I like my hardcore the way I like the circles under my eyes: blackened.

Good hardcore is good pastime, but great hardcore elevates the spirit for days on end and manages to nest inside your soul for a while. That’s why I’ve always gravitated towards all things blackened, because I need that additional visceral punch for things to be driven all the way back home. So when I see a premiere proposition with that note, and knowing we only deal the best shit around here, you can bet your ass I jump on that the second it pops up. That’s exactly what I did once again the other day, and once again my expectations got met to the highest degree.

The Oslo based, blackened hardcore group with a rather nasty and filthy emphasis going by the name of Sibiir are releasing their new album Undergang this Friday, June 14, also marking the 200th release for their label Fysisk Format, and we’re particularly glad to team up with the entire gang today to present to you the entire album in advance. So tone down the lights, turn up the volume, and get prepared to be forced to disrespect your surroundings to the highest degree when hitting play from below;

Recorded over the course of ten days in Caliban Studios by Ruben Willem (HaustThe Good The Bad and The Zugly), Undergang is an eviscerating foray into the harshest realms of music that is equally unforgiving as it is enjoyable, and even though it rarely relents its pulverizing grasp from the listener’s throat, there’s really no other place or position you’d rather be in. Sibiir offers a glimpse as to why that is; ‘The lyrics are about all the crap going on around the world. War and bloody genocide, a growing support for political and religious extremists, and increased tension between East and West reaching a dangerously high level. And on top of everything, we have the climate crisis. So yeah, not exactly good times.

We’re all aware of the not exactly good times we’re living through at the moment regardless of your location on the globe, so it’s rather easy to feel tangible resonance with material utilizing all this fucking nonsense in it. From the feedback wall to the annihilating ambiance, the opening track “Divergence and Deceit” really wastes no time in taking the matters to its own hands, and you’re instantly floored with Sibiir‘s unique concoction of tonalities and the absolutely ravaging ambiance and violently emotive punch of it all, only further emphasized by the following pair of “Placid Waters” and “Ruinous”, introducing vile discordance and oddly satisfactory grooves into the mix.

The instrumentation on Undergang is particularly lively, not in the least due to the new situation the quintet found themselves in during the writing process. The band’s vocalist Jimmy Nymoen moved further from the rest, leaving the vocal and lyrical process out from the early stages of creation, which led the rest to approach their crafts in perhaps a more meticulous manner than before; ‘To compensate for Jimmy’s absence, the instruments have probably – consciously or unconsciously – challenged themselves on a detailed level to a greater extent in order to maintain interest in the song. The result is an album topped with bold riffs and details, which we feel is our best yet.

I’m not one to draw comparisons in general, but I keep noticing that Sibiir exist on a plane of their own when it comes to the versatility of their output, as it’s unbelievably difficult to try to come up with similar artists. That also goes to underline just how magnificent the entirety of the record is, from the monolithic end of the world tones of “Engerdal” to the tasteful cut of precision and hypnotic rhythm of “The Plague” (wonder where that title came from) and the ominous drive of the closer “Famine”, without forgetting the excellence of the songs in between left unmentioned for clarity’s sake. There’s too much details to write about, but know that when you dig into the album, Sibiir has dug a whole tunnel network for you to get lost into for days.

As said, Undergang is out on the 14th of June, and you can pre-order the album from Bandcamp. Be sure to follow the group on their Facebook and Instagram as well.

Leave a Reply