Band Line Up:
Tlacaelel – Flute/Vocals
Yecpaoceltl – Lead Guitars
Yayauhqui – Drums/Rhythm Guitars
Coapahsolpol – Bass
01. Sun/War Club
03. Precious Death
04. Hail Huitzilopochtli
05. Rain Campaign
06. Life Death Rebirth
09. Southern Rules Supreme – Moon
Blue Hummingbird On The Left is not a band name one would necessarily associate with the sort of punk infused, pagan black metal contained on Atl Tlachinolli.
In truth, this moniker is actually a direct translation of Huitzilopochtli. An Aztec god associated with war and often depicted wearing blue hummingbird feathers.
Now, consider that Huitzilopochtli’s worshippers placated their god with a daily offering of human blood. Their sacrifice obtained by cutting the still beating heart out of their living victims and tossing it from the heights of their ceremonial pyramid.
You will, no doubt, be getting a sense of the sort of ancient brutality to which this release is making reference to. It’s a level of bloody violence that is captured quite explicitly in the music and bolstered by the band’s association with the clandestine, Black Twilight Circle: A secretive collective operating from Southern California and spearheaded by Eduardo “Volahn” Ramirez.
The Black Twilight Circle’s output is raw and uncompromising. Members share their time and talent between a number of bands, incorporating blackened metal, crust punk and death metal blastbeats. It comes as no surprise that this release fits within that aesthetic; presented as an aggressive blend of all of the above.
Opening track, Sun/War Club does delay its inevitable assault with a brief taste of Mexican history. We hear a traditional, percussive drum and flute piece before the main song tears in with a dense confrontation. The guitars are driven to a ferocious breaking point which is matched by a hammering attack on the drum kit.
Bloodflower continues the battery while Precious Death slows it down – but at no expense of the ferocity.
Throughout, Tlacaelel puts in a commanding vocal performance. His delivery occasionally reminds me of a Beneath The Remains era Max Cavelara, albeit one buried deep within the cacophony.
The intense nature of the music highlights Atl Tlachinolli’s strength: Its uncompromising, take-no-prisoners approach.
Production-wise, the faders are riding high and everything is seemingly pushed in the red. Every effort has been made to emphasise the energy of the musician’s diehard performance.
Its infectiously frantic – but that is not to say there isn’t a sophistication to the performances. The turmoil cascading from the speakers is built on some confident and capable musicianship along with a clear pride in the band’s heritage. This is evidenced by song titles such as Hail Huitzilopochtli or the ceremonial rattle of Rain Campaign. The intro of which gives the listener another taste of an ancient soundtrack before it continues along a trajectory that evokes a punkier Celtic Frost.
Listen to Hail Huitzilopochtli – HERE
The final half of the album offers no surprises. Life Death Rebirth, Tenochtitlan, Storm and Southern Rules Supreme will all push your speakers to the limit, which is reassuringly appropriate for a band who appear to have no agenda other than to throw down some ferocious riffs.
In the same way that Motorhead, Darkthrone or Discharge are effective in their simplicity, Blue Hummingbird On The Left offer a similar experience.
Review By Beandog