"The Horror"

(Pulverised Records 2009)Tribulation - The Horror

Wow, there is a lot of retro style death metal floating around these days. Perhaps it's a reaction to the damnable recent spate of deathcore and, more recently, crabcore (did you hear that? That was me vomiting in my mouth as I typed that). In any case, something has sure poked the hornet's nest, and out has come an ever-growing swarm of metallers devoted to the original purveyors of guitar belch and vocal putrescence. One of the latest throwbacks is Sweden's Tribulation, who belies their heritage by chunking out neither Gothenburg melodic addiction nor Stockholm like-an-everflowing-left-hand-path brootality. The band's debut, "The Horror," stings so sharply because of a heavy infection of good old thrash.

A cheeseball organ is at best a questionable way to open an album, but once the actual music blasts the intro, Tribulation nail it ‘til the end. The biggest boon is the guitar work of Adam Zaars and Jonathan Hultén, who hit on the twin trick of infectious riffs and an equally sick guitar tone. Each song is a short, sweet rupturing pustule punctuated by cutting, dive-bomb heavy solos. The axmen sew together two distinct elements to make a devastating monster: thrash's straightforward speedy gallop, and the backwards, sideways, twisted anything-goes riffery that Trey Azagthoth has made a dark art. Vocalist Johannes Andersson turns in a throat polyp inducing performance reminiscent of "Heartwork"-era Jeff Walker, and drummer Jakob Johansson is solid with his double bass and blast beat work.

Look, I can wax poetic all I like, but what you need to know couldn't be simpler: Tribulation are a thrash-infused old school death metal band. "The Horror" sounds like early Morbid Angel mixed with Slayer. And it's awesome. If that doesn't punch your ticket for this train, well then you better just leave your spiked armband at the gate. By smashing together creamy death chocolate and a glob a thrash peanut butter, "The Horror" is one of the tastiest of the recent batch of DM revivalists.


buy it!