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Blood-soaked evil from the heart of Mexico. - 91%

In, December 5th, 2012

Hellkvlt Mexica is part of a new wave of black metal that's emerging from Mexico, and the bands associated with this wave are affiliated with two shadowy entities: E.A.N.M. and its sublabel Atlatl Music Group. I'm looking at the band's first demo, and you know what I like? Blood red and black tape covers.

I like the music as well. The first and last tracks consist of ancient Aztec tribal drumming. Like many other black metal bands, these guys keep true to their roots. The black metal is equally amazing. Instead of going with the typical Mayhem or Darkthrone worship, they go with something more uniquely American. (When I say American here, I refer to all of North America instead of just the United States.) Instead of doing all blast beats all the time, they're more mid-paced, and the guitars eschew the typical tremolo riffs for that which is more disorienting and diabolical.

The drums still play blast beats on occasion, but they don't make them the focal point of the music. They prefer more mid-paced rhythms that implement a great deal of double bass, as well as aggressive cymbal work and mighty fills. The vocals consist of a low, throaty shout, an obvious influence from California. They fit quite nicely with the dark music and are well-performed at that. As I said before, the guitars eschew standard tremolo picking in favor of dark, drawn-out chords. This creates an ever-present feeling of impending doom, quite similar to the atmosphere Leviathan creates.

The most jarring part of this demo is the last song. After being bombarded with unfettered savagery, we're treated to the cheerful sounds of indigenous Mexican flutes, rain sticks, and other native instruments. Listening to Hellkvlt Mexica was an experience both terrifying and invigorating. Not since Xibalba have I been so amazed by Mexican black metal.