Tribulation
Where the Gloom Becomes Sound

When it comes to Tribulation, you already know where you stand. I’m sure this will be in a certain print publication’s top albums of the year, whether or not it is deserving. For me, their peak was their debut album, The Horror. Yeah, I’m going to be that guy.

So, that brings us to their new album, Where the Gloom Becomes Sound. It’s been over 2 years since Down Below was released and despite it being in that previously mentioned top albums from that print publication, the choice may have had some merit. Its moody mix of gothic vibes and black metal rasps had some real staying power.

However, I must say that if you heard Down Below, you’ve basically heard Where the Gloom Becomes Sound. You already know they’re not really a black or death metal band anymore, but they more reside in the post-rock realm with black metal rasps.

That’s not to say they don’t do what they do very well. Take the opener, “In Remembrance” for example. It’s a good opener, although it’s nearly 7 minutes long and doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s mid-paced with some stellar guitar work and a repetitive refrain. However, it takes a little less than 3 minutes to get to that refrain.

The next track, “Hour of the Wolf” has a little more bounce in its step. It begins with a hummable, almost clean guitar melody and a nice “UGH.” Despite the fact that it is one of the released singles from the album, there’s not much of a hook of which to speak.

“Leviathans” is the third track on the album and has also had a video made for it. Much like a man who ate a whole lot of cheese, Centory Media is really pushing this release. Unfortunately, this track is not about how many copies they own of the Mastodon album Leviathan. It also doesn’t stand out.

Moving on and getting near the end of the record, track 9, which is called “Funeral Pyre,” begins with a far more distorted riff than much else you’ll encounter on this album. The lead work here also seems to be a bit more inspired than the rest of the tracks.

However, the closer, “The Wilderness,” has the best lead guitar work on the album with two extended solo breaks. It’s also the second-longest track. They bookended the album with the two longest tracks. That’s usually not a smart move, but also not uncommon.

The truth is that this album is fine. It’s nothing different than what these guys have done their last few times. It’s not going to change your mind about them, regardless of which side of the fence you stand. What’s holding this band back is the monotony of the vocals. Throughout the runtime, there’s no variance. With an album nearly 50 minutes, that’s an issue. I will conclude by saying I still find enjoyment in the album, but I doubt I will come back to it much this year. I’m still waiting for these guys to finally release that album of the year material.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
January 25th, 2021

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