Anytime Xibalba announces they are releasing a record, you know you are instore for something insanely heavy. It doesn’t matter if you are a lifelong metal head or a forever hardcore, the boys from California have found a monstrous way of transcending and blending genres into something that other bands are now aspiring to sound like from all over the spectrum. Only with their newest full length Tierra Y Libertad, they seemed to have taken things to a whole new level.

When Xibalba first came on the scene the easiest way to describe their sound to someone was if Disembodied came from California and rather than sing about self-loathing and suicide, the self-loathing remained but was fueled with an utter disgust in the world backed by a life of hard living in the streets of Pomona, California. With time they quickly became comfortable with their sound and was able to develop it far passed just being a clone of the Disembodied. Adding elements of sludge and doom to their already downtuned slower and chuggier hardcore elevated them above any peers they may have had on the bands sophomore full length, Hasta La Muerta. Everything they seemed to have wanted to accomplish on the Madre Mia Gracia Por Los Dias was perfected the second time around. With songs like No Serenity and Burn, you’d be hard pressed to find something a more massive album that was released in 2012.

Now here we are in 2015 and just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, they have gone and blown any of their previous material out of the water. The tuning and sludgeness of Crowbar, Morbid Angel style death metal riffage, Disembodied like metalcore parts, doom interludes, with hardcore ethics and some Spanish flare, all neatly rolled into one immense package. Take everything you grew accustomed to with Xibalba records and amplify it by 10. There is also an increased production value. I’ll admit that at times, mostly during fast parts, the production in combination of the tuning and distortion choice, the music becomes a little muffled, especially on the first two or three listens, but the overall quality is impressive. Everything just sounds more professional and bigger than before. This is the record that Xibalba was meant to make.

It’s so early in the year but it’s going to be hard to find a record that will be able to pack the punch that Tierra Y Libertad does. This is audio equivalent to a freight train smashing directly into your noggin. You would be a fool if you slept on this record. In 2015, Xibalba is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Highlight tracks: Guerilla and El Vacio