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Tribulation - The Children of the Night CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.87 | 11 ratings

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4 stars "The Children of the Night" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish progressive extreme metal act Tribulation. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2015. Since forming in 2001 under the Hazard monicker (they changed their name to Tribulation in 2004), Tribulation has gone through quite the musical development, starting out as an aggressive death/thrash metal act on the "Putrid Rebirth (2006)" EP, changing their sound to a more old school death metal oriented one on their debut full-length studio album "The Horror (2009)", and then morphing into a rather adventurous progressive and psychadelic tinged death metal act on their sophomore studio album "The Formulas of Death (2013)". So naturally itīs not easy to predict the musical direction on "The Children of the Night"...

...but what we have here is yet another change in musical style. The band still uses death metal elements (most obvious in the use of growling vocals), but Iīd probably call this progressive extreme metal over death metal. The use of melody is also very prominent. The many melodic and very well played guitar solos deserve a mention, but there is also use of piano/organ/vintage keyboards, vibraphone, and xylophone in the music, which provides it with a nice organic touch. Iīm sometimes reminded of "Wildhoney (1994)"-era Tiamat, although Tribulation is generally much harder rocking than their fellow countrymen, but an act like Hail Spirit Noir could also be used as a reference (I actually hear a bit Amorphis too).

I feel like Tribulation is closer to finding a unique sound on this album than on any of their previous releases (although "The Formulas of Death (2013)" is also a pretty original sounding release), or at least to finding a sound which they feel comfortable playing. It shows in the conviction of the delivery and the quality of the compositions. In many ways "The Children of the Night" is a less complex album than itīs predecessor, but somehow it still feels more progressive. The fact that the instrumental part of the music doesnīt feature many death metal elements anymore, also makes "The Children of the Night" a very different sounding album to itīs predecessor.

One of the things I had a slight issue with on "The Formulas of Death (2013)", was the fact that the growling vocals werenīt placed high enough in the mix, which occasionally provided them with a monotone sound. They simply didnīt stand out as anything special, but that has been changed on "The Children of the Night", which features fully intelligible growling vocals placed high in the mix. To my ears it makes a world of difference and the impact of listening to the vocals is huge compared with what the vocals gave to the music on the predecessor. The music is generally more catchy too, although the album still requires some spins before all tracks settle.

"The Children of the Night" features a well sounding production. Itīs raw and organic, but also highly detailed, which makes it easy to hear all instruments and vocals in the mix. So "The Children of the Night" is through and through a high quality release and itīs yet another testimony to how innovative and adventure seeking Tribulation is. With their stylistic history I wonīt be surprised if their next album sounds vastly different from this one, but until then "The Children of the Night" is highly recommedable to fans of progressive extreme metal with great melodic flair, yet still featuring a credible amount of darkness for those who crave that. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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