TZOMPANTLI: “Chichimecatl” Single From Indigenous Death Metal Tribe Created By Xibalba Guitarist Streaming; Second LP, Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force, Nears May 17th Release On 20 Buck Spin

photo by Luckee Ngin

“Chichimecatl” is the devastating new single from Los Angeles-based TZOMPANTLI, the brainchild of Brian “Itztlakamayeh” Ortiz of metallic hardcore outfit Xibabla. The track is the second single to be issued ahead of the band’s second album, Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force, out this May on 20 Buck Spin.

With their Tlazcaltiliztli debut album, TZOMPANTLI called forth a penetrating strike of death and doom metal like a poisoned arrow through the heart. The band’s foundation in Indigenous/native rituals, history, and lore, and merging of traditional instruments into their sound made for one of 2022’s most uniquely voiced metal records. Now, TZOMPANTLI has again been summoned from the smoke of the ancient fires with a new offering at the altar of human sacrifice, Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force. Fearsomely brutal war marches of percussive death metal are contrasted with melancholy passages of longing spirit and entrancing ceremonial invocations to the ancestors. The TZOMPANTLI tribe has greatly expanded on this second album with more than ten musicians enlisted in the conjuring of wrathful deities and collection of invader skulls.

There has been no shortage of fantastic death/doom records in recent years and TZOMPANTLI’s latest entry in the genre’s pantheon demonstrates its continued expansion into wider musical and thematic arenas. The anguished fortitude at the heart of Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force exalts in the blood and ash of empire and would be conquerors, a fiery lamentation to centuries of erasure.

With members of Civerous, Dead Heat, Spinebreaker, Teeth, and more supplying the vast array of instrumentation to the album, 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. TZOMPANTLI’s unique draws listeners of Coffins, Mortiferum, Anhedonist, Evoken, Sepultura, Xibabla (US), Hooded Menace, Mournful Congregation, Yaotl Mictlan, the early Paradise Lost and Anathema albums, and beyond.

With, “Chichimecatl,” Ortiz reveals, “This song is about the Chichimeca, or as the Spanish would call them, ‘La Gran Chichimeca,’ which is an umbrella term for different tribes from the north. They were feared for their brutality and mastery in warfare. This is why they were never conquered by the Spanish and their allies. I wanted this song to reflect the power of the Chichimecas.”

March to war with TZOMPANTLI’s “Chichimecatl” as your soundtrack via YouTube HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

Beating The Drums Of Ancestral Force will be released May 17th on LP, CD, MC, and digital platforms. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp where “Tlayohualli” is also streaming HERE.

Brian “Itztlakamayeh” Ortiz – vocals, rhythm/lead guitars, bass, folk instruments, percussion
Manzig “Yohualli” Sanchez – lead guitars
Eric Delgado – bass
Mateotl Boughton – lead guitars
Jason “Katulu” Brunes – vocals, folk instruments, percussion
Erol Ulug – vocals, lead guitars
Alejandro Aranda – vocals, drums, folk instruments, percussion
Justin Moore – vocals
Lord Foul – vocals
Mateotl Gonzalez – folk instruments, percussion
Justin Ton – lead guitars