Xibalba – Años En Infierno

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label [URL] Southern Lord Records
Released: 2020
Buy Album [URL] https://xibalbasl.bandcamp.com/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/placeoffear

Band line-up:

Nate Rebolledo – vocals
Bigg Brian Ortiz – guitars/vocals
Jason Brunes – drums/vocals
Scott Fahey – guitars (live)
Eric Netto – bass (live)

Tracklisting:

1. La Injusticia
2. Corredor De La Muerte
3. Santa Muerta
4. Saka
5. Anos En Infierno
6. En La Oscuridad
7. El Abismo I
8. El Abismo II

Review

Some of the best themes to be found in hardcore music and death metal are politics, social issues, injustice, anger at brutal governments and preservation of cultures and heritages deemed lost or destroyed by despots and modern society. One band all the way from the US state of California is Xibalba, named after the underworld in Mayan mythology.

The group, made up of members with strong ties to Mexican and Mayan backgrounds have released their fourth album: “Anos En Infierno,” (Years in Hell) which displays the band’s strong and deadly combination of low-frequency musicianship, heft death metal riffs and raspy hardcore vocals, basic drumming and breakdowns.

When handed this album, I at first was sceptical of this band’s fusion of said genres as I am no fan of deathcore, but I was proven wrong by the angry catchiness of the opening tune and the ensuing roller coaster thrill ride along every track. Xibalba is aiming to keep their cultural message about the horrors inflicted upon their indigenous cultures alive with some of the angriest and evil music ever concocted, and I certainly cannot think of a better way to display said anger.

If you love classic American hardcore groups like His Hero Is Gone or Severed Head of State, put this album into your collection. I’d recommend it also for those who like the works of other hardcore-death metal fusion groups like Venom Prison and Svalbard – the ones changing the outlook and image of the scene over here in Britain.

The musicianship is pristine and offers plenty of reasons to play this record again and again, even if you are not a Spanish speaker. None of the boring elements of hardcore are here, no elongated breakdowns or chugging guitars, so if you love hardcore that is lightning fast and shrieky like a good Minor Threat track, give Xibalba a try.

An exceptionally good job by these blokes to remind the world that hardcore and death metal can be political and socially commentating when the right elements are employed well.

Review by Demitri Levantis
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