TRIBULATION – Down Below
Swedish extreme metal band Tribulation have brought about renaissances of both the thrash, and to a lesser extent, death metal scenes, and in the process yielded some excellent releases in their own musical beliefs. Down Below is the fourth full-length album and is the continuation to 2015’s The Children Of The Night. Originally a death/ black Metal band, they’ve transitioned themselves to a more horrific, polished and emotional style of heavy metal and gothic metal with traces of black prior to past albums. Down Below strikes me as an anomaly, because for the first time the Swedes seemed to have staked their claim on a terrain and hung around for the longest time to create a astonishing piece of art.
Their songs subsequently turned into a melancholic style of Gothic-tinted heavy growl metal which seems a lot more laid back yet no less effective than the earlier incarnations. Guitars are simple, sad, and beautiful, owing to its atmospheric adornments as much as any internal nuance while the vocals and traditional senses of harmony and rhythm chords are a nice touch to take the album’s lyricism and presentation to a technological and Victorian cult horror imagery, and are unquestionably inspired by both the black & white cinema of those early Hammer and Universal flicks, or the Gothic literature throughout centuries ago.
Down Below is extremely catchy, with a lot of focus on leads and melodies that glaze its moderate rock beats like synth lines from classic horror films. Down Below has everything a album should have without ever resorting to parody or becoming tired of utilizing the past with a view to moving forwards.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler