|Review: Xipe Totec - Volklore|
Label: Shadowland Music
Year released: 2002
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: January 20, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Definitely one of the strangest band names I've seen... In fact it took me a while to actually start listening to this MCD just because of the name... But ever since it first met my CD player, these two have been very close friends, meeting very often for a spin or two... or ten. :) Xipe Totec hail from Australia, and by the name one wouldn't think "Death Metal", but that's their predominant genre, although with a lot of added spices thrown in for your pleasure: Some very good thrash-oriented riffing, even some short parts that are a little on the rock/hard rock side of things, and to that you can add some keyboards, which I must say are used quite tastefully and effectively, creating the right atmosphere at the right time, and never in the way of the other instruments. Another metal band that actually KNOW how to use their keyboards (still a rare breed.) The vocals are of the guttural variety, but more of a raw style than the "I'm puking all over the place"-type of deep growls that some bands use. Needless to say, I think the style favored by Xipe Totec much more appealing.
Something that really grabbed my attention - more as an oddity as the overall MCD is very good - is the first minute of the second song, "Across Their Galaxy" contains a part that reminds me of the Halloween series theme, albeit with a deeper sound. Very good dramatic effect created here. Not one weak track on this MCD, in fact my only complaint would be the short length - an additional 15-20 minutes would have been just perfect. :) Xipe Totec should be added to a growing list of bands that reinforce Australia's position as an emerging metal force. I'd say I highly recommend this MCD, but I guess you've probably already figured that out. ;)
Origin of the name "Xipe Totec": It is the name of an old Aztec festival celebrating death and rebirth. The Aztec priests would ritually sacrifice a young man or woman, then flay the skin off the body, and then one of the priests would reappear before the public wearing the skin, as if the sacrifice victim had been reborn.
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