Since their inception in 2014, Norway’s Sibiir released a 7” in September 2015 entitled ‘Swallow & Trap Them!’ and are set to release their debut self-titled full-length on 14th December via Fysisk Format.
Initial impressions leave a familiar taste in the mouth, though it’s hard to tell why at first. With this in mind, the following few paragraphs will be littered with comparisons to other bands but rest assured, dear reader, for Sibiir have created an album with subtle nods to these bands in the form of feel and tone but maintain a sound of their own. Besides, a familiar taste doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad one right? It certainly isn’t in this case.
‘Sibiir’ is a bleak listen but a rewarding one full of catchy riffs and a distinctive dark quality. The frantic pace of ‘Guillotines’, which continues on through ‘Beat Them To Death’ make these two tracks highlights on the album along with the Trap Them feel of opener ‘Bekmörke’ and the Mastodon-esque riffage of ‘White Noise’.
Although it’s a fairy difficult one to pin down genre-wise, anyone familiar with the work of bands such as Svffer, Trap Them, Celeste or even Converge will feel right at home here, Sibiir effortlessly blend genres into a coherent album that begs repeated listens as soon as the last note on album closer ‘ICYCSD’ pummels it’s way into your eardrums.
Riffs worthy of the best post-hardcore has to offer, occasionally darker than a Norwegian forest at midnight on Halloween with sprinkles of grindcore’s pace and energy throughout. Sibiir are a band that were previously unknown to me but this impressive, surprising album is a strong contender for a late entry on this reviewer’s end of year list.