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 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 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 weaved into a traditional bludgeoning framework of spine-severing savagery and melancholic anguish.
Tzompantli’s main member Huey Itztekwanotl o))), who is responsible for all music and lyrics for the band, also is known for playing with Pomona’s brutal hardcore merchants Xibalba. “Tlazcaltiliztli” is dedicated, and an offering, to the indigenous peoples, nations and tribes of the North, South, East and West of the American continents.
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 cover art was handled by Andi from AVS Ravenheart, and the layoutwas handled by Dan Fried.
The lead single from “Tlazcaltiliztli,” the LP’s second track “Tlatzintilli,” is streaming on all digital platforms, including Bandcamp, HERE.
20 Buck Spin will issue “Tlazcaltiliztli” on CD, cassette and all digital platforms on May 6, with the vinyl version to see release June 17. Find digital pre-orders at Bandcamp HERE and watch for physical pre-orders soon.
“Tlazcaltiliztli” track listing:
Huey Itztekwanotl o))) – vocals, guitars
G-Bone – bass