Oslo’s blackened-hardcore quintet Sibiir are ready to unleash the follow up to their 2016 self-titled album, a nine track offering aptly entitled Ropes, which walks a tightrope (see what I did there?!) between black metal and riffy hardcore. Bleak and frozen in places like the land that has spawned them, dirty and crusty in others, if you like black metal, hardcore, or a conglomerate of the two, this one is for you.
Ropes relies on a solid blueprint of mid paced instrumentation, there’s not much deviation from that, even the blasts are more towards the slower end of that spectrum, but that’s certainly not a bad thing; ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ springs to mind. There’s nothing here that would give you carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive finger waggling along to the blast beats at a show, but there’s more than enough to give you a fucked neck from relentless headbanging; get your chiropractor on speed dial! A pleasant surprise is the end of ‘Old Patterns’, the album closer, which is reminiscent of early Mastodon, and the effortless manner with which this blends into a blackened hardcore album is testament to the writing ability the band possesses. Arguably, the more ‘clear cut’ black metal parts stand out over the hardcore elements of the album and you do maybe wonder if the band will play to their apparent strengths by leaning more heavily on the black metal side of things going forward.
The standout track of the album is without question ‘Blurred Flickering Pictures’. It’s beautifully simplistic but perfectly executed. Imagine if Converge burned down a church then went home and wrote a slow song to celebrate! It’s a slow death, like a rope tightening its grip round your neck as the song progresses. Close your eyes, you can almost feel the skin on your neck burning…
Ropes is out 4th October and can be purchased here.
Words: Luke Davison