Xipe Totek Kalpul is a Mexican folk black metal band from México City, formed on August of 2006. Since its beginning the band is constantly changing and evolving both musically and philosophically. Band members are on a continuous research on the various indigenous cultures of Mexico and America and on their music. They released their first demo “Yohualahuanatzin” in 2009 followed by the debut EP “Xoxopantla“, later the same year. In 2012 they self-released their first full-length album “Uitsnauatlampaj“, which is the only work I have listened from the band.
Like most South and Central American bands, Xipe Totek Kalpul have an underground approach in their sound. Their guitars follow raw black metal forms with some early thrash metal influences, mostly in the rhythmic sessions. Their vocals also are of very extreme nature, fitting perfectly with their overall sound, while there are some clean vocals and narrations too. It is the use of rare traditional instruments though that gives a very different and interesting twist in their music. They use various flutes made of carrizo wood (tlapitzalli, pifa and quena), stringed instruments like the “cuatro venezolano” and drums like the “ueuetl”. They also sing in multiple principal languages of Mexico, like Mixteco, Otomi and Nauatl Maseualajtolli, as well as in Kechua from South America, in Triqui from México and in Spanish. All the above unusual instruments and dialects add a unique primitive exotic tribal atmosphere to the album. There are parts when their folk tunes follow more typical melodic scales and parts when they have an almost “ancient” aura with a natural ritualistic aesthetic. “Uitsnauatlampaj” includes 13 songs with total play-time over 62 minutes and the basic concept of the band is to present the cultural greatness that still lives in Mexico, not only in the past, but mostly in the present!
Xipe Totek Kalpul is a really interesting band with a strong personality and a distinctive sound. Fans of folk black metal better give this band a listen, since you might find something very different and original. I would only hope for a better production in the future and a more harmonic combination of metal and folk orchestrations. In any case, “Uitsnauatlampaj” is an impressive debut album, self-released by the band in a jewel-case edition CD with a 16-page booklet printed in luxury photo quality paper. The booklet includes all the lyrics for those who know the languages… You can visit their official Facebook profile to decide on your own.
Xipe Totek Kalpul @ Facebook