Melodic death metal clashes with black metal, early 80's classic thrash, and the NWOBHM on Warriors of the Black Sun, the new release from California's Mictlantecuhtli. Yes, that's quite a mouthfull of a name for this Los Angeles collective, but they back it up with a blackened death barrage that brings to mind early 90's era In Flames, Dark Tranquility, and At the Gates as much as it does Immortal, Enslaved, Primordial, and Cirith Ungol. Plenty of chugging riffs, swirling leads, and galloping rhythms abound on this one, the band tackling Aztec and pagan lyrical themes into these driving and quite heavy songs. Vocalist Temoc has that gravelly voice that sits firmly in the black metal fold, but it's the effective guitar work of Mixcoatl & Cuitlahuac that really propels this 9-track beast, their crunchy riffs and melodic twin leads stabbing the mix on a constant basis, reminding us just how much they have a grasp of the modern extreme scene as well as vintage early 80's metal. Drummer Iztcoatl lets loose a furious barrage of blast beats on the manic "Shadow of the Mourning Star", a pummeling black metal number that works on all levels and even has some surprising shred guitar workouts. You gotta love "Warrior's Desire" where the band tries to keep their black metal inhibitions in check and key in on their Iron Maiden and Cirith Ungol influences. Very nice indeed.
Honestly, this is really good stuff, quite epic and heavy, the band perhaps a year or so away from a monster release that will really catapult them in the metal genre. Hook them up with a top notch producer and a label deal and let's see how far they can go.
1. Night of Sorrow 06:02
2. Dreams of Triumph 05:27
3. Roads to Victory 06:04
4. Shadow of the Mourning Star 04:31
5. Warrior's Desire 06:11
6. Ancient War Call 06:20
7. Blood Spills in Darkness 06:23
8. Kingdoms Fire 04:35
9. Crowned Under a Black Sun 06:32