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Tribulation > The Dhampir > Reviews
Tribulation - The Dhampir

Somewhere between mortality and undeath - 77%

autothrall, April 29th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2022, Digital, Century Media Records

Having somehow missed owning "The Dhampir" due to not picking up the double vinyl or the proper CD edition, I'm stoked that this 18+ minute epic is now available for myself and all the other plebeians to enjoy in an economic digital version, and in three digestible chunks. It offers what might even be the most fulfilling blend of Gothic haze, proggy escalation and hints of Tribulation's death metal roots that can be found among the Where the Gloom Becomes Sound sessions, if not perhaps as catchy as some of the originals that wound up on all versions of the album. I can see why such a thing might be clipped, but after wallowing in the experience I'd recommend tracking down any of the physical media where it's present as opposed to where it isn't.

"Part I" definitely builds to a steady clip after a folksy introduction with some great drumming, a very 70s vibe offset with some riffing that almost feels post-punk in places, but also features most of the 'metal' riffs in a conventional sense, and gives a similar melancholic, uplifting atmosphere to some of the tunes from the album proper. "Part II" is a more spacious, doomy section with a lot more experimentation in the instrumentation, some anthemic guitar harmonies and no real vocal presence, and "Part III" returns mostly to the pacing of the first, but then segues out into some rather abrupt changes that range from cleaner guitars, to almost ghostly sheens of atmosphere. Though the tracks flow pretty well into one another, there are certainly an excess of ideas here that don't necessarily need to be experienced in conjunction, but work well enough when the tune is divided into these parts. I wouldn't say that the experience as a whole is dull in any way, but there are a few parts that don't match up to others.

The coolest thing about The Dhampir is that it hints at even more open musical spaces the Swedes might traverse on future could easily hear them going in a more prog direction (maybe not in the same way they did on Formulas of Death), or more psychedelic folk, or even using more cinematic soundscapes where the instruments drop out for haunting feedback. As a part of Where the Gloom Becomes Sound, or even independently, it helps round out a broad swath of influences, and provides a lot of gas left in the creative tanks even though parts of it conform to the general style of that particular album (or Children of the Night). A cool listen, although not immortally carving itself into my conscience like some of their other tunes.