Review

XIBALBA Diablo, Con Amor​.​. Adios.

EP · 2017 · Metalcore
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5/5 ·
Unitron
These days, it can be difficult to find death metal that retains the rawness and brutality of its heyday in the late 80's and 90's. As time went on, death metal bands felt the need to get more technical or melodic. While natural development is important for any style of music, as it continues and production values get higher, essential parts of the music can end up getting lost while the monotony continues. When this happens, it can take only one band to give the genre a kick in the ass and return to its roots. For death metal, it appears like Xibalba is that band.

While classic bands like Obituary, Vader, and Sinister have always successfully delivered old-school death metal with punishing brutality, as well as bands like Nile, I haven't really found any new death metal bands capturing the old-school brutality like the classic bands do. Xibalba has done that though on their 2017 EP, Diablo, Con Amor...Adios. With the title being made up of the three tracks on the EP, Xibalba pummels the listener to the ground with sharp riffing and gargantuan grooves. In this case, less is more, as there is no time to waste during the 10-minute running time. All you get on each track shows what death metal is all about, skull-crushing guitar crunch, piercing riffing, colossal percussion, and roaring vocals.

Adorned with artwork from the master himself, Dan Seagrave, Xibalba retains the old-school spirit while also having their own sound. Classic Morbid Angel and Sepultura can definitely be heard, with Nate Rebolledo's vocals reminding me of Sepultura's Derrick Green at times. The production gives the EP this really low and deep crunch, where you can feel the power and reverb from the gritty slabs of noise. While all three tracks are killer and will slam you to the ground, "Adios" is probably the standout. Just try not to bang your head to the pummeling groove.

If you're looking for some modern death metal that will punch your face in like the old school greats, give a listen to the mighty Xibalba's Diablo, Con Amor...Adios. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
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