I reviewed Xibalba’s last album a few years ago. Since then, they have gone from a hardcore sound almost completely into death metal, and it’s a glorious thing. Dan Seagrave’s art once again graces the cover, so you should have some idea of what to expect.
This is brutally heavy, and the guitars have this sort of scraping quality to them. The way most of it lumbers forward at a slower pace, then flashes forward at high speed, it’s like a ragtag mechanized militia of the post-apocalyptic near-future. The most feared army in the world of Mad Max. Or some shit like that.
The vocals are hardcore shouts mixed with a little Van Drunen, and the solos appropriately chromatic. Come to think of it, the Van Drunen parallel is a nice one. Think Hail of Bullets if the lyrics were about a near-future guerilla war, and everyone is just a little more pissed-off about the whole thing. Dumber, too, and more dangerous.
It sounds awesome, but unfortunately the songs don’t really seem all that distinct from each other. They all have a fast part, a slow, lumbering crawl, some pummeling, and so on. But the parts feel wholly interchangeable. Still, don’t let that stop you. This is still brutal, and doesn’t sound exactly like anybody else.
The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars