Tribulation – ‘Down Below’ (Century Media Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Nick Russell   
Thursday, 08 February 2018 04:00

Tribulation artworkSince I’ve been writing for Über Rock, some five years now, there are still times when I’m taken by surprise. You have an album to review by a band you’ve never heard of, you read the bio and social media pages and form an idea of what they’re about and an expectation of what they sound like. This new album by Tribulation is one such occasion. The Swedes have been together since 2005 and ‘Down Below’ is their fourth long player. From my research, I was expecting some full-on death metal, but what I heard was a little different…


The opening track ‘The Lament’ starts of with a gentle plucked acoustic leading into a mid-paced stomp of a riff, with the death like vocals over the top. Despite the claims to be heavier than anything they’d done before, I’m thinking their previous albums couldn’t have been heavy at all as this certainly isn’t like Cannibal Corpse heavy! And to these ears, there is definitely a heavier Sisters Of Mercy and The Mission vibe in there as well. This felling of nostalgic alt rock is further enforced with the next track, ‘Nightbound’, sounding like a heavier New Model Army! Maybe it’s just me!


‘Lady Death’ and ‘Subterranea’ are next, both with a heavy Ghost feel to them, especially ‘Lady Death’, they just have the Satanism turned down. The instrumental ‘Purgatorio’ is next before the gothic tinged ‘Cries From The Underworld’, the HIM-esque gothiness being another feature here. The same vibe is all over the faster and heavier ‘Lacrimosa’ whilst ‘The World’ has that rhythmic style that the aforementioned New Model Army do so well. The album closes in an altogether heavier, almost Type O Negative way with ‘Here Be Dragons’, one of the best tracks here.


Whilst there are elements of death metal here, specifically the vocals, musically it’s more of a gothic metal vibe across the album, with a (welcome) distinct ‘80s British alt rock style in the mix as well. Not quite what I was expecting but enjoyable none the less.


‘Down Below’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


Tribulation are currently supporting Arch Enemy on their latest European tour, which arrives in the Über Kingdom of Rock ‘n’ Roll tomorrow for the following shows:


Friday 9 February – Glasgow, O2 ABC

Saturday 10 February – Nottingham, Rock City

Sunday 11 February – London, Koko (SOLD OUT)

Tuesday 13 February – Manchester, O2 Ritz

Wednesday 14 February – Bristol, O2 Academy


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