Phew, Russian project TENOCHTITLAN definitely does not make it easy for the listener/reviewer, as they consequently continue the evolution of their previous two album "Epoch Of The Fifth Sun" and "Chac Och-Ut", mixing Doom Metal with Ambient and ethnic influences from the Aztec, Incan and Mayan cultures, which equally limit their potential fanbase and extend the character of their compositions, as they do not seem to let any outside influences sneak into their sound.
Who is not familiar with the project, the members exchange their bits and pieces via mail and internet, before everything is put together without even meeting in person and for that the cohesion within the material is more than remarkable, because it all fits together. Now just like the first two albums, “Texcatl” also is only Metal part of the time, as they have purely Ambient or ethnic interludes and passages, where they completely forsake any semblance to Metal, but everything is so almost transcendental that you just don’t care. Woodwinds and keyboards, electronic loops, elegiac guitars, clear, growled and some female vocals, combine into a whole that I think you could easily use for meditation or just floating away, laying in the dark.
And quite honestly, it is good to hear that they are sticking to their absolutely unique and established sound and that also goes into the lyrics, where they continue to process the mythology of the cultures of the native tribes of Central America, such as the Aztecs, the Mayas and the Incas (where else would song titles such as “Nemiliztli & Miquiztli”, “Fatal Xihupohualli” or “Haa-ma Chah’-been-tzil” come from?), so they take the concept into every single detail of the album.
I am not mentioning any single tracks, because technically we have a 67 minute long song that is chopped up into 20 tracks and that is best listened to and experienced in one long shot, with the lights off, just some candles around and then let the music lift you and carry you into a time long lost...
(Online November 20, 2008)