Xibalba – Madre Mia Por Los Dias

These Southern California based slammers are a riot, guerilla warfare, and full on civil war contained in 12 tracks of sludge/death metal/Hardcore obliteration. I can really hear the Crowbar like sludge/metal aggression and hardcore roots, but have to say that it’s nothing recycled here. Of all three of the recent SL limited edition releases, this one fucked me up the most and the quickest, in fact I had to track down the label that recently did the vinyl edition and grab it this morning.

Tracks like “Madre Mia” and “We Deserve to Die” showcase angular and almost “out of tune” chords that when running alongside the stomach churning rhythms and determined vocal outbursts form a massive arsenal of angst and doom.

“Times Up” opens up with a 911 call reporting a suicide and when the operator asks “who was the victim”, the reply is “I am”. Right after this opening the throbbing pulse of this bands upfront and aggressive approach just slams you into the floor.

I’ve been stressing my overworked brain to find out exactly what this band reminds me off, but I’m drawing huge blanks. That’s actually a good thing, it means that there’s something unique and yet comfortably familiar to this band that makes it stand out and also a safe and timeless investment. I wanted to say it reminded me of Indian (Slights and Abuse), the misanthropic sludge and sarcasm of 16 (“You Let Me Down Again”), and Kylesa (Static Tensions and Time Will Fuse it’s Worth), but the band itself is early death metal/grind with its pounding and chugging riffs and skull piercing jagged melodies and full frontal vocal onslaught. Whatever Xibalba is, it’s loud, brutal, well executed, and memorable.

There’s no getting around it, once you hear them you’ll not only remember Xibalba for years to come, but your vision will be blurred, your balance off, and your head will continue to throb for some time after the first bold introduction to them.

This version of the release is their S/T debut (vinyl on A389 Records) alongside songs from the Earthquake compilation.

Seven Sisters of Sleep – S/T

Another jawbreaker from the California wasteland featuring members of Arm and Sword of the Bastard God/Tafkata, bringing a short and blunt stoner fused hardcore massacre to the ears. Coming in at less than 20 minutes, the exhaustion from the listen will make you believe that you just completed the Iron Man in that amount of time and honestly, you’ll be psyched and ready to do it all over again right away…and you will. This is another essential one and the vinyl edition is available through A389, with the very limited CD through Southern Lord.

Planks – The Darkest of Grays/Solicit to Fall

The first time ever that these recordings are available on CD, and both of the full length 12”s from this German band together at last. This is one of the three that reminds me of the dissonance and despair heard and felt in the Masakari release last year, the gruff vocals expressive of frustration and need for revolt combined with crust/melodic hardcore and metal to yield something so resonating and dense that even Steven Hawking couldn’t describe it through some theory. At times the sounds will be morose and melodic, almost peacefully sad, and then there will be explosions of down-tuned diesel engine chugging rhythms and further explosions of decibel abusing and riot inducing chords that’ll inspire revolution in anyone. As a whole this is a vortex, spiraling violently out of control, to not be consumed is impossible. Here lay anthems of upheaval against the doom and despair of today’s world.


Seven Sisters of Sleep