Review Summary: Simplicity
I live in a very small country, I mean a REALLY small country, the musical community around here revolves around a very deeply grounded Black/Death metal scene and pretty much everything else, it’s a place where most bands in the underground have little to no chance to flourish, its been known that some bands around here even have to pay a price to get the right to play in their own shows, what I’m saying is life around here for a musician, especially an underground musician, is pretty fucking
hopeless, having bounced back and forth from Spain, England, France and other musical scenes this much is clear to me, the place I call home has got to be the worst for a musician, however, sometimes a band that breaks the mold comes along around here and manages to put out something rather moving, something diferent but above all, something new, this time around that band is Xb’alanke.
On the ancient mayan book the Popol Vuh, Xb’balanke was the name of one of the creational God twins, here it’s the name of a promising post rock band who wears their roots on their sleeves, forget about the musical dexterity of post metal or the usual flair for the dramatic that post rock relies on so often, here you’ll get 33 minutes of an expansive, all encompassing wall of sound with its peaks an valleys, one thats rather hard to speak of without experiencing it. A journey, one you must undertake with a will to let go of everything in your surroundings and just give in to the music.
The musicianship eases you into the somber emptiness and allows you to drift off while you get to go traveling over the clouds in El Rostro Del Fuego
, with its tight percussion and strong electric guitar lines the song still manages to stay light and give you a sense of weightlessness that is only further reinforced by its predominant bass lines, then you get shot down to the ground and sent on a trip down an endless river in a wooden canoe on Las Ciegas
, with its constant guitar picking and endless reverb you can very well manage to find yourself at the gates of Xibalba if you allow your mind to wonder far enough.
Its not to say the album is perfect, mainly due to a production that looses somewhat of the atmosphere the instruments could very well have created, however, the upsides vastly overpower the downsides and when its all said and done, this is just a great post rock album, for most people anyway, but for people like me, it’s a bit more than that, it’s a sense of musical flourish from the place i call home, a light at the end of the dark path, call it what you will, I call that hope.