To be honest with you, this is my first collision with Nibiru. Being a huge astronomy geek myself, this band immediately caught my attention when their name popped up. Nibiru is a metalcore quintet originating from Ireland, and Ashland is their latest recording comprised of three immensely massive compositions. The band has previously released dozen of 7” records such as Earthbreeder, Oxygen Eater, and Big Soul. The first thing I spotted about their music is a powerful visual identity. Nibiru has adopted a stylish logo consisting of handwritten letters that reminiscent an ancient look. The remaining background has been dedicated to a giant slab of smoke, probably caused by a volcano eruption. The cover artwork possesses dark grey, dark blue, black tones, and it appears threatening by just staring at it. Nibiru travels all the way through the wide array of various genres, but it seems that the band feels most comfortable in the metalcore waters. The structures of these thoughtfully arranged compositions have been strengthened by dynamic metalcore foundations, but the band also incorporates genres such as grunge, sludge, post-hardcore, and post-rock. These clever sonic maneuvers have resulted in three enormously catchy numbers saturated by these aforementioned elements, but subtle enough not to entirely shake those metalcore foundations. It’s mindblowing how these guys succeeded in their aim to accent their music through various influences, but still sound compact enough not to spoil their main direction. Ashland appears like the band has emerged from the 90s metalcore scene, heavily influenced by Seattle grunge. However, these guys have embraced some modern aesthetics of sludge metal, and post-rock music to enhance these brilliant recordings even more. Nibiru thought about each aspect of this material, from dueling harmonizations and gradually distorted basslines to moderate tempos that are granting even more power to these meaningful compositions. Nibiru can be compared with bands such as Twitching Tongues, Life Of Agony, Alice In Chains, and Tool, but still, they implement some pretty unique signature moves, so you’ll be blown away by these cleverly arranged tunes. As far as I am informed, Ashland is currently available at all streaming services, but I truly hope this amazing EP will get a deserved vinyl treatment.