TZOMPANTLI To Host Gimme Metal Guest DJ Set On Monday, June 6th; Tlazcaltiliztli Debut LP From California Indigenous Death/Doom Metal Entity Formed By Xibalba Guitarist Out Now On 20 Buck Spin

photo by Elena Chute

Southern California indigenous death/doom metal act TZOMPANTLI will host a guest DJ set at Gimme Metal on Monday, June 6th. Tune in at 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET and join in the chat at

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.

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

Tlazcaltiliztli is out now through 20 Buck Spin, available on CD, cassette, and all digital platforms, with the LP version to see release June 17th. Ordering options can be found at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

TZOMPANTLI will make its live debut this Summer, as part of the 20 Buck Spin label showcase in Los Angeles on July 29th, joining Hulder, Predatory Light, Skelton, Cerebral Rot, Witch Vomit, Fetid, Savage Necromancy, and Civerous.

7/29/2022 20 Buck Spin showcase @ First Street Pool & Billiard Parlor – Los Angeles, CA [info]

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.

“Tlazcaltiliztli is a nasty, stomping metallic hardcore record in atmospheric death/doom’s clothing. The liner notes contain plenty of fascinating Mesoamerican history, but there’s nothing intellectual about Ortiz’s crunching low-string riffs punching a hole in your chest. Tlazcaltiliztli rises to meet the evils of colonization with the appropriate level of sonic violence.” – Bandcamp Daily

“The songwriting on Tlazcaltiliztli is varied and potent. From the stompy fight riffs of the title track to the entrancing tribal doom of ‘Eltequi’ to the massive death/doom of closer ‘Yaotiacahuanetzli,’ TZOMPANTLI serve up death metal that primitive in its riffs and potent in its delivery.” – Decibel Magazine

“The band pays tribute to some of the most brutal death metal in history and also incorporates the percussion and wind instruments of the ancient Prehispanic empire, making for eerie music that invites you to bang your head… one of the most unique albums in the genre.” – Remezcla

TZOMPANTLI‘s debut is offering a refreshing take on the death metal subgenre. Riffs and rhythms are aggressive and dark of course, but they also infuse drum circles, shells, Teponaztli drum, and other Indigenous instrumentation in their sound. Fans of Coffins, Disembowelment, and the likes should come for the death doom, but stay for the rest.” – Metal Injection