Mictlantecuhtli
Warriors of the Black Sun

I didn’t even try pronouncing Mictlantecuhtli – Aztec God of the Dead – and it’s a bitch to spell too. You may want to learn the pronunciation because if you dig Warriors of the Black Sun as much as I do you’ll not want to sound moronic when that name falls out of your mouth. It is 52 minutes of high quality blackened melo-death with blood-soaked lyrical content concerning ancient Aztec battles and the warrior code.

The Los Angeles group clearly put a great deal of effort into not only songwriting, but also the packaging, recording, and advertising. I’ve been seeing this sucker advertised in what seemed like several high-profile magazines for at least a few months now. Though Darkest Empire is listed as the record label, I’ve yet to find any information on it, leading me to believe that Warriors of the Black Sun is an independent release, making the effort an even more impressive one. But I digress.

The songwriting and playing on this baby is hot as hell! Generally speaking, the music takes more than a few cues from Dissection (the black metal melodies), but the raspy (and mostly intelligible) vocals of Temoc make it seem like more of a black metal offering than is actually the case. The Dissection element is certainly significant, but so is a sound borrowed from the formative era of Swedish melodic death metal (early In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, etc.) “Shadow of the Morning Star,” “Night of Sorrow,” and “The Warriors’ Desire” are three representative examples of the crossbreeding, right down to the classic guitar harmonies.

But there’s more. Elements of a traditional brand of heavy metal are also included, particularly the work of Iron Maiden as heard on “Roads to Victory,” including Tlaloc’s Steve Harris bass lines, which are nicely separated in the mix. Just listen to the opening section of “Kingdom’s Fire” and tell me that Iron Maiden is not the first band that comes to mind; seriously, if that’s not the case when you hear it I’ll give you a quarter.

Finally, I cannot say enough about the soloing from lead guitarists Mixcoatl and Cuitlahuac. It is absolutely fucking phenomenal! The leads slice through the air like hot knives through butter and leave the neck hairs permanently straightened.

So there you have it: great songwriting, molten metal, fiery leads, and gripping tales of the ancient ones. If that ain’t metal, then it’s time I got out of the business because I obviously don’t know what I’m talking about.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
February 26th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    meekt-lawn-teh-koot-ly

    I’ve also seen/heard quite a bit about this recently, so I checked it out. It’s pretty damn good. I need to spend some more time with it.


  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I gave this some more listens after your review Scott-its pretty solid


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