An uncountable amount of metal bands want their listeners to come away feeling disturbingly shaken and stirred by their music but many are often lucky to even encounter a shrug around these parts. However Swedish death metallers Tribulation grabbed our attention with their punishing minimal amount of nonsense approach to music. Their debut album, “The Horror” is an intense spine-chilling nightmare soundtrack that kicks teeth in and lays waste to many inferior albums in the genre. Guitarist Adam Zaars took some time out to answer some questions for us.
I read on another website that Tribulation went under another name previously. What was the reason for the name change and how did you come up with the new name?
No, we have always been called Tribulation from the very beginning when we started the band back in 2004.
OK, then take us to the beginnings of Tribulation.
We just put to rest another band that we were playing in and felt that we wanted to play more with members that would want to take a band in the same direction.
We tried out a few drummers until we found Jakob, and from that day Tribulation was born. We have never since had a doubt in what we are doing.
How would you describe Tribulation's music to someone who hasn't heard your music?
I guess that depends on who the person is. If it were a person involved in hard rock I would say that we were playing death metal, influenced by darkness and death.
If it were a person not involved in hard rock I would say that we were playing music influenced by darkness and death. Chaotic,yet controlled.
Who are some of your favorite three-piece bands?
Venom is the number one choice of course. I think I would have to put Motorhead on number two. I just saw Grand Magus live a couple of days ago so they are worth mentioning as well. Other than that there is always Hellhammer, Angel Witch, Unpure etc.
Would we be right in guessing that all of you are fans and influenced by Slayer, Kreator and later Carcass? What other bands/artists do Tribulation frequently listen to?
Well, not really. I wouldn't say that we sound like, say, “Swansong” at all, even though it's a good album. But Slayer is always an inspiration!
We all have quite a wide musical taste which rages from bands like Roky Erikson to Sadistick Execution The best has always been and always will be Iron Maiden though.
And if I was to say one death metal band I would say Morbid Angell!
As a soundwise old school band death metal band are your thoughts on recent death metal and what seems to be an inevitable split into further sub-genres like death-core?
I wouldn't even call it Death Metal, and I wouldn't call us "old school", we are the ones playing Death Metal. It is a shame really that people don't have a clue what Death Metal really is, or should I say it's a shame that people call bands Death Metal when they obviously are not.
The cover art to "The Horror" looks like a comic book artist drew it, could you tell us more about that? Are you comic book fans?
We are comic book fans, yes. “Modesty Blaise” is a personal favourite. The album cover and layout was made by me, Adam, and Jonathan under the name Necromantic Art.
We wanted to get the whole layout as haunting as the music itself, and I think that we pulled it off.
Often people talk about Swedish death metal as though the country has its own specific sound, what are your thoughts on how people often tend to align a country such as Sweden or a city like Seattle or Detroit with a certain type of music being produced?
Well, isn't that the same thing that happens with pretty much what ever you do? People generalize everything and anything and I can't really say that I care that they do.
We have never been striving for the typical Swedish sound though, I think we sound more like some American band like Necrovore or Morbid Angel.
The short interludes with keyboards and screams add another dimension to the album and make it more intense listening. How did you come up with ideas?
I'm glad to hear you say so, as it was the intention. The ideas came from various horror movie soundtracks. We had been listening to a lot of them at the time we wrote the album and wanted to create the same atmosphere within our music.
Could you tell us a little more about "The Horror" vinyl release? What are your favourite things about vinyl?
It has been released through Blood Harvest. It contains a 7" 8-page booklet and it's gatefold. There is a limited edition available with an A3 coffinshaped poster.
Available soon is also the limited version with blood splatter and numbered in blood, in 25 copies.
Adam, You're involved with ENFORCER who play with more of a NWOBHM sound. Could you tell us more about that project?
I would never call it a project, it's very serious. I take both bands equally serious, even though they differ in depth and in other personal aspects.
We are touring a lot at the moment, and it's going pretty well.
What other musical projects are members of TRIBULATION involved with?
Jonathan and Johannes is playing in a band called STENCH. They just released a 7" on Soulseller Records.
What are the immediate and long-term future plans for TRIBULATION?
The immediate plan is to continue writing new material. When we are eventually done with that we're going to record a new album. Another tour might come up as well.
Anything to add for our readers?
"We take your weak resistance, throw it in your face. We need no introduction for mass-annihilation!".
Thanks for the interview.
TRIBULATION are Johannes Andersson – (Voc, Bass) ,Jonathan Hultén – (Gtr) ,Adam Zaars –(Gtr) and Jakob Johansson – (Drums). Their album is available through Pulverised Records. More information can be on the band's facebook page