Sunday, 19 April 2015

NIBIRU - Padmalotus (Album Review)

Album Type: Album
Date Released: May 14th 2015
Label: Argonauta Records

Padmalotus - Track Listing

1.. Krim
2. Ashmadaeva
3. Trikona
4. Khem


Ardath | Guitars and Vocals
Ri | Bass and Synthesizers
Siatris | Drums, Percussions, Guitars, Screaming, Didgeridoo and Virus


Since their inception in 2012, NIBIRU gave vent to their ritualized improvisation urge. They totally refused the concept of ordinary song form, leaving their energy flow, and channelling that into live recordings. "The first 2 years of NIBIRU were a time of empathic creativity. We used to communicate in a roundabout way. Improvisation was instinctive during the making of CAOSGON. Some kind of song structure was there, but in fact we went through an explosion of freedom in writing and playing. NETRAYONI is the zenith of NIBIRU’s improvisation. Maybe those times have been unique, most likely they are”, states the bassist RI.

In Fall 2014 NIBIRU signed to Argonauta Records, and CAOSGON and NETRAYONI (originally self-released) were reissued by the label in January 2015.

Following their philosophical path, the band crafts PADMALOTUS ("padma" means lotus in Tibetan language). Once again, the lyrics are in Enochian language. “We have chosen to reveal our invocations using this ancient language, in order to express ourselves in many different ways. Our lyrics are very personal and can’t be compared to traditional patterns. Enochian language allows phonetics to take space, so that our feelings can be expressed without being trivialized by constrictive words”, explains Ardath.

Through PADMALOTUS, out in May 2015 via Argonauta Records, NIBIRU reach their artistic peak. Or at least until the next expressions of their invocations.


Nibiru have came a long way when they first contacted me back in late 2012 to check out their music video for Invokation IV. Heru-khentan-maati - which actually got banned from YouTube for a short period of time. The video captured this bands strange and wonderful sound that they call - Psych Ritual Sludge. Since then they've released two albums - Casogon and Netrayoni Ritual Parts 1 and 2. Nibiru's music has evolved with their last two albums from a more Drone/Ambient/Doom/Psych Sludge with their first album to a more primal and experimental sound with their last double album.

Within that time they've won their fair share of admirers within the Sludge Metal community. Though you need to be in a certain mood to listen to Nibiru's music as nothing is ever as straight-forward in Nibiru's world. Nibiru return with their eagerly awaited 3rd album - Padmalotus. This album sees Nibiru takes elements from their previous albums and give it a more crazier and psychedelic style of twisted Ambient/Drone/Doom/Sludge. Nibiru say this album is a major step forward for them as a band compared to their previous two albums. And I have to say I agree with that statement as Padmalotus sees Nibiru at the height of their musical talents.

The album demands your full attention as opening track - Krim - creates a mysterious and challenging world where the vocals are sang thru distinctive chants that appeared on the first two records. Though there a lot more easy to understand here. Nibiru merge Drone, Ambient, Noise and Psychedelic Nightmarish Doomish vibes. I've described these guys as Uformammut meets BONG in the past and that's about as close as a description I can possibly get. However, Nibiru take their sound onto the next level of distorted and twisted visions. Krim is an epic 12 minute head-trip of the highest order. Vocals drift from one spaced out dimension to the next and the music comes across like a distorted drone based battle.

Padmalotus is a very dark album as Nibiru venture further into the Ritual Sludge part of their music. It can be very primal at times with the band trying to survive from their own musical landscapes. When Nibiru venture into fast-paced territory on the 2nd song - ASHMADAEVA - another psychedelic epic assault on the senses though at least the band offer a more traditional structured song compared to the previous track. It's still another noisy and experimental affair with the ritual sludge riffs being built around Ardath's intense vocals.

The vocals are sung in the Enochian Language and the album has a deep meaningful and complex message that may be too jarring for some people to listen to. Well if they can understand it that is. I'm just going to focus on the music as I will admit I haven't a clue what the band are singing about, though that’s one of the albums strong points. As it dares to be brave, bold and different to other Sludge Metal albums currently out there. The album is packed full of progressive cosmic wonder as each passing second expands into minutes without you ever realising it.

The albums other two epic songs - Trikona and Khem - follow the same dark, twisted and experimental path with the emphasis firmly on noise and volume. Nibiru add a few moments of spine-tingling horror atmospherics with some very haunting soundbytes. The band play some of their more faster drone based riffs on the second half of the album as Nibiru become ever more comfortable with their role as Masters Of Twisted Violent Psychedelic Sludge Overlords. A word of warning though - Khem is on for 28 mins and it’s one song that I had to take a break from as the guitars can be quite punishing at times. Especially with the amount of reverb and feedback Nibiru have created here. Still my favourite track off the album though. Wait until you experience it for yourself.

Do I like this album? Yeah I do. I class Padmalotus as Nibiru's most defining work to date. It won't be for everyone as it's a complex and wonderfully strange experience that runs for 66 mins or so. Nibiru have proven once again they are one of the most daring and creative forces in Italian Sludge Metal next to Ufomammut. Padmalotus is a thrilling and bold album that will rank as one of my albums of the year. No Question.

Thanks to Gero at Argonauta Records and Barbara at NeeCee Agency for the promo. Padmalotus will be available to buy on CD/DD from May 14th 2015 from Argonauta Records.

Words by Steve Howe

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