Tribulation’s evolution leading into The Children of the Night is an important one to take note of. There are far too many bands out there who will never find a niche due to their inaction or inability to innovate. These groups will fail to extend their presence beyond their short-term shelf life in the musical realm. Album by album, Tribulation have steadily been heading towards where they belong. A band that started out as extreme melodic death metal has transitioned to a sound I would describe as gothic classic rock (the kids call it death ‘n’ roll), a genre whose ring and look are as cool as the description sounds. With The Children of the Night, Tribulation have gifted us something special, and above all staked a claim on their own deserved spot in the metal world.
It doesn’t take more than a couple minutes of listening to The Children of the Night before understanding it will outlive ninety percent of metal albums that will inevitably release years after it. It is that significant. The music in The Children of the Night borrows many characteristics from Ghost, Tribulation’s Swedish brethren. It’s simple but catchy, powerful, and addicting. It’s a superb mix of ‘70’s rock and something darker, whether that’s black metal, death metal, or whatever classification the fussy listeners out there want to throw the guttural vocals under. The important takeaway is that it’s wonderful. And that ride cymbal—I’ve never loved a ride cymbal so much in my life. In fact, I’ve never loved a ride cymbal at all until The Children of the Night. Jakob Ljungberg, thank you for making me yearn for more ride cymbal to such an extent that I feel like Christopher Walken demanding more cowbell.
Also similarly to Ghost, Tribulation have complemented their sound with the unique style of their wardrobe and music videos. They look like classic rockers fit for a graveyard, and the imagery of their videos—especially for “Melancholia”—is masterfully creative. They’re like an evil Deep Purple with an excellent eye for video production. It’s all quite brilliant.
Tribulation have hit their stride with The Children of the Night. They’ve reached a point in their career where all eyes are now on them. Their next release will be pivotal in deciding whether they can remain prominent on music lovers’ playlists. Until then, enjoy what you have. At least that’s what my father always said (he never said such a thing). The Children of the Night is spectacular, and merits a long-term relationship within every metalhead’s life.
Had I learned of The Children of the Night sooner, it would have made it into my top 5 albums of 2015. Alas, I did not discover its existence until a couple weeks into 2016. The band is touring with Skeletonwitch and High on Fire next month, and the Ragdoll Farcists hope to attend. If we can manage, we’ll try to have a write-up along with pics from the show within the next couple months.