Yaotl Mictlan - Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac
Candlelight
Black Metal
8 songs (49:00)
Release year: 2010
Candlelight
Reviewed by Goat

Despite these Utah-based Black Metallers having been around for over a decade, they’ve remained a well-kept secret. Originally hailing from Mexico, the band are somewhere between Drudkh and Krieg musically, focusing on the Christianisation of their country and the loss of the Mayan culture, a topic rarely brought up in Metal. As you’d expect, there are plenty of ancient instruments used to provide a dark, folky atmosphere similar to Negură Bunget’s style in many ways, yet the focus is most definitely on the Black Metal that underpins their music. With former former Shub Niggurath guitarist Xolotl in their ranks, Yaotl Mictlan have an original sound which deserves wider exposure, and it’s good that Candlelight have picked them up for album number two.

As you may expect, this isn’t music that’s easy to pick up and immediately ‘get’, but the band are great at what they do. It’s a personal pleasure to get this to review – I had been intending to write up their 2006 debut, Guerreros De La Tierra De Los Muertos for a while now, although it suffered from being over seventy minutes long. Fortunately, Yaotl Mictlan have cut down and stripped back on the blubber for this second assault, Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac coming in well under an hour and being full of excellent Black Metal, diverse and well-written, with an excellent grasp of dynamics and a taste for violence that will please crypt-dwelling kvltists as much as it surely pleases mighty Kukulkán!

Although I recommend that you check Guerros De La Tierra... out as well, it’s this album that’s the better one, without a doubt. The gloomy rain that opens the title track is soon joined by epic, Doomy riffs, underpinned by some wonderfully-organic sounding drums and percussion, launching into shifting blastbeats and distinctly Spanish snarling, the song as a whole never content to remain still, but rambling in an almost Prog fashion here and there for seven minutes without once losing its hypnotic quality. Garra de Jaguar (Ocho Venado) follows, raging chaos that develops into mid-paced melody and catchy group-chants, before Cihuacoatl (La Llorona) continues towards more epic paths before devolving into sheer screaming terror. None of the tracks are wildly different from each other, but they all take varied approaches and make them work, and it’s with multiple listens that the secrets are really unlocked. Hun Hunapu is a personal favourite, grinding along like early Enslaved at its most vicious, but it’s the kind of album where everyone sees different things in every track, and is more than worth your time.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac, Garra de Jaguar (Ocho Venado), Hun Hunapu
Goat quoted 84 / 100
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