Rather than counting down the days until we can celebrate Christmas, this year we’re bringing you a series of metal posts will be celebrating the countdown until we don’t have to be inundated with Christmas music and decorations everywhere. To coincide with this countdown we’ll be posting our top 25 metal (and metal-ish) albums of 2012. 25 days of hell, 25 rad metal albums to make up for it.
Heaviest album of the year? Yeah, maybe. Xibalba return to the world with thier second album, Hasta La Muerte (“to the death” for those who don’t speak Spanish) via Southern Lord records. Coming from a more hardcore-oriented direction than a purely metal direction (only somewhat shocking for a Southern Lord band), Xibalba are masters of heavy-hitting vocals and lyrics. Impactful vocals paired with one of the most expansive guitar sounds I’ve heard in recent years, anchored by mighty drum and bass work, make Hasta La Muerte an almost overwhelmingly heavy listen. With lyrics like “No soul, no identity / No peace, no serenity / Doomed to walk this earth ’til our dying days” and “Where I stand I will die / I am the one who will burn the bridge we stand on” the musically bleak demeanor of Xibalba is worn on their sleeves, almost as a badge of honor. Though perhaps not for the faint of heart, Hasta La Muerte is one excellent, heavy-hitting record that has handily earned its #5 spot.