The Swedish death metallers began their career in 2004 and have grown a huge following by refusing to stay in the confines of the traditional musical and genre limits. 2021 sees the metallers emerge from the January gloom with Tribulation’s new record ‘Where the Gloom Becomes Sound’. It all seems rather fitting for the current times.
The haunting atmosphere of ‘In Remembrance’ sets the scene for the album. The haunting intro displays the calm before the storm. The sudden manifestation of the distorted guitars and heavier instrumentation disturbs the peace fantastically. The guitar tones used are heavily distorted and it’s this edge, which is created through the distortion, that enhances the dark mood of the music. The demonic vocals aptly suit the music by emphasising the heavy feel. ‘Hour of the Wolf’ shakes things up a bit with its melodic opening; intricate, contrapuntal guitar leads and a non-standard time signature brings a different energy to the track. It has a more up-beat sense of movement, whilst still retaining the dark mood. The lead melody has a catchy hook that sticks with you. ‘Dirge of a Dying Soul’ opens with more creative guitar lead melodies, this time accompanied with a slow paced, and dramatic, percussion rhythm. This track uses space well. What I mean by this, is that it allows natural pauses and quieter sections to have their place. This then highlights the power of the heavier instrumentation when it kicks in.
‘Elementals’ brings in a haunting soundscape which has a wonderful ethereal quality. It’s also combined with energetic rhythms, dynamic vocals and plenty of intricate guitar leads. It all comes together rather well to produce an interesting track. There are a number of layers to this piece that flow from one to the other – in this respect it has quite a progressive feel. The recurring guitar motif has a catchy aspect to it too, another element thrown into the mix. There is something I find very appealing about this track. ‘Funeral Pyre’ descends further into the darkness, so to speak. As the penultimate track on the album, it doesn’t slow down or lose luster. It flows well into the concluding track, ‘The Wilderness’. The track keeps a good pace of energy whilst incorporating the darker aspects of their sound.
‘Where the Gloom Becomes Sound’ is a dynamic album from the first track through to the last. Tribulation maintain an imposing dark soundscape, whilst each song has its own individuality. The mood is fantastic throughout and the title couldn’t be more apt.