Hacavitz - Metztli Obscura
Moribund Cult
Blackened Death Metal
9 songs (37:10)
Release year: 2010
Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Kyle

It truly puzzles me that most reviews of Hacavitz albums have cited the band’s genre as “Raw death metal”. And while this is partially true – especially when it comes to this Mexican duo’s earlier albums – I wouldn’t hesitate to classify Hacavitz as blackened death metal without giving it a second thought. Regardless of genre, one thing is certain: these guys play some fast fuckin’ music. Utilizing a double bass-heavy drum style that isn’t too far removed from modern brutal death metal, an aggressive guitar sound that can become chillingly atmospheric even in the album’s most vicious moments, and raspy vocals in the traditional black metal style, Hacavitz creates their third release, Metztli Obscura, a highly enjoyable and surprisingly intelligent album that’s just plain fun to listen to.

Now, when I say that Metztli Obscura is surprisingly intelligent, I don’t mean that it’s a progressive album or even an original one. Simply, the way that Hacavitz writes songs is better than you’d expect; sure, this album is a riff monster, a gushing stream of chaotic guitar work from beginning to end, but the band has a great ability when it comes to stringing these riffs together. Often, they’ll take the first riff in a song and repeat it two more times later on in the track, usually at a different tempo or other small alteration, giving the song in question a sense of structure and thus avoiding having it sound like a bunch of random riffs strung together, something that MANY death metal bands apparently don’t have the smarts to figure out.

Also, as I mentioned before, Hacavitz does a fantastic job of creating atmosphere amidst mayhem, and we’re shown this at the start of the first track, To Meet Again (one of the best and most intense songs featured here); the central riff is a succession of power chords, but before it cycles around, there’s a blackened, slow-picked chord that’s subtly eerie and atmospheric. It’s moments like this (and there’s many throughout the album) that show just how good Hacavitz is when it comes to writing riffs, but let’s not forget that as guitarist Antimo Buonnano shows off his crafty guitar work (He also performs bass and vocals), there’s some impressive and diverse drumming going on as well. Drummer Oscar Garcia clearly knows his way around a kit, as he makes good use of toms and cymbals, but like most death metal drummers, he is incredibly handy with the kick pedals and also knows how to perform blast beats with the best of them. Lyrics are relatively well written, though they’re likely nothing you haven’t heard on other black metal albums; lots of stuff about pain, death, and dark magick, but the lyrics at least do a great job of reflecting the excellent cover art.

As with many bands, though, Hacavitz’ main flaw is a lack of variety among songs. Despite the exception of Sulfur Winds, a thrashy track which is very reminiscent of the black / crust stylings of modern day Darkthrone, most of the songs are very much alike one another, with blackened and brutal death metal riffs carrying the bulk of Metztli Obscura’s weight throughout its thirty-seven minute running time. But the length of this album is, thankfully, just right; the album seems to end right when I’ve had my fill of Hacavitz, leaving me satisfied and impressed with the overall experience. If you’re wanting nothing more than a good, fast album to bang your head to that isn’t totally mindless, then look no further than Metztli Obscura.

Killing Songs :
Until We Meet Again, Sulphur Winds, Totajtzin Miqui
Kyle quoted 82 / 100
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