XIBALBA “Diablo, Con Amor, Adios” 

OOZEPUS “Your Limit”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Just how heavy can an EP be? That’s what these two bands are trying to find out on their latest releases. Let’s see what they discovered…

OOZEPUS is a new Japanese unit featuring members of the crushing death/doom outfit Coffins and the noise/industrial artist Linekraft. It’s a lead pipe cinch that these guys worship the Godflesh variety of lumbering industrial metal. The four tunes on “Your Limit” lurch and clank like a steampunk robot coming to life. Very basic harsh riffs, mechanistic cold drum and bass rhythms and straining, constipated vocal grunts combine with a constant background of scrap metal noise and feedback to produce a most unlovely sound.  The tunes are effective in an evil, monotonous fashion but with the 8 minute plus final tune “Farmers”, you probably will reach “your limit”. That is inhuman noise metal forged in Hell’s own foundry. Godflesh fans will dig it, but many will find it too much to take.

Xibalba from SoCal just get heavier and more bludgeoning with each new output. How they are gonna top this brute force beatdown is a mystery. Each of the three songs here rides on a backbone of ultra downtuned guitar crunch that breaks bones and reaps souls. Death metal, doom and knuckle-dragging hardcore combine in pure diamond-hard perfection here. Each of the tunes is so simple yet so totally back-breaking. “Diablo” is rabid mid-paced hardcore brutality, “Con Amor” has more of a speedy death metal sound and final cut “Adios” is jaw-droppingly heavy. The guitar sound on the slower riffs here sounds like tectonic plates grinding against each other.

Oozepus is pretty harsh, but very few bands can surpass the sheer density of Xibalba’s sound. That band just keeps getting more brutal.