Biipiigwan-NibaakWhen it comes to “Nibaak”, the latest release from Canadian sludge merchants Biipiigwan, there’s a little more going on in the production department than their previous “God’s Hooks” album. Doomier than that release, this three-track EP has a slightly more polished feel to the production – not in the Megadeth sense of polished production, but there’s definitely a cleaner, snappier feel, particularly with the drums and guitar.

The three tracks here show that the band still have a keen grip on what makes their music interesting, with opening track ‘Rodentia’ proving to be most varied in terms of pacing and style. ‘Kingmaker’ is a little more laid-back and chugs along on a heavy mid-paced riff for about three-and-a-half minutes before the guitars pick up and the song ends on a crescendo of metallic riffage and hostile vocals. The closing title track starts off all thrashy before breaking down into slower, carefully picked passages before burning itself out on a plethora of feedback.

All good stuff and an indicator that this band have their eyes on the bigger picture, which is quite refreshing in an underground band of this nature. It’s quite difficult to make a formal judgement based on only three tracks but when played back-to-back with “God’s Hooks” it’s quite easy to hear the progression in the band’s sound, and hopefully when they return with another full-length album it’ll once again push the boundaries of what sludge can be.

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