I’m in love with 2019’s deluge of dark, bleak hardcore bands coming out of Scandinavia. If you pay attention to my columns at Heavy Blog, you’ll be well aware and probably getting sick and/or tired of me rattling on about them. Lowering the world’s temperature at the end of summer with their fantastically snowy and savage hardcore release Ropes, Norway’s SIBIIR contributed one of such releases to the world, and I’m not quite finished harping on about it yet. The minds behind the maelstrom took some time out of carving ice blocks with their bare hands and felling entire blackened forests by tuning their guitars to tell us some of the biggest influences behind one of this year’s finest blasts of blackened wizardry.

Now, normally I’d just throw the band’s choices down below but I had to take a quick minute to sing the praises of each of these picks. You can hear a little bit of every band in SIBIIR’s sound, but you won’t be able to place any specific point of reference. Their expansive, icy crust lends itself to the post-metal sounds of their Northern neighbours, just as poignantly as it pulls from the driving riffs and d-beats from their other Northern neighbours. Great picks. Seminal records.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2104311491 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]


Steffen: Kvelertak – Kvelertak

The uncompromising mix of the cold and barren black metal with an extreme catchiness, melted together with the guttural vocals was really something new and extremely inspiring for me when it first came out. The production and mix from Kurt Ballou make the album perfect for me.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3707466342 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]


Jimmy: Totalt Jävla Mörker – Totalt Jävla Mörker

I’ve always loved the energy and the gritty sound of this record. The darkness of their lyrics and their themes are inspiring to me. The same goes for their stage presence, watching them live has really inspired me.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2619362646 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false artwork=small]


Eivind: All Pigs Must Die – God Is War

The way they combine slow and fast riffs is really interesting and inspiring. For me, as a drummer, it is inspiring how they have a rhythmical approach to song structure.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=930728082 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small]


Tobias: Cult of Luna – Mariner

I could’ve picked other CoL-albums, but this is definitely the album I’ve listened to the most since it came out. I just love the atmosphere, the layers, the details, the contrasts, the heaviness. Absolutely an inspiration for me in the making of Ropes.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1176317335 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=63b2cc tracklist=false artwork=small]


Kent: At the Gates – Slaughter of the Soul

A classic. What needs to be said about this one? Head banging riffs and super catchy choruses. What’s not to like?

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1168319319 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=e99708 tracklist=false artwork=small]