Originally written by Chris Redar
A short list of similes that sprang to mind while listening to Tierra y Libertad, the third album from California metalcore dealy-mer-bobber Xibalba:
• Like Hatebreed and Corporate Avenger collaborating on an album that is worse than anything either band ever did
• Like Max Cavalera took two more strings off of his guitar and then recorded a covers album of a Hatebreed/Corporate Avenger mashup.
• Like Rise of the Northstar giving even less of a fuck about how awful they sound.
• Like boredom finally decided to record an album.
• Like Puya.
• Like metal has finally and definitively jumped the shark, and that “jump the shark” is a shitty phrase to use for anything, but whatever.
• Like another album that fails the “would 2001 Chris dig this?” litmus test.
A little history on that last one—In 2001, yours truly was in a bit of a transitional phase. My closet was filled to the brim with tattered and torn (HAHA) Slipknot clothing interspersed with Dimmu Borgir/Cradle of Filth inverted cross/naked woman attire (everyone’s gotta start somewhere, kids, and fizzUCK any of you little nerds who swear you were born with a copy of Blood Fire Death up your ass). I was still a bit away from hearing Prowler in the Yard, which would change everything forever, and was just buying random-ass CDs based on recommendations from the local riff-raff. A fair deal of these types were still into things like Chimaira and Fear Factory, but only the one with B-Real on it. The reach of the Korns and Limp Bizkits was as far as it was suffocating. EVERYONE was in a nu-metal band in Northwest Indiana.
So, to clarify, no. Xibalba’s monotonous, aimless, and ultimately unnecessary brand of tough-guy knuckle-dragging fightcore would have found its way out of my Intrepid into the Civic or Fiero of some unlucky mope before 2002 rolled around, probably inside of a 40 Below Summer jewel case, which is also holding a Dope album, probably. In fact, 2001 Chris, who was a sucker for the over-long nu-finale on most albums, absolutely hates the nearly thirteen minute closer “El Vacio” on this so much he’s giving 2015 Chris heartburn just thinking about that one goddamn chord over and over again.
The other seven songs suck pretty bad, too, but without a track list or jewel case in front of you, you aren’t telling them apart anyway. They have names, and the names are in Spanish, but the constant “fucks” are in English. I suppose it’s good that the band put so many fucks on the album, because I would have been unable to give them one. Dreck of the highest order.