Band – Tzompantli

Album – Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Death Doom

Release Date – 5/17/2024

Label – 20 Buck Spin

Author – Hayduke X


Tzompantli is so HEAVY! And so GOOD! Honestly, that’s all you really need to know. If you like elite death doom that is both heavy and good, skip the rest of me trying to hit my word count and go listen to “Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force.” I was fortunate enough to stumble on this project back when “Tlamanalli” was released in 2019, so you can say that I’ve been a fan since the beginning. I waxed poetic about that EP in a review which you can read here. I loved “Tlazcaltiliztli,” the debut full-length and debut 20 Buck Spin release by the band, but never found time for a full review. I did include it at the #32 spot on my Album of the Year list for 2022, which you can peruse here.


So, how does the band do on “Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force”? Well, they crush it (pun intended)! This latest album moved the Mesoamerican themed project into more polished territory. Maybe polished isn’t quite the right word. The album is plenty nasty, but the ideas and themes fit together better. Seamlessly in fact. The blending of Mesoamerican influences are strongly woven into the brutal death doom played by the band. The weight of the music is incredible, both in the sonic and emotional heaviness. Crushing indeed!


Tzompantli started as a solo project of Brian “Itztlakamayeh” Ortiz (also of the metallic hardcore band Xibalba), but has grown to include a large family of musicians. Ortiz is still the driving force, and contributes on vocals, rhythm/lead guitars, bass, folk instruments, percussion, but the following also contribute to the album:


  • Manzig “Yohualli” Sanchez – lead guitars  
  • Eric Delgado – bass  
  • Mateotl Boughton – lead guitars  
  • Jason “Katulu” Brunes – vocals, folk instruments, percussion  
  • Erol Ulug – vocals, lead guitars  
  • Alejandro Aranda – vocals, drums, folk instruments, percussion  
  • Justin Moore – vocals  
  • Lord Foul – vocals  
  • Mateotl Gonzalez – folk instruments, percussion  
  • Justin Ton – lead guitars


“Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force” is a war cry against the oppressive forces of modernity and a calling forth of ancient warriors and ancient ways. Heed the call.


The album can be ordered from 20 Buck Spin at their Bandcamp page or webstore.


Biography:  Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.