopeless atmospheres, and equal parts death, black, and prog influences, they were able to create an excellent sophomore release and superb followup to The Horror. They truly push genre boundaries to the limit and also improve on the ever-present potential from their debut. To call this a milestone metal release would be misleading, but when it comes to genre-fusing and overall consistency in quality, not many can compare.

Recommended Tracks:
Wanderer in the Outer Darkness
Spectres
Through the Velvet Black
Rånda
When the Sky Is Black with Devils



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user ratings (35)
Chart.
3.7
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other reviews of this album
Matt P. STAFF (3)
You're going to meet death now... the LIVING DEAD!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cant find a stream for this but its been out officially since the 1st.

Edit: damn that hebrew song title

Digging: Soen - Tellurian

FrozenVain
March 6th 2013


2472 Comments


The Horror is a pretty damn good album. Long time since I heard anything from this band so it's great news to hear that they have finally released something new.
"At 72 minutes, it’s not exactly the ideal length of a death metal record."
Yeh, that sounds far too long. I will check this out though, pos'd.

CaptainDooRight
March 6th 2013


30252 Comments


I felt The Horror was really weak but maybe I'll check this out. Sweet review though. You did a great job here.

'and now they’re back on The Formulas of Death with a dose of prog metal added to the mix.'

Interesting, very interesting based on what I've heard before. I enjoyed your descriptions in contrast with their previous efforts. 72 minutes is quite lengthy for this style of music so it sound like it may be hard to sit through this album in one sitting. Nonetheless, as I mentioned before, I may check out a few tracks to reevaluate my previous suspicions. Pos'd

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2013


18886 Comments


yeah the horror was shit, i dont understand why everyone likes this bands cocks in their mouths, they kind of suck

Digging: Bee Mask - When We Were Eating Unripe Pears

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers guys.

And this is very different from The Horror so even if you didnt like that one theres a chance youd enjoy this.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2013


18886 Comments


yeah ive heard multiple tracks from this and its just as devoid of good riffs as the horror was

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh well

bloc
March 6th 2013


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, I thought this would be awesome but it was really boring.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I found it boring at first because of the length, but after giving it a few good listens things started sticking out more and then i started loving it

bloc
March 6th 2013


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It wasn't the length. Hell, I didn't even realize that would even be an issue for some listeners.

Songs were just kinda generic, is all.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont find much generic about this at all. different strokes i guess.

mindleviticus
March 7th 2013


8327 Comments


Good review, man. I'll check this out.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hope you enjoy it man. Apparently it either clicks with you or it doesn't

VaibhavJain
March 8th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah well, death metal is not always all about the riffs as showcased by MA on BATS.. Tribulation here wants to create an atmosphere and the music is more about the subtle progressions in the riffs and songs as a whole and songwriting. They did not want to aim only on the riffs as they did on the debut and I think that on this album they got what they achieved.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

More people gotta hear this

ShadowRemains
April 29th 2013


21365 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this album is not very good

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2013


21664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

heard a song from this and it wasnt nearly as good as i remember

Wizard
May 13th 2013


19616 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Album actually kind of bored me to death. The Horror sucked too, don't know why people praise these guys.

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

gosk8n
June 25th 2013


1058 Comments


Love what im hearing so far i like how they took the mega man blizzard buffalo stage level melody and put it into their intro song :D that couldnt have happened by accident



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