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Tribulation, Grave Pleasures, Vampire - Tribulation is setting Nijmegen on fire!

A little bit longer as two weeks in the new year the first interesting metal tour is crossing through Europe and is bringing us Tribulation who ended high in the 2015 yearlists with the record ‘Children of the Night’. They turned their psychedelic Death Metal style into a Heavy Metal variant. It still has the dark touches and they even dare to cover The Cure and The Offspring lately. As support there is Grave Pleasures that is the continuation of the Post-Punk act Beastmilk. Opening band tonight is straight forward Swedish Death Metal from Vampire.

The five young guys take the stage by rage. Especially the vocalist is making the show with his attitude and his shrieking vocals. He truly has the perfect voice for this type of music. Unfortunately the guitar sound is a bit tame in respect of the drums. The guitarist on the right is bringing some nice melodic pieces to spice up the pounding Death Metal. Vampire is a promising band; still they have to work on catchy songs with an own face.

Next up is Grave Pleasures; gone is the hype surroundin Beastmilk, they changed it for in depth songs and a broader spectrum in between psychedelic, post-punk and up-tempo punk rhythms. In the new line-up the band has grown in self-esteem. Vocalist Kvohst is way more relaxed on stage than before and his vocal lines in the new songs show the same progression as the musicians. The new songs have a way more positive vibe and in the punky parts the ghost of melodic hardcore band Ignite roams. That’s not all; it’s all about the dynamics. In another new song they start slowly repeating a riff while ending it with a dark post-punk anthem.

Old songs like ‘Death Reflects Us’, ‘You Are Now under Our Control’ and ‘Genocidal Crush’ are adapted to the new style and fit well in the one hour set. I didn’t know any new song but the band easily grabs the attention for the full set. Last words for the two guitarists: (which Linnea Olsson from The Oath is new) they are one with their guitars, completely in trance with the music and are giving the audience the perfect guitar details to keep the songs interesting. It is always great to see a bunch musicians doing what they love while fully drenched in their self-created spheres.

Grave Pleasures set the standard high. Tribulation took over and even pushed the limits higher. Their dark, psychedelic and sultry variant of heavy metal and Death Metal (the old songs) is completely refreshing in a scene of copycats. Before talking about the music let’s talk about the stage presence which is excellent. The four Swedish show they don’t give a shit about what people think. On vocals and bass a crustpunk with the same roaring voice, attitude and stage persona as Lemmy, at the right side a guitarist who walked away from The Cure rehearsal and on the left side a skinny hairmetal guitarist who is flying over the stage like a dancer. The battery is provided by the younger brother of Bobby Liebling who is in much healthier condition than the Pentagram front man. The smell of incense is bringing the crowd in ecstasy.

And so does the songs of the new album “Children of the Night”. “Melancholia” is a banger and so is “Strange Gateways Beckon”.  After roughly 45 minutes they leave the stage for a keyboard intermezzo, starting a pounding instrumental, playing “The Motherhood of God” while ending the set with the raging “When the Sky Is Black with Devils”. No encore is given away; it doesn’t matter because the crowd is left astonished. Tribulation is a band that doesn’t give a shit about trends and do absolutely their own thing. That’s creating dark heavy music where every musician has its own role to excel in musicianship.