Tzompantli from Pomona, CA
A Tzompantli, in bygone days, was a rack used to display human skulls, often of enemies or sacrifices, in several Mesoamerican civilizations. In 2022, TZOMPANTLI is a beyond crushing death/doom war march built on a bedrock of native/indigenous themes, rituals, and history, illuminating the splendor, brutality, and despair within.
Nearly three years after the band’s well-received, self-released EP, TZOMPANTLI’s debut full-length presents the first smoke-conjured specter to manifest materially. Tlazcaltiliztli, a ritual ceremony that translates to “nourishing the fire and sun with blood,” is imbued with the spirit of native inspiration that dwells deep within the heart and soul of the project and is skillfully weaved into a traditional bludgeoning framework of spine-severing savagery and melancholic anguish. On the ritualistic “Eltequi” (to cut the chest open and extract the heart as an offering”), the band’s unification of native/folk instrumentation and heaviness becomes one in the same, opening vast new horizons for where this sound can go. - Earsplit PR