posted on 3/2009 By:
So let’s take a look at the Heavy Metal Stylistic Indicators for Tribulation: Swedish metallers, with a band name ending in “-ation” and an album cover featuring a scrawly ghoul lunging for the viewer’s throat. Gotta be some gunky, mucky, tombstone-smashing Scandinavian death metal, right? Well, sort of. The Horror, the band’s only full-length since their formation in 2001, and it’s not quite as chunky and simplistic as you’d expect. With a satisfyingly buzzy, Dismember-ish heft, The Horror is a fun and surprisingly nimble death metal romp with slight blackened/thrashy overtones.
This disc reminds me of a much filthier version of Bloodbath’s latest effort—it’s a combination of Stockholm’s primal heaviness and American speed and technicality. Guitarists D.D. Sars and Evil Kid Joe claim early-period Morbid Angel as their chief influence, and Trey Azagthoth’s stylings come through clearly in the band’s winding structures and torrential blastbeats. Tribulation still occasionally deliver huge, chunky grooves, as seen in opener “Crypt of Thanatophilia,” but the overall feel of these tracks is far more ravenous and uptempo than most Swedish DM. In fact, The Horror occasionally takes on a nasty, blackened melodic sheen not dissimilar to late-period Necrophobic. The band’s musicianship is solid all around, and bassist Johannes Andersson’s mid-ranged growl is particularly appropriate to their redlined sound. A solid, appropriately crusty production rounds out this riff fest. The Horror hardly breaks new ground, and frankly doesn’t have a whole lot of depth. Nonetheless, it’s supremely enjoyable way to satisfy a death metal craving.
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