Tribulation – The Formulas of Death

Trib_FormulasAside from the purpose of driving home a lyrical concept or the use of buzzwords for genre classification, titles of albums rarely describe the actual music contained within an album. However, The Formulas of Death, because of its inherent ambiguity, does convey the broad scope of Tribulation’s latest album. More than a smorgasbord of ‘progressive’ DM elements, the songs of Formulas of Death piece together as movements. Its smatterings of jazz and Phrygian dominant scales amidst flavors of Black/Trad/Goth/Post-, and, of course, Death Metal, don’t trample upon one another, as is often the case with technical DM bands intent only on manually stimulating themselves via fretboard. A certain sorrowful thread leads directly to moments of triumph within each track, providing a sturdy scaffolding for Tribulation’s ‘formulas’ to play out. While this pack of Swedes are far from the first to marry disparate musical elements within a mostly-Death Metal framework and do so well, their ability to maintain cohesiveness between songs and have them work well as ingredients of a full album remains rare. An odd piano run here, a circular bass line there … this shouldn’t work, but it does. Even the lingering passages of wah- and flange-ridden, single-coil guitar moments manage to avoid annoying the listener, for you know around the corner awaits a voice not unlike a young David Vincent/KK Warslut, or a collection of medieval notes that would even inspire Jon Nödtveidt to smile. Coupled with Trey Azagthoth’s pre-techno skills and Katatonia’s mood swings, you’ve got an album that will have you scratching your head as often as you ‘bang it, but in this overcrowded world of extremity, we need releases that are difficult to grasp on first listen. Often records most easily understood are the most easily forgotten. The Formulas of Death, however, does not merely bludgeon like the multitude of other Death Metal albums; it explores many less obvious means of lethality. Thus, like a poison, The Formulas of Death seeps in slowly, becoming more deadly after each listen, and, in doing so, reminds us: there are millions of ways to die. No need to choose just one. -Jim

Invictus/Ajna Offensive

~ by cliftonium on April 24, 2013.

3 Responses to “Tribulation – The Formulas of Death”

  1. I found this album very very boring. I didn’t care much for the first release either. Boring as well.

  2. It can be tough to get through at first, especially with the long ‘mellow’ passages, but after repeated spins, for me, it began to stick; I just had to exercise a little patience and then it paid off tremendously. The album is indeed a grower (a point I was trying to make in the review), but again for me well worth the journey. -Jim

  3. hhhmmmm….well just cause you said that, i’ll have to go back and give ya the benefit of the doubt. you have done me well so far on other reviews.

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