Feb 132023

(We begin a new week at NCS with Comrade Aleks‘s interview of Brian Ortiz, a member of Xibalba and the creative force behind the California death-doom band Tzompantli, whose debut album was released last year by 20 Buck Spin.)

A tzompantli was a type of wooden rack or palisade documented in several Mesoamerican civilizations, which was used for the public display of human skulls, typically those of war captives or other sacrificial victims. Also it’s a death-doom band from Pomona, California.

Started in 2019 as a solo project of Brian a.k.a. Big o))), Tzompantli first shot out the EP Tlamanalli in 2019. Brian has been the guitarist of death metal / metalcore outfit Xibalba since 2007, so he knew how to deal with a lot of instruments and recording witchcraft too. His efforts were noticed by 20 Buck Spin, who soon signed the band. As result Brian’s next album Tlazcaltiliztli was recorded with G-Bone and Mateotl Gonzalez (both perform many of the folk instruments) and saw the light of day through this label in May 2022. However these songs are far from folk and embody the extreme, meat-grinding and bloody side of death-doom.

Now Tzompantli has a full live line-up and I can’t skip a chance to learn more about Indigenous Mexican death-doom from Brian. Continue reading »

Apr 232022

I’m pretty sure this is the single biggest roundup I’ve ever created. The streams of music were indeed overflowing over the past week, and I felt compelled to get out to you as many of the good ones as I could — though I still have more, drawn from blackened veins, to push your way in tomorrow’s column.

I will say that there’s more rocking out to be found in this collection than usual, and a couple of exceptions to our no-singing rule. But don’t worry your pointed little heads, there’s plenty of savagery in the mix too. I’ll also say that I played DJ, trying to arrange these in a way that would pair up like-minded songs here and there. But some of the segues are still probably jarring, which is how I like it.


I decided to begin with music from forthcoming releases by a big label before clawing deeper under ground. The first pick is a video for “Dadaist Disgust“, a new single from this Norwegian band’s upcoming debut album Antithesis, out May 27th on Nuclear Blast. Continue reading »