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Tzompantli – Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force

Published:

Last Updated on 08:52 AM by Nikos Nakos

Genre: Death/Doom
Country: U.S.A
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Year: 2024

A tzompantli (Nahuatl pronunciation:[t͡somˈpant͡ɬi]) or skull rack was a type of wooden rack or palisade documented in several Mesoamerican civilizations, which was used for the public display of human skulls, typically those of war captives or other sacrificial victims. It is a scaffold-like construction of poles on which heads and skulls were placed after holes had been made in them.

As for the band with this weird name Tzompantli is the brainchild of Brian “Itztlakamayeh” Ortiz, guitarist for metallic hardcore outfit Xibabla. With their debut entitled Tlazcaltiliztli, many were heavily surprised by the top notch quality and the almost perfect mixture of Death and Doom that the band delivered.

Surely the native rituals and the traditional instruments helped to grow their fame but it was in the end the music that made the biggest impact for the band.

Now there’s no surprises but Tzompantli the eleven piece band (with members of Xibalba, Civerous, Dead Heat, Teeth, and more) dives deep into the ancient fires of their origins, breathing its smoke, painting their faces with the ashes and offering more blood to the Gods of their people…There is no other Death Doom album with more intense and more percussive than Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force.

I think wisely the band created a cinematic environment in order to have space for their ideas to breathe. They will bring you in mind Sepultura and the years when they called them jungle boys while Seps were living in skyscrapers in Rio but you know people like to act like primitives and call names to other people that just can’t deal with what they are doing. So the California based collective group (I’m not aware of any jungle in California) continues bravely to compose experimental extreme music that probably will make a lot of people for the pre-Hispanic history of Mesoamerican civilisation. And yes there are plenty of tribal percussion not enough to give the character of groove but mostly the beat down drumming is gloomy and mournful. Tzompantli’s sophomore effort has a tremendous interesting for those who prefer their Doom/Death adventurous but sorrowful.

Highlights the buzzsaw guitars, the ritualistic and dramatic passages, the melodic parts and the atmosphere can attract fans from a really wide audience blending lovers of
Coffins, Mortiferum, Anhedonist, Evoken, Sepultura, Xibabla (US), Hooded Menace, Mournful Congregation, Yaotl Mictlan, the early Paradise Lost and Anathema albums, and beyond at the same time.

Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force was recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered by Erol Ulug at Bright Light Studios, and completed with cover artwork by Adam Burke, layout by Chimere Noire, and photography by Luckee Ngin.

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