Swedish goth metallers Tribulation return for their fifth proper album. It’s the third in which they embrace this side of their coin as their death metal days are a thing of the past. Where The Gloom Becomes Sound also marks the final contributions made to the band by founding member and lead guitarist Jonathan Hulten, whose abrupt exit happened shortly before the release of this album. What does the final album from this lineup sound like? Will it be on par with The Children of the Night and Down Below?
Opening with “In Remembrance,” the band slowly makes their way into your ear cavity with chants of “Requiems” before the pace picks up on “Hour of the Wolf.” This is exactly what you want from a Tribulation song; catchy riffs, dark atmosphere, and Olof’s great throaty vocal-style. “Leviathans” is another solid rocker which builds a solid core at the beginning of this album, surely with plenty of replay value itself among some other great tracks.
“Elementals” continues down the trend of more atmosphere. Riffs adorn passages like candles lining a dark hallway, embracing the pale light unknown at its end. Gloom is bookended by two nearly seven minute tracks, and the closer “The Wilderness” might be one of the best songs penned by the band yet. It builds throughout the first verse before it hits a magnificent riff, one that is brought back frequently throughout the course of the track itself, one that varies from a gallop to one that is played a bit slower in between each time it is re-introduced to the listener. It’s a sublime close to this album.
Tribulation have returned to bring another album of theirs that will surely satiate the gothic lust sought out by their fans. Where does the band go from here without one of their most integral pieces? Only time will tell, but Where The Gloom Becomes Sound is already, without a doubt one of the best metal albums you will hear in 2021.
(released January 29, 2021 on Metal Blade Records)
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Watch Tribulation – “Funeral Pyre” Video