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Music / Tribulation

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From left to right: Johannes Andersson, Adam Zaars, Joseph Tholl, Oscar Leander

Tribulation is a Genre-Busting metal band from Sweden. Starting out as a Thrash Metal band named Hazard in 2001, they released two demos before changing their name to Tribulation in 2004, utilizing an old school Death Metal sound. In 2009, they released their first full-length album, The Horror. Come 2013, Tribulation released their second album, once again, making a change to their sound, incorporating elements of Progressive Rock. In 2015, they released their third album, where they dropped the Death Metal tone almost completely in favor of a more Gothic Metal sound with tinges of Black Metal, and continued to polish up on this sound in their 2018 album.

Lyrically, they tend to cover occult and esoteric topics, primarily of a Hindu and Gnostic persuasion, with some vampiric undertones.



  • The Horror
  • The Formulas of Death
  • The Children of the Night
  • Down Below
  • Alive & Dead at Södra Teatern
  • Where the Gloom Becomes Sound

Tropes of Horror:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: The band overall are some of the warmest, most cordial people you'll ever meet. However, they have reacted violently to people in the front stage flipping them off.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The second instrumental pice of The Formulas of Death is entitled "לילה", which is Hebrew, meaning "Leila", which in turn, means "beauty, born of night". It's also derived from the same root as "Lilith".
  • Body Horror: To a lesser extent than most Death Metal bands, but still there on occasion. Notable examples include "Suspiria de Profundis" and "The Lament".
    There's a snake coiling inside of you
    There's a reek that you emit
  • Costume Porn: Jonathan is prone to this.
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  • Cover Version: There's one of "One Hundred Years" by The Cure on the digipak version of The Children of the Night.
  • Darker and Edgier: A strange example, in that while their image got darker and their lyrics taken in a more occult/esoteric direction than their gore-soaked beginnings, their music managed to become softer in tone from what it was when they first started out. However, just because it became softer musically doesn't mean it got lighter.
  • Death Metal: The Horror is, unlike the rest of their discography, pretty straight-forward old school style death metal.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Horror was an aggressive death/thrash album that was quite far removed from their more famous current style.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Half the members. It goes with the band's vampiric image.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The Formulas of Death begins with the 4-minute long "Vagina Dentata".
  • Epic Rocking: "Suspiria de Profundis" and "Apparitions" run a full 10 minutes and 39 seconds and 13 minutes and 17 seconds, respectively.
  • Gothic Metal: Began adopting this genre on their third album.
  • Gorn: Their earliest material consisted of rather run-of-the-mill violent death metal lyrics.
  • I Love the Dead: "Crypt of Thanatophilia". The title pretty much sums up what the song's gonna be about without the gruesome details.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The instrumental piece on The Formulas of Death, "לילה".
  • Longest Song Goes Last: Every album of theirs has consistently done this, with the exception of Where the Gloom Becomes Sound, which begins with the longest song and ends with the second longest. So far, "Apparitions" is their longest at over 13 minutes.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Adam and Jonathan, to the point where they've both been mistaken for women more than a few times.
  • Metal Scream: Type 3.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually about a 6, with their first album being more of an 8.
  • New Sound Album: Pretty much every album of theirs, although notably, they didn’t start making any drastic changes up until Formulas.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: More like, "blackened psychedelic gothic Death Metal."
  • Perky Goth: Jonathan. Dresses mostly in black even offstage, has a fascination with the dark and macabre that shows in his artwork, has referenced Bauhaus on his Instagram, and comes off as very polite and happy in interviews.
  • Progressive Metal: The Formulas of Death had extremely prominent Italian horror/psychedelic prog elements. These stayed in a far more limited fashion on The Children of the Night before being excised almost completely on Down Below.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: There are a few references to Satan in their lyrics, but they're barely noticeable and not an especially prominent part of the band's esoteric angle.
  • The Sacred Darkness: The "outer darkness" portrayed throughout The Formulas of Death onward has some traits of this. It's not portrayed so much as evil as it is just mysterious and hostile but as a necessary part of the road to immortality.
  • Sampling: "Wanderer in the Outer Darkness" borrows the "WITCH" whisper from Goblin's Suspiria (1977) theme.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The song "Rånda" directly quotes Goethe’s version of the Faust legend.
    "Beware - beware of her bright hair
    And the strange dress that glitters there
    Many a young man she beguileth
    Smiles winningly on youthful face
    But woe to him whom she embraces"
    • A few to Dracula. The first one is the title of their third album, The Children of the Night. The second is in the song "Here Be Dragons", wherein the phrase "the blood is the life" is used. There's also the song "Wanderer in the Outer Darkness", the title of which is spoken by Van Helsing in the 1992 adaptation.
    • The album cover of Children is derived from a scene in Les Vampires.
    • The lyrics for "The Vampyre" directly reference Nosferatu, as does the appearance of the figure on the album cover.
    • The album cover of Down Below is directly inspired by one for The Prague Cemetery.
  • Start My Own: Jonathan Hulten started a solo gothic folk project under his name in the mid-2000s and eventually released a full-length in 2020.
  • Title Drop: "Strange Gateways Beckon" title drops The Children of the Night; "Cries from the Underworld" title drops Down Below.
  • The Vamp: Rånda, in spades. Besides the aforementioned Goethe quote, she is described as corrupting souls with "sin after sin".
  • True Companions: With Enforcer even after Adam's departure; Olof knew it was coming either way, had no problem with Adam leaving, and is still good friends with him and the rest of the band, and was presumably also accepting of Joseph Tholl taking Jonathan Hulten's place in 2020.

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