Tribulation is a Swedish Heavy Metal (or we can insert a more specific genre here) band from Arvika, Sweden, that formed in 2005. In early 2009, the band released its debut studio album The Horror.
Their second full-length studio album The Formulas of Death was released in 2013. In 2015, they released their third full-length studio album Children of the Night which showed a departure from the death metal sound in their first two albums, drawing significantly on traditional heavy metal, black metal, psychedelic rock, gothic rock, as well as the occult and supernatural mythology.
From 2009 Tribulation were no longer merely the product of their influences but rather something more, a step beyond wanton barbarity and the unharmessed fire of youth. The new album Down Below is yet another step into the unknown, where shadowy creatures glare with eyes ablaze and howl with white fangs bared. The years between and miles traveled could’ve forced the Swedes off their fiendish path, but they stayed true. From its obsidian core to its fluttering expanses, Down Below is a triumph of darkness and death. Or, very much Tribulation.
Guitarist Zaars comments: “It’s all a matter of balancing on the edge and not falling. I think that’s often what we do, actually. We push it all quite hard in many different directions and try not to fall over, be it cheesiness, pretentiousness or whatever. As an example, we have been writing about the vampire theme for a while now, a theme that is very, very cheesy if you do it in the wrong way (which to me is pretty much every way). Vampires and folk influences, it sounds like a pretty horrible mix, but it’s all very dear to us and so we treat it with respect.
We try the same approach in the music. We take it all very seriously, and hopefully that works.”
Certainly, Tribulation have come away with an album full of gems. From the death-rock shake of ‘The Lament’ and the windy Carpathian haunts of ‘Subterranea’ to the gloomy post-punk of ‘Nightbound’ and the infectious refrains of ‘Here Be Dragons,’Down Below is unbelievably great. But it doesn’t stop there. Inside the songs, Tribulation parlay awe and shock into something more impressive.