May 212022


In yesterday’s roundup of new music and videos I explained that I had pushed forward by one day a lot of choices I originally intended to spread around yesterday. I did that to make room for some even more-late-breaking stuff, But now, as promised, I’m circling back to those original picks — and of course I added a couple.

What lies ahead of you is in some instances off the usual beaten paths, especially in the first two tracks and the last two. The very last track represents the biggest divergence of them all, but might just be the most brilliant offering of everything here. And now that I’ve (hopefully) teased you into staying with me to the end, let’s begin….

AZTLAN (Mexico)

I begin with two songs that I suppose could crudely be summed up as “folk metal”, but I don’t mean folk metal in the vein of this new song by Schandmaul. Both are much more interesting (though that Schandmaul song definitely is a toe-tapper). Continue reading »

Jan 122021


(Here is Andy Synn‘s review of the second album by the Mexican metal band Aztlan, which was released on January 1, 2021.)

As I was saying to my buddy Islander recently, the start of the new year generally feels a lot more relaxed and laid back than the months which follow. The regular release torrent has been reduced to a trickle, and there’s a lot less pressure to stay on top of all the “big” new releases… mostly because there aren’t that many of them.

The benefit of this, obviously, is that we’re free to browse and sample new bands and new albums more at our own pace, and able to give new discoveries the time they really deserve without feeling that we’re otherwise missing out or falling behind in the process.

Mexican septet Aztlan are the latest band to reap the rewards of this annual fallow period, as any other time of the year there’s a chance that Legión mexica, the group’s second album, might have gotten lost in the rush.

And that would have been a real shame, as it’s a brilliantly unorthodox blend of thrashy energy and folksy melody which combines both choppy metallic riffs and unusual, pre-Hispanic instrumentation into one impressively hypnotic whole. Continue reading »