TZOMPANTLI: Tlazcaltiliztli Debut LP From California Indigenous Death/Doom Metal Entity Formed By Xibalba Guitarist Streaming In Its Entirety; Album Out This Friday Through 20 Buck Spin

photos by Elena Chute

20 Buck Spin is now streaming Tlazcaltiliztli, the intense debut LP from Southern California indigenous death/doom metal collective, TZOMPANTLI, ahead of the album’s official release this Friday.

TZOMPANTLI’s main member Huey Itztekwanotl o))), who is responsible for all music and lyrics for the band, is also known for playing with Pomona’s brutal hardcore merchants Xibalba. Tlazcaltiliztli is dedicated to, and an offering to, the indigenous peoples, nations, and tribes of the North, South, East, and West of the American continents. It marks a fearsome and spirited new vision for the death metal underground.

The drums on “Eltequi” were performed by Huey Itztekwanotl o))), and the Huehuetl drum circle, teponaztli drum, death whistles, shells and shakers were performed by Mateotl Gonzalez, G-bone, and Huey Itztekwanotl o))). Tlazcaltiliztli was produced by Erol Ulug and Huey Itztekwanotl o))), and was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Erol Ulug at Bright Light Studios. The album’s vibrant cover art was handled by Andi from AVS Ravenheart, and the layout handled by Dan Fried. The result is a crushing but soulful brand of slow-motion death metal that makes TZOMPANTLI a prime listen for fans of Coffins, Solothus, Vastum, Spectral Voice, Evoken, Disembowelment, Morbid Angel, Hooded Menace, Hellhammer, Grave, and Paradise Lost.

Huey Itztekwanotl o))) reveals, “Get ready for a brutal and spiritual journey that pays homage to my ancestors. I hope everyone enjoys the sounds and atmosphere I’ve created.”

Explore TZOMPANTLI’s harrowing Tlazcaltiliztli LP in its entirety RIGHT HERE.

20 Buck Spin will issue Tlazcaltiliztli on CD, cassette, and all digital platforms this Friday, May 6th, with the LP version to see release June 17th. Find preorder options at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

A Tzompantli, in bygone days, was a rack used to display human skulls, often of enemies or sacrifices, in several Mesoamerican civilizations. In 2022, TZOMPANTLI is a beyond crushing death/doom war march built on a bedrock of native/indigenous themes, rituals, and history, illuminating the splendor, brutality, and despair within.

Nearly three years after the band’s well-received, self-released EP, TZOMPANTLI’s debut full-length presents the first smoke-conjured specter to manifest materially. Tlazcaltiliztli, a ritual ceremony that translates to “nourishing the fire and sun with blood,” is imbued with the spirit of native inspiration that dwells deep within the heart and soul of the project and is skillfully weaved into a traditional bludgeoning framework of spine-severing savagery and melancholic anguish. On the ritualistic “Eltequi” (to cut the chest open and extract the heart as an offering”), the band’s unification of native/folk instrumentation and heaviness becomes one in the same, opening vast new horizons for where this sound can go.