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Southern California quintet Xibalba demonstrates how to administer a deliberate and destructive downtuned modern metal beatdown of the highest order on the 12-track affair MADRE MIA GRACIAS POR LOS DIAS. Punishing listeners with barrages of syrupy low end fury (“We Deserve to Die”), this troupe combine bruising West Coast grooves of Will Haven with a flurry of dark and ferocious hardcore and metal tendencies that repeatedly kick the listener in the head without an ounce of remorse (“Obituary”). Throwing everything from flamenco acoustic guitars to a trying amount of plodding audio savagery into their malicious blend of abrasive extreme metal, Xibalba exhibits an impressive array of brutal breakdowns that appeal to the lowest common denominator dudes and chicks that need to bleed as much as those who want to rip their face clean off their skull (“Cursed”). While Xiblaba treads a well-documented musical ground stocked with dozens of both pretenders and contenders, their hybrid brand of massive buildups and wrecking ball breakdowns never bypass the underlying groove (“Time’s Up”), giving this album the edge over their sound-a-like-minded peers in the songwriting department and making this disc something to spin when black clouds hover.
- Mike SOS