XIBALBA

Thrash Metal / Progressive Metal • Slovakia
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Xibalba was a progressive thrash metal band from Košice, Slovakia.
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XIBALBA Grey Infinity album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Grey Infinity
Progressive Metal 1998

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XIBALBA Brain-Feedback album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Brain-Feedback
Thrash Metal 1990
XIBALBA Depressive Reality album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Depressive Reality
Thrash Metal 1992
XIBALBA Expelling The Evil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Expelling The Evil
Thrash Metal 1993
XIBALBA Grey Infinity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Grey Infinity
Progressive Metal 1995

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XIBALBA Grey Infinity

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
XIBALBA was formed in 1990 in the city of Košice located in the far eastern part of Slovakia. The band name comes from Mayan mythology and roughly translates as “place of fear” which is the name of the underworld ruled by Maya death gods. The band consisted of Peter "Oldboy" Šerfözö (bass), Miro "Speed" Szeman (drums), Jozef "Mercedes" Daraš (guitar) and Karol "Bright" Gerba (vocals) and together they released three thrash metal demos: “Brain-Feedback,” “Depressive Reality” and “Expelling The Evil” from 1990-93 but then suddenly lead vocalist Karol Gerba caught the progressive metal bug and shifted the band’s sound into more complex arrangements, more pensive clean vocal styles and a greater diversity in the influences that were included.

The band only released this single album GREY INFINITY in 1998 and ditched their Death Angel worship origins in favor of an upgraded style that fell somewhere in between the extreme complex prog metal thrash of Watchtower and the more art rock flavors of Psychotic Waltz. GREY INFINITY consists of 13 tracks that offer a few interesting twists and turns that are both dazzling and at the same time offers some head scratching moments. The album opens up with a common trait of 90s thrash metal which is to begin the album with a dramatic build up of dark atmospheric tension with scary sounds, a crunchy guitar stomp and features an uncredited synthesizer sound that is prevalent throughout the album’s run.

“Belong To No One” bursts into the thrash metal bombast with heavy guitar riffing, bombastic bass thumping and percussive precision to match thus displaying the band’s mastery of this particular style of prog metal mixed with the extremity of thrash metal. While the heavier moments are much like the complex wankery of the classic Watchtower albums of the 80s, once Gerba starts to sing, it’s immediately obvious that Psychotic Waltz was one of the primary influences as his singing style is much like Buddy Lackey’s distinct vocal charm. The crazy time signature changes and guitar solos are right out of the Psychotic Waltz playbook although XIBALBA does manage to keep enough distance from falling into the trap of sounding too much like any other band.

There are some funky alternative metal bass grooves such as on “Slave of Love” which also add crazy 70s sounding organ runs and some extra over the top heaviness with thrash metal riffs on a adrenaline fueled rampage on “Reward From The Gods.” In addition to the crazier proggy thrash riffing are many moments of straight forward groove metal a la 90s Pantera. The instrumental “Sunflower Field” provides an intermission and emulates those 80s Metallica intros where two guitars harmonize over each other and craft a highly melodic classically infused run on chill mode however XIBALBA takes things a bit too far on the out of place sounding “I Want You To Stay” which sounds more like a glam metal ballad of the 80s than anything remotely thrash. Imagine a Motley Crue or Poison ballad however it’s done quite well and Gerba’s vocal abilities do make a good balladeer.

Another track that is a bit wild is the 2 minute crossover thrash track “Feel Like Shit” which sounds like something S.O.D. would come up with and even contain a short rapping sequence. The album ends as it began with a synth based collage of sounds that take a cheesy synth line and add a bunch of wind sounds amongst others but ends on some trippy cool notes. Overall XIBALBA delivers a decent slice of progressive thrash metal on GREY INFINITY however the production is a little thin and the whole thing sounds a little too tinny. While the musicianship is generally firing on high levels a few tracks could’ve been trimmed off of this one to give it a more consistent run but generally speaking this is definitely an excellent tight-knit album that offers lots of variety and outstanding performances despite all the warts that keep it from rising. Too bad this band hasn’t released any newer material since they were well on their way to something.

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