Let’s get your day going with some Norwegian blackened hardcore. Taking their name from the country of Siberia, Sibiir are most in their element conjuring up darkness, which you’ll be quick to find on their brand new, Fysisk Format-released album Ropes (find streaming/purchase options here). Released on October 4th, this is the band’s sophomore record and it delivers on its cold, dark promises, continuing on with the momentum built by the release of their debut album.
Ropes is both a harrowing and experimental listening experience, that fits in perfectly with the marquee names of Scandinavian hardcore and heavy metal. Produced by Øyvind Røsrud Gundersen, Ropes includes nine new, aggressive tracks that explore diverse hardcore guitar riffs, experimental soundscapes, and lyrics that deal head-on with the rising anxiety and despair which has overcome society, as a result of issues such as climate change, the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the failure of capitalism.
Thus far, Sibiir have built a reputation as a live act to be reckoned with, partially thanks to touring with Kvelertak and Shevils, as well as the exposure that came from playing shows with Attan and Beaten To Death. One of their biggest performances to date took place at this summer’s 2019 edition of Wacken Open Air. In order to indulge further into the world of Sibiir, the group stopped by to run down their top 10 favourite album covers of bands in and or near to “blackened hardcore.”
Not just “For The Few,” this Sibiir track is so dope!
01. Converge – Dusk In Us
– We really love this one. We have always been fans of Jacob Bannon’s art, and maybe especially on this record, the artwork matches the sound and feel of the music. It just looks and sounds perfect. The metallic holographic effect on the physical copy looks amazing. Our favorite Converge album.
02. Trap Them – Crown Feral
– The cover art by Swede Mattias Frisk immediately catches your attention. Dark and grim, but still so beautiful and in a way colourful. It’s full of depth, the artwork pulls you in, into the darkness. It’s also very reminiscent of the classic early ‘90s death metal period, which is definitely not a bad thing.
03. Cult Leader – Lightless Walk
– This one features artwork by Anthony Lucero, while the layout actually was done by Jacob Bannon. We like the whole occult vibe combined with the use of religious symbols. There’s also a certain tattoo style to it, which is appealing. Awesome music, awesome cover.
04. Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light
– The physical copy of the album features beautiful artwork from Stefan Thanneur. Haven’t seen it in use on digital channels, think it’s just the Skeletonwitch logo in white on a black background. Don’t know why that is, this deserves to been seen by everyone. It’s bad-ass the same way as the Trap Them’s Crown Feral cover. It’s a beautiful cover, but it has a creepy vibe at the same time. The artwork fits the album title like a glove, and the LP looks absolutely amazing.
05. Snöras – Heart of Weakness
– This one stands out from the rest, the feel is a bit different. The artwork is by K8 Wince. She really catches the pain and desperation that is the sound of Snöras. She did the artwork for both Snöras’ albums, and we could’ve included both of them, really. An absolutely fantastic Norwegian band, by the way.
06. Doomriders – Darkness Come Alive
– At first, it seems quite simplistic, but there’s so much detail here in Thomas Hooper’s artwork. The crown, the lines and of course the Illuminati-like symbols around the eyes. Illuminati stuff is always cool, isn’t it? Yes, it is. The original, where you also have the whole torso, is really cool.
07. Kvelertak – Kvelertak
– It’s hard to ignore the album covers of our fellow Norwegians in Kvelertak. Their debut with the owl and stuff, made by John Baizley, feels iconic. And it’s fun to see now, almost ten years later, how the owl still is with them.
08. Djevel – Blant Svarte Graner
– Another Norwegian band, and a cover by a fantastic Norwegian artist everyone should check out: Danny Larsen. It’s kind of like looking at a drawing from a creepy children’s book that really would give you the most haunting nightmares. There’s a Nordic feel to it, and it also feels like a nod to old Burzum covers or something like that.
09. All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature
– The cover may look abstract at first, but there’s so much detail here that you could look at it for hours. So many lines to follow. The artwork here is by Aaron Turner, from Isis, another band we love. The cover is dark and black, it’s hard, it’s brutal, just like the music.
10. NAG – Nag
– Our label mates in NAG are not the first Norwegian band to use Theodor Kittelsen’s art for their album covers, but it suits their style perfectly. There’s something very simplistic about it, but at the same time creepy as hell. Perfect match to their awesome music.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
02/27 – DK, Aalborg – 1000 Fryd
02/28 – DE, Hamburg – Yoko Club
02/29 – DE, Düsseldorf – Tube
03/01 – NL, Eindhoven – The Jack
03/03 – UK, London – The Black Heart
03/04 – FR, Savigny Le Temple – L’Empreinte
03/05 – CH, Zürich- Werk 21
03/06 – DE, München – Backstage Club
03/07 – DE, Berlin – Cassiopeia
03/08 – DK, Copenhagen – Beta
04/30 – SE, Motala – Bomber Bar
05/01 – SE, Malmö – Plan B
05/02 – SE, Stockholm – Hus 7
05/22 – FI, Helsinki – On The Rocks
05/23 – FI, Tampere – Jack The Rooster
Check out the artwork for Sibiir’s sophomore record, Ropes: