The Horror

Written by: EW on 12/02/2009 23:42:08

The second half of this decade has brought about renaissances of both the thrash, and to a lesser extent, death metal scenes, and in the process yielded some excellent releases in both. Of course there are always the albums which frankly suffer the life of a coaster post-review but you've gotta have the crap ones to enjoy the good ones right?

Well Tribulation, a four-piece from trusty old Sweden have by god not only released a 'good' one, they've only gone and blown the bloody doors off with a death metal album that is dare I say, nigh on perfect. Arguably more successfully than any other DM band that wallow in the glory of the old masters, Tribulation have on their debut "The Horror" managed a rendition of brutal old-school Swedish and American death metal with an identity of their own, a startling production job squaring DM crust against visceral power and adequate referencing of their old Gods to keep the purists happy. With Enforcer guitarist Adam Zaars in the ranks, "The Horror" is a mastery at all things old Kreator, Possessed and Morbid Angel, with more than a nod to Entombed and Incantation too. It's far from ancient-worship though; "The Horror" bares elements of the likes of Angel Corpse, Dead Congregation and Kaamos in an album with all the key elements of attention-grabbing, catchy riffs, melodically inclined lead riffs and stinking brutality.

If "Beyond The Horror" was a cut from a 1988 album it would be hailed as a classic by now, both sickeningly attention-grabbing and catchy like all the best DM used to be. "Seduced By The Smell Of Rotten Flesh" and "Graveyard Ghouls" are Incantation-heavy, schooled by Slayer yet frozen melodically in the name of Dissection in their lead riffs which angle out without warning before re-aligning to join the onslaught of brutality that is the spine of the song. Wonderfully produced with just the right level of crust and clarity to (hopefully) appeal to all generations, "The Horror" is near perfect at home and I can only imagine a hoot in the live setting. Carefully maneuvering itself around the dual landmines of plagiarism and recognition, the tomes inside this release show a band well-versed in extreme metal's classic bands though only the most miserable of bastards could say "The Horror" is too reminiscent of any one band that it should be written off as a mere clone.

I'm always wary of praising brand new albums to the sky as they are untested against the passages of time that is the undoing of many before them but I genuinely can't find a fault in "The Horror" and suggest, nay implore, anyone with a passion for any band I've referenced in this review to buy "The Horror". In my mental arguments of why this shouldn't get the maximum I couldn't deduce a single quantifiable reason. Of course others may disagree but I believe this has everything a great Death Metal album should without ever resorting to parody or becoming tired after 32 minutes of utilising the past with a view to moving forwards. What a record.


Download: Seduced By The Smell Of Rotten Flesh, Beyond The Horror
For The Fans Of: Possessed, Angel Corpse, Kaamos
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 23.02.09
Pulverised Records

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