TRIBULATION - The Children of the Night (CENTURY MEDIA - LP 2015)
Oh, Tribulation. One of those bands, which are considered as "hipster" and "fashionable". Band, which is despised by "the real die hard metal maniacs", whether for the band's attitude, the way they look or anything else, sometimes even for no special reason. I don't care. Tribulation can do whatever they like, it's not my business and besides, I'm too old to care for such things. The music is what counts the most and in case of Tribulation the music is simply fantastic. Sure, they have walked far away from their killer "Putrid Death" EP, even from "The Horror" LP. But I have to admit that I like how their music progressed and what they have to offer nowadays. Sure, "The Horror" was very good, but it was the second LP "Formulas of Death" that became my favourite and is a bloody fascinating and mesmerizing piece of jewel. For me this album is a timeless classic, one of those records, which you will speak of even when it will be two decades old. And then the breakthrough full length came out - "The Children of the Night", released by Century Media. And yet again Tribulation surprised me a lot. It's impressive from start to the very end, with songs that I personally just cannot resist to. There's something about the way these Swedes built the tension and atmosphere in their music and the riffs they create that it's all so incredible and leave me speechless... Stunning result. So, hipster or not, I don't care. The music is just damn awesome.
The whole secret of Tribulation success lies with their ability of merging different styles and soaking them in gothic horror aura. You have to realize that this is not death metal anymore. I think that "The Children of the Night" has nothing in common with this style of music anymore. Or if it does, then it's very, very little. You'll find here more of black metal darkness (quite strongly reminding me Dissection's "" with great harsh vocals similar to Eric), mixed with classic doom and even gothic and rock music. And more so, some of these riffs sound like Iron Maiden, so you can be sure that this isn't an album for average death metal fan anymore. Melancholy and eeriness embrace the whole music tight, with dark, but somehow beautiful and almost cinematic atmosphere that connects the band with the whole gothic horror visual side.
Unlike the previous album, which was dark, but yet very harsh and aggressive sounding, with some blasting and ferocious parts, "The Children of the Night" is much calmer and doomy. Everything seems to be more melodic and toned, and the whole record is filled with memorable, catchy fragments. It has almost pop music easiness when speaking of how I personally receive this record. But don't let it mislead you and make you think that Tribulation turned into some lousy gothic metal band similar to all those crappy bands that were popular in the end of the 90's. This is nothing like that and when it's doomy or gothic, then it means a real doom and besides, it's more about the atmosphere that this music evokes. This album can sound a bit mainstream, but it's still unbelievably good and exciting. Tribulation is always top notch, I love their riffs, harmonies, ability to build the tension in the music, which often gives me goose skin, so thrilling it is. Every song on the album, maybe except the closing track "Music from the Other", is killer, every song has something what will not let you forget it. The guitar work, the drumming, the warm and organic production are all excellent. And the vocals are just phenomenal.
And then there's the whole artwork and design for "The Children of the Night"… The front photograph is fantastic, based on "Les Vampires", old gothic horror / crime series from 1915. Band pictures, lettering, black colours... the presentation is perfect and suitable for the atmosphere of the music. So, even though I prefer "Formulas of Death", I have to admit that "The Children of the Night" grasped me fully and there are days, when I don't listen to anything else, but Tribulation with these two supreme records. Essential stuff and yes, these are future classic metal albums.
Standout tracks: "Strange Gateways Beckon", "Melancholia", "", "Winds", "Holy Libations"
Final rate: 90/100