Xibalba and Hellias LPs Out Now
XIBALBA “Ancients” LP
While NWN! has immense respect for and was highly influenced by much of the Black Metal output of the 1990’s, very little of it still retains as much of its original allure as that created by Mexico’s earliest masters, Xibalba. Those who are familiar with their only album, “Ah Dzam Poop Ek”, originally released by the infamous Guttural Records in 1994, already know what to expect. This is Black Metal distilled to its most primitive essence. “Ancients” features the 1992 “In Lucescitae Tristis Hiei” demo as well as a rehearsal recording from 1994. While drawing their musical inspiration from the same sources as the Norwegian Black Metal pioneers of the early 1990’s (Bathory, Hellhammer, Sodom, etc.), Xibalba turned toward the ancient traditional Mayan culture for guidance in their rejection of the Catholic plague infesting Mexico. The result is Raw Black Metal perfection similar in some ways to their contemporaries, but still distinctively Xibalba. While technically simple, Xibalba focus on chord progressions so distinctive and clear that the listener is instantly captivated. Rather than overdrive the recording with heavy distortion and a blown-out mix, the instruments are all clear and crisp thus allowing the chords and notes to blend seamlessly to produce a lush and pure and, at times, epic sound not dissimilar to Darkthrone. Furthermore, Xibalba rely heavily on rudimentary heavy rock riffs that keep the music firmly grounded in the metal traditions that originally spawned the Black Metal movement. The vocals, however, often delivered in the tongue of their Mayan ancestors, evoke a sinister hostility that summons the valiant warrior spirit of the ancients to avenge the deaths of the majestic ancient cultures at the hands of the puny and wretched christian vermin that spread through the land leaving behind their legions of weak-minded slaves. “Ancients” comes in high quality jacket with double sided poster insert. Die Hard version comes on green vinyl and features an extra 7” that includes two 1992 rehearsal tracks never before released, and an embroidered patch and sticker.
HELLIAS “Revenge of Hellias” LP
“Revenge of Hellias” is the demo that the Polish Evil Thrash maniacs Hellias recorded in 1988. Not to be confused with the Cassette EP released the same year, “Night of Damnation”, which was reissued on vinyl last year by NWN!, this demo is nothing short of sinister thrash mastery. Vicious and wicked, Hellias do not play fun thrash made for crossover wimps. This is metal made to summon the darkness and annihilate the light. The riffs are fast, heavy, and played with precision and nothing is overly distorted or intentionally obscured. The vocals and lyrics are intensely evil approaching a sound reminiscent of the earliest Black Metal. The end result is a sound that sears the mind and rips the flesh. Hellias has been criminally overlooked for years and now NWN! is seeking to breathe new death into the air by completing the release of the two earliest recordings by this legendary band. Comes on black vinyl and includes pro-printed color poster and pro-printed zine style booklet. Die Hard comes on colored vinyl and also includes patch and sticker.