Reviewed: February 2021
Released: 2021, Century Media
Reviewer: Rebecca Bush
Tribulation’s fifth full length studio album ‘Where the Gloom Becomes Sound’ casts its dark spell, weaving tales full of foreboding and mystery. Stories of the dark and macabre, full of ghosts and phantoms drawing you in and taking you to the depths of all things sombre.
The album as a whole is decadent and creative, they have plunged themselves into the depths of their potential and risen to new heights.
“We immersed ourselves in the world of myth and magic,” says guitarist Adam Zaars. “With a specific focus on elemental magic, and the elements, in general, from both the Western and Indian esoteric traditions, not the Buddhist four elements but the five elements. Myth and magic are obviously not something new in the world of Tribulation, but it got a bit more specific on this album. We just present it from a slightly different perspective.”
It’s clear there is a whole new level of passion here, it’s tangible when you listen to the album, there’s a real surge of power and it’s incredible to listen to. Every aspect of the music is perfectly placed and brilliantly executed to create a rich and elaborate world. A large contributor to this world was guitarist Jonathan Hulten who composed a majority of the album. Inspiration was well and truly flowing during this time as Hulten also worked on his delicious and ethereal solo release ‘Chants from Another Place’ and it is clear that it spilled into his creative process for this album, weaving mystery and magic drawing from a vast range of influences such as singer / songwriter Roky Erickson, vintage Morbid Angel and Swedish folk music – all culminating in this wonderful intoxicating ride of a record. It is certainly a wonderful parting gift as Hulten has since left the band to further pursue his blossoming solo career, and new to the fold is guitarist Joseph Tholl (pictured).
Pair the enchanting writing with the guttural depth of Johannes Andersson’s vocals and you have quite the concoction! There is definitely a new fire in that voice which serves the material well, from the early lull of opener ‘In Rememberance’ with its dark broodiness, to ‘Hour of The Wolf’ which gives a touch of a HIM vibe and then the incredibly moving interlude of ‘Lethe’ and on to ‘Daughter of the Dijnn’ – a fantastical dance of a song that twists along a dark melodic path of intricate and fantastic guitar work. There is such a detailed soundscape here full of wonder and gothic beauty, the tracks alone stand strong individually but there is SO much more to be gained from the record in its entirety.
Every detail is carefully and thoughtfully placed throughout to heighten and enhance the already stunning writing such as the haunting sound of the theremin in ‘Funeral Pyre’, which Adam Zarrs says was in fact created on guitar, just further evidence of their creative prowess.
Tribulation have definitely reached new dimensions with this album, it has such depth and beauty and a true intelligence. There is more to gain from it the more you listen and the further you immerse yourself.
‘Where the Gloom Becomes Sound’ is a wonderful landscape of melody and lyricism combining the most fundamental elements of music and storytelling to create pure magic – breath-taking!!!