Monday, March 13, 2017

XOLOTL - Xolotl (2009)

The Fellowship of the Gods

Black metal. But with no Christ, no Satan. No ice, no frost and no glaciation. This is about heat, blood cults and sacrifices. La ofrenda suprema, as one song clearly declares. This is about pantheon of the Gods. This is about Mexico!

All right Pawel, calm the fucking down...

The album released in 2009 has one absolutely strong influence coming straight from the land of Norway, luckily it’s been deeply rooted in first significant offers of Enslaved “Vikingligr veldi” or Emperor’s self-titled ep. So, the first half of the nineties is the key here with the best example in “El regreso de Tlaloc”. Pure Norwegian tribute. But, as for the production, it’s done in a rather underground way with raw guitar sound. The most important I have not to guess what guitars try to play. 30 minutes isn’t an one-dimensional soulless musical onslaught on my senses and the songs are with varied tempos, ok, maybe the last one “Xaman Ek” is full of slow and majestic atmosphere. The band is considered as a side-project of Yaotl Mictlan, but as compared to “Xolotl”, it’s definitely much longer, complex and epic. Yes, Xolotl offers very simple music with female Spanish vocals of Bruja nobody would ignore it as she is full of spitting venom and hate and beside of being a bit of monotonous, it sounds really good. The guitarists don’t reinvent a wheel and of course I didn’t expect to find here any modern tunes, the whole has its natural flow and it doesn’t make me yawn – it’s an absolutely added value in such a release. Some of riffs have Norwegian stamp as mentioned above, some have more moving and headbanging moments (“Tlamanaliztli”, “Huitzilopotchli”), some have really catchy riffs (“Chaac” with great slowdowns), some have audible touch of old Dissection era (“El sol de maƱana”). Fast drums aren’t a surprise during the guitar storm, however blast beats have been served only in the most varied title track.

To be more precise in describing the music, one significant element has to be discussed about. Namely using of folk instruments which is performed in a really good and exciting way. Mostly in every song, mostly played in slower parts: fifes, rattle-boxes and the likes. Some songs are opened by short introductions. But all well-thought-out  and perfectly fit to the whole.

Summing the thing up, it’s not a secret I’m very interesting in pre-Columbian history and as for such crews like Xolotl, I am very critical and strict. And in spite of I always prefer deathly side of metal than black one, this album managed to convince me to its core and I return quite often to this fascinating world of the Gods. It seems that this album is the last one as the band isn’t active anymore, or maybe I’m wrong, who knows, but it would be just great to hear anything new from them. But now, “La gran limpia de Ix Chel” casts a spell on me one more time…

…oh, mighty Ix Chel, take my soul and put it on your womb, please…    


(written in March, 2017)