Today marks the release date of Albez Duz‘s second album, The Coming of Mictlan, on Iron Bonehead Productions vinyl and Archaic Sound CD. The sophomore outing from the Berlin-based two-piece follows a 2009 self-titled debut and is a subgenre spanning work of depressive and extreme doom metal, seven tracks spread across two vinyl sides running a gamut from morose goth theatricality to deathly growls grueling rhythmic lurch, all with a sense of the grandiose and a dose of classic melodic melancholia to accompany. Propelled by the collaboration of multi-instrumentalist Eugen H. (also drums in black metallers Dies Ater) and vocalist Alfonso Brito Lopez, it is encompassing and masterfully conceived.
Beginning with the mystic drones and spoken word intro “Heaven’s Blind,” The Coming of Mictlan isn’t without its ritualized side, a cultish tendency and neofolk influence emerging on the album’s second half with the subdued “Drowned,” some classic prog coming late into that song with emergent keys (they also covered Black Widow on the first record), but Albez Duz utterly refuse to be pinned to one style or another. An early rocker like “Fire Wings,” which still boasts plenty of twists and turns, sets the stage for further branching out on the subsequent “Mictlan” and “Feathered Snake,” unifying Aztec themes emerging across the record’s flowing course until the closing Tanita Tikaram cover “Twist in My Sobriety” redoes the moody New Wave pop-folk of the original as dark rock downerism.
To coincide with the album’s release, today I have the pleasure of hosting “Mictlan” for streaming. It’s not a complete summary of everything Albez Duz accomplish on The Coming of Mictlan, but it does demonstrate over its eight minutes how coherently the band ties its varied elements together, creating something individual from them and balancing an experimental sensibility with progressive songwriting. Do yourself a favor: When the song is done, and the keyboard-topped doom march has reached its conclusion, hit play again and go back to the start to remind yourself of just how far you’ve come and in how relatively short a time.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Albez Duz‘s The Coming of Mictlan is available now on Iron Bonehead Productions LP and Archaic Sound CD. More info at the links.