A few tweaks here and there, and these guys could be a force to be reckoned with.
Sibiir – Sibiir
Norwegian Sibiir is out with their debut full length, simply titled Sibiir, I have never heard of them and my initial thought about them, just from reading the press material and looking at the cover, was that this was just another crust punkish black metal band copying Darkthrone’s The Cult is Alive, as it has been done a million times over. Boy was I wrong, Sibiir’s sound is based on hardcore and in that sound they have thrown black metal, thrash metal some metalcore and probably more stuff I have failed to pick up on.
But failing to pinpoint the exact combination of genres is not something that makes a difference in how the album sounds. And this album sounds a bit strange at first. Right when the album starts you’re hit with a very black metal sounding riff, but just when you thought it was going to stay that way, the hardcore enters the room. And this is what the entire album is like. I’m getting the feeling that Sibiir, when writing this album, was sitting in the studio and thinking: “What if we take riffs from [Insert genre name] and see how that goes with the hardcore formula?”
Of course their sound is still rooted in hardcore, but it’s quite interesting to see a band that doesn’t just do it as a sort of gimmick but commits to it and does it properly. You want a grindcore part, go ahead and have it, an entire post metal song you say, even though none of the other songs are post metal-ish, here it is.
This may seem like it’s a bit all over the place, and after hearing the entire album, you may be left wondering where exactly this was going. But after a few listens it gets clear that, as previously mentioned, the entire album is build up around some very solid punch-in-the-face hardcore. Not exactly the most exciting hardcore, but trying to also make that take some interesting turns would probably end up in an album more weird that Gorguts’ Obscura, and let’s not go there.
Standout track and also the most varied on the album is album opener Bekmörke, it starts out with a very black metal sounding riff, but then the hardcore joins in, almost leaving the black metal, keeping it in the background, then switching the tempo into a part that’s more grindcore than anything else and finally ending the track with the same riff that started it. All that in three minutes. Bekmörke pretty much gives a perfect introduction to the album. It has many of the different elements the album offers, some admittedly rather briefly, but enough to give you an idea of what the album sounds like before you get further into it.
There’s nothing really bad about this album. At no point throughout the album does anything feel half assed or sloppy, but then again, it’s not an album that will blow you backwards in pure awe. It’s good, there’s no point in denying that, but it’s their debut album and there’s a few things that could use some polishing and tightening up, not a whole lot, but just a tiny bit.
So if you like your hardcore with a touch of everything, but still built upon a very sturdy hardcore foundation, Sibiir is going to be right up your alley.
On a final note, it would be interesting to see if they would be more experimenting on their next record, maybe abandoning some of the hardcore a bit, especially on the vocal side and trying with both screams and growls and whatnot, I have a feeling Sibiir would do it very nicely.