Saturday 9 September 2017

NIBIRU - Qaal Babalon (Album Review)

Release date: September 22nd 2017. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

Qaal Babalon – Tracklisting

Bahal Gah


Ardath - Guitars, Percussions and Vocals
Ri - Bass, Drones and Synthesizers
L.C. Chertan - Drums


Italian Sludge/Drone/Doom Collective Nibiru has never been the easiest band to listen to. I've been a fan of their music since they released their debut album way back in 2013. Their mix of heavy droned out doom noises doesn't appeal to everyone. As their music can be quite experimental at times. Despite this, the band has built up a very loyal following within the Sludge/Doom Metal scene over the last few years.

I've reviewed almost everything they've released and today is no different. As I will be trying my best reviewing their new album - Qaal Babalon. This album is perhaps their most daring and decisive work to date. I'm still having trouble deciding what the album is actually about and what it means in the grand scheme of things. 

From my first initial listens, the album is a complex sounding style of droned out doom/sludge and experimental psychedelic passages. All held together by a loose structure of disjointed vocals and mind inducing lyrics. The album has a Sunn O))) style quality around it. Riffs that can last an age but one that will richly reward you if you have the time and patience for this kind of music.

Opening track Oroch is nineteen minutes of heavy sludge/droned out doom with epic moments of industrial style noise. The song slowly builds upto a standard momentum before Nibiru deconstruct everything they've created into a massive vortex of uncomfortable themes and ideas.

Second track - Faboan - is another warped and nightmarish style of Doom/Sludge metal with Nibiru on twisted inspired form. The vocals contain the same drive and delivery as the opening track. Pounding drums delivers an almighty wall of distorted sound that are matched only by the heavy frantic doomed out guitars. This song has a more standard sludge/doom metal based structure. As Nibiru try to play something less experimental and one that is perhaps their most straight forward song. It's quite a punishing affair with the music being very fast-paced and sounding quite ferocious at times.

Third track - Babal Gah - returns to the complex and experimental vibes of the opening track with psychedelic tribal noises opening the song. Haunting synths and sound effects build up the albums unsettling atmosphere before the gloomy guitars make a welcome appearance. This is seventeen minutes that perhaps ranks as the best song on the album.

The final track Oxex carries on the psychedelic experimental with the band returning to the world they created on their previous albums. Qaal Babalon is a unique sounding experience that will intrigue and equally frustrate people in the same measure. Nibiru are not your usual standard band. I'm accustomed to their style of music. It's taken many hours of listening to their music and interviewing the band over the years to fully appreciate what they create with each record they've released so far.

Technically and musically speaking, Qaal Babalon is a masterclass of experimental and extreme metal. Though it doesn't have the same "WOW" factor as their earlier albums. I still rate this album very highly and I applaud Nibiru once again for continuing pushing their own musical identity to new levels of extreme heaviness.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to NeeCee Agency for the promo. Qaal Babalon will be available to buy on CD/DD via Argonauta Records from September 22nd 2017.