Tuesday 11 April 2023

Niboowin - Breathing

Labels: Dingleberry Records/IFB Records/Mosh Potatoes/React With Protest/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 18 Feb 2018


1. Resting Peacefully

2. Raided

3. Careless Conscious

4. New Dawn

5. Eager Burden

6. Silhouettes

7. Chasing Sanctuary

8. Ashes Ignite And Awaken

I was so sure that I'd already reviewed this album, but going right back through what I'd already written about told me otherwise, so I'm making up for it now. Breathing is to date the only release from the US quartet that makes up Niboowin (ex-Old Soul, Dakhma etc). Niboowin plays black metal-infused noisy screamo, I guess. Whatever happens from here on out, It's Niboo-for-the-win!.

If you enjoy the likes of Dawn Ray’d and bands from the Alerta Antifascista Records roster, you’ll enjoy the sounds created by Niboowin on Breathing. Album opener ‘Resting Peacefully’ has a slightly crusty edge to it, alongside really authoritative guitar work, adding to the percussive blasts and proper emotive screams. There’s also a subtle heap of technicality thrown in for good measure.

‘Raided’ plays on Niboowin’s post-metal/rock influences a little bit more, even though those textures don’t play a huge part in the song as it quickly ratchets up in tempo and intensity. This album is so good! ‘Careless Conscious’ instills the quality of the musicianship on show, into you as a listener and I promise that if you’ve got this far into the record you’ll be hooked.

The mood and atmosphere dealt by ‘New Dawn’ is one of fresh belief, and hope, as the title suggests. It’s glorious instrumental build-up is light and upbeat, and even when the full band kicks in with menacing heaviness, it still feels so. I dunno, maybe cathartic might be a better descriptor. Either way, it’s great. Note: bands who don’t publish their song lengths on bandcamp are really onto something. This subtlety works in Niboowin’s favour here as it encourages you to invest time and listen till the end. It’s far too easy in today’s society to let your attention span own you (I should know).

The album’s later half starts with ‘Eager Burden’, which is decisively fast and noisy. It provides a bit of a jolt that’s unexpected, even if you don’t need one. Talking of jolts, the off-kilter hardcore/noise rock of ’Silhouettes’ is amongst the heaviest thing you’ll hear on Breathing. When it’s balanced by the melodic/post mid-section though, it’s so satisfying. 

‘Chasing Sanctuary’ will make you think warm and comforting thoughts fleetingly before being wrenched back to the present. The quiet/loud, soft/hard dynamic employed by Niboowin is at it’s most potent here for sure. Ending with ‘Ashes Ignite And Awaken’, it all feels like Breathing is over too quickly. It’s much better to have one stellar album than ten mediocre ones. This is that stellar album. Grab it while you still can!

You can stream and purchase Breathing digitally from Niboowin here:-

Niboowin - https://www.facebook.com/Niboowin

Physical copies are available from the labels and links below:-

Dingleberry Records - https://www.discogs.com/sell/item/1088285561

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/zegema-beach-releases/niboowinbreathing

Zegema Beach Records USA - https://zbrusa.com/collections/zbr-releases/products/niboowin-breathing-12

Dingleberry Records - https://www.facebook.com/DingleberryRecords

IFB Records - http://www.ifbrecords.com

Mosh Potatoes - https://www.facebook.com/moshpotatoesxvx

React With Protest - https://www.facebook.com/reactwithprotestdiy

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

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