Decibel Magazine is hosting the exclusive premiere of “Tezcatlipoca – Espejo Relumbrante,” the new single from Salt Lake City, Utah-based indigenous black metal tribe, YAOTL MICTLAN. The song precedes the band’s impending third full-length release, Sagrada Tierra del Jaguar, nearing late October release through American Line Productions.
YAOTL MICTLAN – which translates into “Warrior(s) from the land of the Dead” in the Mexican language Nahuatl – delivers their most epic material to date on Sagrada Tierra del Jaguar, focusing on a deeper Mesoamerican mysticism feel to the new songs. Eight expansive tracks take the listener on a mental journey with nearly fifty-seven minutes of the band’s creative and cultural vision of black metal. Amid the searing riffs and hammering metal attack, beautiful auras and melodies meet with traditional and pre-Hispanic instrumentation, mentally transporting the listener to a different era in the members’ heritage.
Drummer Yaotl delves on the writing of “Tezcatlipoca – Espejo Relumbrante” and the new album, “After our last tour in Mexico, my brother Tlatecatl (guitar/vocals) and I were meeting for band practice so we could start writing new material. We were having a conversation about Mesoamerican folk, on how the Mexican god Tezcatlipoca came down from the sky on a spider web and how he jumped from the web to the ground creating a cloud of fog. He then proceeded to blend in the busy Toltec city wearing a robe concealing his face. The story ends when Tezcatlipoca tricks Quetzalcoatl the ruler of the Toltecs and is forced to leave his country only to come back as a god. Tlatecatl started playing a riff that he says is what he imagined Tezcatlipoca climbing down from the spider web, I loved the riff got on the drums and the inception of this track happened and it set the tone for the rest of the tracks in this new album!”
Decibel writes in part with the new song’s premiere, “Finding itself in a mix between progression-based black metal and the atmospheric acrobatics which fall in line as such, YAOTL MICTLAN’s latest effort is a mystical example of pre-Christian belief expressed through the black metal vehicle.”
Stream YAOTL MICTLAN’s “Tezcatlipoca – Espejo Relumbrante” early only at Decibel Magazine RIGHT HERE.
Sagrada Tierra del Jaguar will see release October 30th on CD and digital formats through Mexico City-based American Line Productions. Find digital preorders at Bandcamp HERE and CD preorders at the label webshop HERE.
Watch for audio previews of the album and more to post in the days ahead.
YAOTL MICTLAN was formed in 1998 in a basement in Salt Lake City, Utah by brothers Yaotl and Tlatecatl. The brothers shared a mutual passion around their Mexica and Mayan culture. Their lyrics focus on the belief that after Christians colonized Mexico, their people lost their identity and succumbed to a colonized way of life; the lyrics are inspired by the unfortunate way in which at the present time their people live in extreme self-hatred. Ultimately, they would like to see the end of the colonized way of thinking and for their people to embrace their roots.
YAOTL MICTLAN’s first song came after putting together a few riffs that they had been working on for some time they arranged the song called “Tributo a Huitzilopochtli” later renamed “Mexicas.” The band recorded a few songs on a tape recorder and made two copies; somehow one of them landed in the hands of well-known vocalist Juan Brujo of Brujeria. He called the band to let them know that he wanted to work with the band and sent a check to cover studio time for what would become their 2001-released demo, A Batalla Vamos.
As the venture to forge this new outfit continued, the brothers found it difficult to recruit the proper members with similar pre-Hispanic ideologies and who would be able to play the same style of music, uniquely combining black metal and ancient Mexican instruments. The sounds blend and inspire the listener to imagine an ancient time where disciplined war rituals and sacrificial offerings were a way of life. The calling of the seashells mixed with blast beats and raw vocals capture the essence of the proud Mayan culture. In late 2004, Aj Ben joined what Yaotl and Tlatecalt called their “culto” and at that point decided they were ready to finance and record a new album, Guerreros de la Tierra de los Muertos. Mexico City-based label American Line Productions offered to release the album in 2006, which quickly increased the band’s visibility in the international metal scene.
Due to the success of their first album, Candlelight Records approached YAOTL MICTLAN and signed a deal to release their second album. The band named the new record Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac, emphasizing their interpretation of the mystical ancestral rituals of the Mexican and Mayan culture, transporting the listener into a foggy, backdrop filled with dark and mournful guitar riffs idolizing evidence of a glorious past. The album was released in 2010 to positive critical acclaim from fans and media outlets around the globe.
Following tours of Mexico and Europe over recent years, YAOTL MICTLAN began working on their third album, Sagrada Tierra del Jaguar.