“Tlayoualotl” is the debut full-length album from Amocualli, a Mexican pre-Hispanic folk black metal band from Tuxpan, Jalisco. The band was formed in 2005 as the personal project of Varek, with the intention to mix black metal with traditional music from his homeland. The same year he released the demo “Mahuala Teteo“, but after that he decided to stop this project! Luckily in 2012 Varek (now as Ilhuitemóc) decided to resurrect Amocualli, this time with a full line-up. After the gathering of all band members, they entered the studio to record their debut album “Tlayoualotl“, which was finally self-released in 2013.
Since the beginning of the band, Ilhuitemóc was inspired by the local legends and traditions of Jalisco that were transferred through time verbally from generation to generation. For this reason the band used the Nahuatl and Mixtec dialects, as well as many pre-Hispanic local traditional instruments. Mexican folk music isn’t very “melodic” and the mixture with black metal isn’t easy at all, especially since most local bands have a quite raw approach in their sound. Amocualli have done an amazing work though and ”Tlayoualotl” surprised me from the first listening! They managed to sound raw and melodic at the same time, due to the excellent work in their metal orchestrations and their unique personal sound. Traditional instruments are very dominant and in extended use in their songs, but their primary role is to give the local folk “atmosphere” in their compositions. The basic melodic role is left to the guitars. Epic rhythmic riffs, melodic leads and beautiful solos are accompanied by atmospheric acoustic guitars and epic synths, some times in the background and other times more dominant, like in the closing 10-minute saga “Ichan Tonatiuh Ilhuicac“. Vocals are extreme black metal growls, fitting perfectly with the raw nature of their traditional instruments, being at the same time in balance with their melodic music, since they are not very “loud” in the mix. The band has also released a video-clip for the song “Antakoo Dzahuii“, the sixth track of the album.
It is obvious that “Tlayoualotl” impressed me! Amocualli is the second great Mexican folk black metal band that I listen to recently and I totally recommend them to fans of folk black metal, who like to listen to something different. I am really looking forward for their next work and I hope they won’t split up again. “Tlayoualotl” is self-released in a standard jewel-case edition with 8-page booklet, including the lyrics. I believe though that its artwork and layout should be much better to match the quality of their music. You can visit their official Facebook profile to get a taste of their wonderful music.
Amocualli @ Facebook