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Hasta la Muetre

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Album Review

The second album by the 21st century, L.A.-based Xibalba finds its rough-edged doom/thrash/hardcore combination in rude good health, kicking off with a glowering drone before ripping fully into "No Serenity" with rough vocals, angry glazed guitars, stop-start rhythms, and a sense of everything corroding by inches, with the impact of a rusty evil mecha that's still alive and out to destroy everything. Only appropriate, after all, for an album that salutes the approach of death in its title and has cover art that looks like it only can belong on the T-shirts and van of the scariest D&D player in town. Taylor Young's engineering captures a pitch-perfect blend of aggressive clarity and low-end impact — it's one of the more bass-heavy releases out there in 2012, aiming to undercut from below rather than simply pummel. It's all the more appropriate on a song with a title like "The Flood," centered around a slow, stately, and anything-but-happy kind of a fanfare over a rhythm that's halfway between lost sacrificial ritual and Gotterdammerung. The swagger of a song like "Sentenced," transposing just a touch of boogie on some of the breaks, is tempered by the contrast of "Mala Mujer," the album's key moment of surprising beauty — not quite uplifting prettiness, but there's a sense of warring impulses, guitars rising above and out of a constricting atmosphere, and buried voices in the mix calling out with strange vulnerability. Even a brief solo on "Soledad" sounds like a scattered burst of energy subsumed in focused sludge. The whole album feels like it should be emerging from a crack in the earth of a basement club and just building up from there to threaten an explosion that takes out several city blocks — but if you're going to go, go big.


Formed: 2007 in Pomona, CA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Based out of Pomona, California, bilingual hardcore unit Xibalba (named after the underworld in Mayan mythology) specializes in a hard-hitting mix of death metal, doom metal, and classic American hardcore. Formed in 2007 around the talents of Nate Rebolledo, Brian Ortiz, Jason Brunes, and Bryan Valdivia, the band released its debut album, Madre Mia Gracias por los Dias, independently in 2010. It was reissued the following year via Southern Lord, and in 2012 the label released the group's sophomore...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by Xibalba

Hasta la Muetre, Xibalba
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 14 August 2012
  • Clean

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