Saturday, August 25, 2012
Xibalba : Hasta La Muerte
These guys have gotten a lot of buzz, from sources like my friend Anrhony over at the Needle drop and frankly I'm surprised how much beat down style hardcore is in this as lot of what I has read about this was calling these guys a death metal band and comparing them to Disma.
Greg Anderson of Sunno))) is on this record and had some production input. But don't be fooled by that as there isn't any hipster indie doom going on. This is like one breakdown building off of another breakdown. In some ways this reminds me of Bloodlet and the time whe. All of those victory records bands were picking up change and starting lawn mowers in the pit back in the mid 90s. They always just seemed like metal bands with short hair and no guitar solos with hurt feelings and social agendas. With time all of that has faded Converge is the only band from that time period who stood the test of time unless we are going to count Hatebreed. So as times change all the things I disliked about the victory records hardcore bands has faded and we just have Xibalba slamming this metal core thing , with out the fashion sense of themyspace metal core bands, this is the real deal no suicide silence or white chapel bullshit here.
This is going to take a few listens as songs have a similar cadence to them. The drums that kicked off the third track " Laid to rest" got my attention. it's impossible not to nod your head to this, though my neck is swaying forward in the same time signature through out, the album does find some variation in the descent into sludge. Is there a genre called sludge core already ? Is it different than the box bands like Eyehategod are in ? Because this feels like southern California and there is no traces of swamp or blues to this.
Again and again the hammer drops here, I kept listening so something must be working,by the end of this I'm going to listen again to separate the songs out in my heads if you have not read how I come up with my scores it's the percentage of songs I like for the most part I compact them into a single number, with albums where it's one slab of heavy like this one it's hard. The more I listen the grasp I am beginning to get on this beast, the bass tone is a major player here as it manages to thump past these guitars which sound like they are tuned down to c, don't quote me on that one as I haven't picked up a guitar to check yet. But this whole albums has ,more rumble to it than your average bear.
I do think this album hits it's best moments when balance with ambiance and the experimental shades like the female vocals on the title track. The powerhouse drumming helps pummel some of these songs through. This is similar in someways to post "Divine Intervention" Slayer song writing is who needs attention to detail in song writing whenwe can just juggernaut our way through, which works on some songs most notably the brutal " Sentenced". But the Sepultura feel to the tribal drumming at the beginning of " the flood" is a good example how if more colors were added this album could have been much darker. The melodic single not drone slathered atop the roomy pound creates a heavier feel to me than coming at you straight on.
I can round this one up to an 8 , Becuase it's moments are so strong and I like the heaviness through out even the blunt nature of this album I respect and foresee is making through the rest of the year on my iPod , it's a good replacement for Ringworm and seems to be growing on me as I have been listening to this a helluva lot more than the Khors album I got of the same night, recommended for fans of this new wave of extra rough hardcore.