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Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the Swedish metal band led by Johannes Andersson was produced by Martin Ehrencrona.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jan 26, 2018
    The title and lyrics suggest an inferno worthy of Dante, but music this simultaneously hooky and heavy could only have been concocted north of hell.
  2. Jan 26, 2018
    This is a band that absolutely revels in the possibilities suggested by its obsidian thrills, no matter the potential changes in the audience’s size and scope. Down Below is about death and hell, sure, but it’s proudly, defiantly not meant for an underground anymore.
  3. Jan 26, 2018
    Save somewhat of a flat end, Down Below is a great metal album that blends multiple genres into a perfectly idiosyncratic sound that should bring Tribulation much success and attention.
  4. Kerrang!
    Jan 26, 2018
    You won't realise you've been possessed til it's too late. [20 Jan 2018, p.52]
  5. Jan 30, 2018
    It remains to be seen whether Down Below will have significant replay value but everything sounds so meticulously crafted that each listen results in a different highlight. Everything that Tribulation seem to have lost in aggression, they have gained in haunting atmosphere and hooks.
  6. Feb 5, 2018
    Tribulation has found a fine balance, setting the primordial muck of their blackened roots up into a much soupier pool of influences and musical ideas.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 5, 2018
    Though mellowed and more melodic than ever, Down Below shows that the tools in Tribulation's unique kit are sharper (and bigger) than ever.Though mellowed and more melodic than ever, Down Below shows that the tools in Tribulation's unique kit are sharper (and bigger) than ever. The choruses and high points more anthemic, the riffs and soloing more effect-laden, twisty, and epic. One's mileage for Down Below will likely vary based on your desire for heaviness from this band as opposed to atmosphere. This is easily Tribulation's least heavy record (even compared to Children of the Night), but its approach to psychedelia is interesting in that it is very digestible and direct while strongly permeating each track. There are many, many cinematic moments on this record. The influence of the films of Dario Argento looms large in these compositions, not to mention their accompanying soundtracks. I defy you to listen to the mid-record instrumental ("Purgatorio") or the second half of "The Lament" without immediately thinking of Suspiria or its Goblin-penned score.

    I could go on forever about this record but the bottom line is that the songs are all extremely well-crafted, and other than retaining Johannes Andersson's blackened vocal grit, Tribulation seem to be charting a course based in more traditional (though epic) guitar-based hard rock. Overall, it seems like they have charted an instrumental course to become a Goth-y, more metallic version of The Cult or Guns 'n Roses. On paper, this sounds terrible, but one listen to the record should allay most concerns of over-calculation as the dual-guitar attack and stellar songwriting reflect more of a natural progression in their sound.