Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Moribund Records

And to think that I just picked up this record because I thought the back cover photo of the band made them look like they stepped right out the cover shoot for Darthrone's Transilvanian Hunger. High contrast occultisms aside, immediately into this record I'm being bludgeoned repeatedly by a Mexican blackdeath assault. Taking the most evil parts of death metal's most vile - Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Asphyx, Hellhammer, Sarcofago - during the first minutes of opener "Regnum Satani (In League With Satan We Ride)", Hacavitz try to fucking fool me into thinking they're mere primitive death metal cassette bashers, but oh no no. Hacavitz add a dark psychogeography to their sound, firmly rooted in their homeland and their roots. It could be the subtle accenting in the vocals, a chord change here and there, the frankly terrifying wind instrument that closes out "Regnum" (and pops up again in "Tinieblas-Tenochtitlan" - catch that Aztec reference) the loneliness is bone deep. And by "Ride Thee Nebulah" it's obvious that as much as Hacavitz love Satan (Marduk, Darkthrone, Dark Angel - check it, they cover "Hunger of the Undead!" Fuck yeah!) they also worship good, progressive songcraft (Nile and Incantation loom large).

Songs are way longer than traditional death metal but still chock full of those evil downtuned riffs that only primitve, early tape-tradin' death metal exectuted to fullest potential. The strings hum like devils' forked tongues. Elsewhere it's all blast beats, clattering percussion, screams, funeral doom passages, trebly guitars, speed metal goodness with quasi-mystical soloing, sure it's been done before, but Hacavitz execute it with a feral brio that gives Katun that extra oomph. And to think that Antimo Buonnano (guitarist/vocalist) and Oscar (Garcia) drummer had to fire the rest of their band to allow their blood-soaked aesthetic to take full flight.

Retro low-fi blackened filth meets labyrinthine riffs and verses. Absolutely effective. Surrender to the evil.

- Matthew Moyer

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