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Generic black metal meets numbing gothic metal - 55%

kluseba, December 23rd, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Century Media Records (Sampler)

This split sampler was exclusively released with German Hard Rock magazine to promote Watain's upcoming studio record Trident Wolf Eclipse and Tribulation's future release Down Below. Along with two new tracks in each case, this release also includes a rehearsal song from Watain's last release The Wild Hunt as well as a rare The Cure cover from a single released by Tribulation two years ago. I had heard about both bands before but wasn't familiar with their styles yet. This release shows that I didn't seem to have missed much.

Watain plays atmospheric black metal with a few early thrash metal influences that work best in the more elaborate "Sleepless Evil". Tribulation rather sounds like a gothic metal band with atmospheric, numbing and smooth riffs that sounds best in the elaborate and gloomy "The Lament". I would compare the former band to Dissection and the latter to early Moonspell.

Overall, Tribulation's sound is a little bit more down my alley even though the three songs already have overlong, predictable and repetitive patterns. Watain's cuts sound like quite generic black metal and fail to grab my attention. The songs of both bands aren't bad but rather qualify as background music at an extreme metal party or gothic festival in my book. This split release with an old school cover art in the key of old cassette tapes isn't a shabby gimmick as free giveaway with a metal magazine but I wouldn't buy any of the band's new outputs so far.