"Madre Mia Gracias Por Los Dias"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Of all the crusty hardcore that Southern Lord has thrown at us lately, this is the most thuggish and stripped down. If I was a smart aleck, I'd call Xibalba's style "Neander-core", because its knuckles are dragging in the dirt. Is this heavy? Is this powerful? Yes, it sure is, but while I can appreciate simple, primitive music, there's a certain point where it becomes bland to listen to and over the course of "Madre Mia Gracias Por Los Dias", that point is passed.

Imagine The Acacia Strain colliding with the crudest Obituary and you have the Xibalba formula. I would have tossed in Hatebreed, but actually, Hatebreed varies tempo more than these guys. The sound is raw, thick and brutally heavy and the riffs are almost exclusively basic mid-tempo crush. On opening cut "Bright Sun", the result is pure destruction...the tune is a musical bulldozer. "Madre Mia" delivers more of the same and then "Never Kneel" continues the savage New York beatdown.  After begin to realize that this is pretty much all Xibalba's got.

I'm sure they want it that way, but I got weary of the monotony. By the time "Salvation" and "Cursed" roll in, I was numb to the beating and didn't care anymore. Would it have hurt to have a thrasher blast in or maybe a guitar solo stick its head in? Other recent crude Southern Lord offerings like Acephalix and Alpinist make for more interesting but still brutal listening. Maybe next time...