Tribulation‘s The Children Of A Night is not a tribute to the Survivor song of the same name, but rather a sort of pure manifestation of the famous quote from Dracula. What sweet music they make, indeed! Gone are much of the death metal trappings of earlier records, with a gloriously bold leap (and perhaps a flappng of wings) into a blackened abyss of atmospheric and dark rock with harsh vocals. Imagine a much more shadowy Ghost drenched in blood and wine but with snarled vocals akin to black metal in approach. Some fans have criticized the direction, but I think it’s by far one of the most interesting records I’ve heard this year.
Like the Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson House Atreides prequel to Frank Herbert’s Dune novel, perhaps it is a bit more streamlined than earlier works but it is still quite powerful. Actually, in the case of Tribulation I feel like they’ve really surpassed their other stuff here. Old school thrash heads may shit on Sepultura’s masterful Roots, but it’s by far the most original record of the Brazilian metal band’s (with perhaps A-Lex being a close second). My point is that Roots is thus the one that is most talked about and debated. Originality counts more for most people and Tribulation have found a real sweet spot here of mixed styles. Plus in the “Strange Gateways Beckon” video the singer makes evil faces that remind me of Sebastian Bach meets Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, so that’s cool.
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The Horror is really awesome but no one is really crafting the formula the band have struck on here. The riffs are potions you’ll want to down and be swirled away by, melodic but dark and fresh. Even Beastmilk or death rock fans can maybe get caught up in the ritual and it has the edge of focused imagery and tone that makes the far more black Watain so great. “Melancholia” is a maze of winding riffs, while “Holy Libations” also surprises with a cool temperature loose and near jazzy intro that succumbs to a darkly spreading pool of blood. The classic heavy metal feel becomes present in the verses before tumbling drums and tasteful restraint is growled away as a spiral staircase shaped lead riff takes us aloft again.
This is a record perfect for deep immersion, many good moments and lyrics that will stick in your skull like words to a spell. “In The Dreams Of The Dead” is another tune that must be mentioned, a song with dynamics and a dark ecstasy buried in its’ singed heart. Drink deep of this brew. This would be near perfect except they could have trimmed a little fat, but all in all it is pretty killer.
RIYL: Ghost, House Of Capricorn, Watain, Moonspell