Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound (Metal Blade)

Monday, 25th January 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

With The Formulas of Death really laying the groundwork for the band to take off into a truly interesting setting, Tribulation have continued to grow and expand while not bothering to look back. 2018’s Down Below saw the band continue to work their magic in combining different musical elements into their extreme template, even if it wasn’t a huge jump like previous releases. The same could be said for Where the Gloom Becomes Sound as well, but the striking details upon repeated listens make it a real showstopper.

Those who have become familiar with Tribulation over the past few releases (Down Below, The Children of the Night) have a pretty solid idea of what to expect. That gloomy, gothic vibe combined with a bit of ‘70s rock and psychedelia merges with some NWOBHM, blackened rasps (the only real piece of extremity left in the act), and even some piano continues to be the heart of the band’s unique sound. So with that said, there’s no need for the band to completely reinvent themselves with each release and this time around, they spend a lot time instead perfecting this vibe to a razor’s sharp edge. Beginning with opener “In Remembrance,” we are treated to some of the finest tracks the group has penned to date. The opener immediately hooks you in with its mysterious and eerie beginning as it slowly expands itself into some dreary melodies that lead into a potent climax. Later track “Inanna,” has no trouble slowing things down significantly with some gorgeous melodies that wrap themselves around an almost doomy template, something that “Dirge of the Dying Soul” takes to even more dirge-driven territory. But it’s not all plodding around, with the energetic “Daughter of the Djinn” really hooking in the listener with some NWOBHM hooks and driving tempos. “Hour of the Wolf” also satisfies with its downtrodden yet catchy rhythms that are sure to stick quickly into the back of your brain.

Where the Gloom Becomes Sound exemplifies why Tribulation have become such a lauded act in recent years. Their gothic-drenched melodies have a sure-fire way to embed themselves into your skull in the most playful of ways. But the song structures are also built in such a way that the audience enjoys them more with each passing listen. They are quite close to perfecting their own formula at this point.

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