By the time we’re about thirty seconds into “Saka,” track four on Años En Infierno, the latest offering from Californian wrecking crew Xibalba, I can literally feel the walls around me shaking. Yes, Años En Infierno is THAT heavy. Combining filthy death metal with pit-mauling hardcore, Xibalba is back to carry on stoving in your faces.

It has to be said that, to date, despite putting out devastating album after devastating album, these California maulers are one of the most well-kept secrets in the metal/death metal scene. Hopefully, though, with the release of this utterly crushing collection of songs, maybe now is the time the band will get the recognition they deserve.

Años En Infierno sees Xibalba set out their intentions early. Pummelling blast beats pepper the air while filthy breakdowns lay waste to anyone in their way. The album opens with “La Injusticia” and, by the end of the opener, it should be pretty clear as to what you’re going to get from Años En Infierno.

Xibalba’s use of a fat, guttural guitar sound along with a relentless grinding beat, all wrapped up in a thick-as-tar production, plunges their hardcore-based brutality to new depths of heaviness. That’s even before we’ve touched on Nate Rebolledo’s truly grim vocals. Spewed up from fuck-knows-where, Rebolledo has a voice that will send shivers down your spine and not in a good way. Roaring away like he has rusty nails embedded in his throat, if the music of Xibalba wasn’t enough to make every single one of your nerve ends twitch, listening to Rebolledo howl his way through the likes of “Santa Muerte” certainly will.

Nothing about Años En Infierno makes for pleasant listening. Suffocating, terrifying, and utterly bleak, their combination of brutal death metal, morose doom and chugging hardcore is a punishing listen. Add into the mix that horrifying air of fear and you end up with an album like this. An album that is nasty on unimaginable levels but one that, if you’re a fan of really ugly heavy music, will really hit your sweet spot.

Años En Infierno Track Listing:

1. La Injusticia
2. Corredor De La Muerte
3. Santa Muerte
4. Saka
5. Años En Infierno
6. En La Oscuridad
7. El Abismo I
8. El Abismo II

Run Time: 35:50
Release Date: May 29, 2020
Record Label: Southern Lord

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.