Not many albums have grabbed my attention this year as much as Tribulation’s new album ‘Children of the Night’ it’s a mix of black metal vocals, awesome twin guitars, some catchy hooks topped off with a little 70’s occult. Comparisons can be made to fellow Swedish band Ghost, but ultimately this is quite different.
Opener ‘Strange Gateways Beckon’ with its haunting piano intro leads you into this dark world of heavy guitars and growling vocals. The lyrics are quite catchy and you find yourself singing along to the chorus after a couple of listens. This takes us nicely onto ‘Melancholia’ the first single/video from the album, it has a fantastic guitar riff which builds up and builds up and just washes over you. This is something that is frequent throughout the album, which I feel is why I can’t stop listening to it.
Bassist/front man Johannes Andersson’s voice pierces through the layers of music on this album triumphantly, which is why I am also happy that he has kept his black metal style vocals. Many musicians change their vocal style after a few albums to mix it up a bit, thankfully he hasn’t. Next up is ‘In Dreams of the Dead’ with a guitar intro that entwines together beautifully so much so that it almost echoes through the air. Adam Zaar’s and Jonathan Hultén’s guitar partnership is amazing; they work off each other so well. The whole album has their signature partnership throughout. “Winds” has a mesmerizing drum roll from Jakob Liungberg which is a accompanied by a galloping guitar riff. ‘Själaflykt’ is an instrumental that is a beautiful mid album concept, the skilled musicianship of the band is shown here greatly. It keeps the albums tempo and adds depth to the album; it’s a little too long for my liking but is good.
We start the second half of the album with ‘The Motherhood of God’ which again offers great guitar and bass lines feeding off each other in unison. There is a crunching riff opener for ‘Strains of Horror’, with some complimentary keyboard and whispered vocals from Johannes Andersson’s that then goes back to his black metal vocals plus a few growls. The keyboard sound is simple but beautiful which leads into the guitars, the 70s influence is very prominent here along with ‘Holly Libation’ that has a guitar riff that could sit very well in a Ghost album it’s uncanny. This is a fantastic song that really gives the second half of the album punch. Like the rest it sucks you into the music and leaves you yearning for more. The echoing of Johannes’ voice as he sings ‘Alone’ really adds to the haunting feel of the song and with Adam and Jonathan’s guitar finishing it’s magical, in an occult kind a way. With yet another instrumental ‘Cauda Pavonis’, we are taken into a harrowing lullaby which could carry us off to our nightmares. As we reach the last song ‘Music from the Other’, we are greeted with a heavier faster tempo that breaks down into a doom style guitar riff that Johannes drags his vocals through. The song is thick with guitar and bass that leads us to the end ‘Death, Silence, Life, The sky’
There’s a line in the song ‘Winds’ that summed up the album for me “I wring my body to lose control, through the music’s violence I bare my soul” I found the whole album just captivating from start to finish, it is definitely going to be one of my top albums of the year.