Tribulation – The Formulas of Death
They’ve taken their death metal into fresh realms here with new levels of melody and ambition and a flavour of Watain’s penchant for grandeur. There’s even a slight similarity to be heard the odd time between the vocals of Johannes Anderssen and Watain’s Erik Danielsson but that’s where the comparisons end as The Formulas of Death is actually an entirely unique death metal album for 2013. Chances are there won’t be anything else in the DM world released this year that will stand shoulder to shoulder with this record.
Monachus – Below
Crushing sludgy riffs collide with throaty vocals and melodic awareness to craft an enthralling oeuvre on Below. There’s a lot to absorb with this album but once given the time and effort, the results are deeply satisfying. Often a post rock comparison is made to Monachus, and while it rings true a little bit, the band seem far more au fait with trippy ambient sludge than any clichéd post rock formulas and bless them for it.
Thrawsunblat – Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings
Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings bears many thematic similarities to Woods of Ypres, with a morose tongue in cheek attitude at times while tactfully plucking elements of black metal and sprinkling them into the pot. However, Thrawsunblat have flirted with many a folk element on this album and it’s a pleasant surprise to hear acoustic-led folk numbers like ‘Goose River (Mourners’ March) and ‘Maritime Shores’ being two of the album’s highlights. Meanwhile, heavier but no less melodic material such as ‘Bones in the Undertow’ delights in equal measure. The major complaint though that could be levelled against this record is its length, it gets a little drawn out and could have done with a trimming of two or three tracks but still overall a solid return for Thrawsunblat.