A Ferocious Introduction

Category: music 335

Ibex claim their place among New Brunswick’s heavy music elite with the release of their debut album, The Hurt Sets In

Matt Carter

From the opening riff of Rat King, the first track on Ibex’s debut album, a few things are immediate and unavoidable: the next 35+ minutes are going to be wild and fast-paced, and perhaps more importantly, the four members of this Moncton metalcore band are obviously devoted students of aggressive music, honour role worthy in fact. There is no sense of longing for identity on this nine song album. The Hurt Sets In is thorough and meticulous, front to back, and combines just about every defining characteristic of present day heavy music: numerous breakdowns, a mix of vocal styles and tempos, shredding solos and intricately mapped structures, the type only achieved through countless hours in the jam room banging it all out.

“The story of how Ibex got started is pretty convoluted, but the long-story-short is that we used to be a five-piece called Malixiria,” said guitarist Sean Carroll. “We gigged around the Maritimes and recorded a couple no-budget demos, but nothing ever really panned out with that band, and eventually the person who wrote most of Malixiria’s music ghosted on us and moved to Ontario.”

Left without the group’s primary writer, Carroll and the band’s remaining members Alex Olmstead, Alex Gallaich and Marc-Andre Richard began crafting a new repertoire and quickly had an entirely new set together and ready to go. The only hitch was how to proceed. All four members agreed that the slightly smaller lineup and the new material meant one thing – this was no longer Malixiria. This was something completely different. In the summer of 2018, they dropped the old name and material and reform as Ibex.

The Hurt Sets In distills influence from all corners of the musical map. While death metal and second wave hardcore guide the direction on this album, many of the songs included feature numerous and minute shifts in melody and theme, enough to keep metal’s all-too-common predictability at bay. 

“The album itself is definitely a bubbling pot more or less of all of the bands we love,” said Carroll. “We really enjoy blurring the line between hardcore and death metal so that’s one of the main focuses in the writing, but also keeping it fresh and diverse all across.”

The big question is, where will the band go from here and how will this all transfer in a live setting? When a debut is this strong, is there a next level? Only time will tell. For now, let’s just savour the moment. Every white-knuckled second of it. 

Upcoming Performances: 

June 13 | Sherbrooke, QC | Le Murdoch | w/ Saccage + Holy Cost | View Event 

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