Tenochtitlan - Epoch Of The Fifth Sun review


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Band: Tenochtitlan
Album: Epoch Of The Fifth Sun
Release date: September 2005

01. Venus Rising (Intro)
02. Sun Winds
03. 1 366 560
04. Secrets Of Pacal And Virakochi
05. Ye Cham-Zl A-Em-Aan
06. Teotihuacan
07. Morning Chosts Of Tikal
08. Roads To Kopan
09. The Hymn Of Huitzilopochtli

Tenochtitlan doesn't come from Mexico but from Russia. This virtual project is born after four Russian musicians (who are all in their own bands) decided to write an album about the Incas' and Aztecs' civilizations. Released in 2005, "Epoch Of The Fifth Sun" is the first album of the project, and if you like Doom but also "Ethno" and "ambient" music I'm sure that you'll love this album.

Tenochtitlan plays really elitist music, their mix of Doom and "Ethno" music is definitely not so easy to access. Some people like me will love it, some others will hate it without any doubt, but for sure there is something special with this band and I believe that a lot of people will be able to like this album if they just try to understand it. "Epoch Of The Fifth Sun" is not so Metal on a side, I mean that except the heavy overdriven guitars riffs and soli, all the other sounds come from keyboards, beat box and some others electronic instruments. A song like "Sun Winds" is for me a real masterpiece. Its insistent rhythm with this really impressive repetitive melody, those amazing vocals in Russian (it sounds a bit like if it was a solo produced by a male singer in some choir) and the super guitar riffs are just excellent. On a side it's a bit like a Doom Metal song but with some folk instruments (flutes etc) and with an amazing cold ambience, the strong point of the album in my opinion.

Actually the ambience of "Epoch Of The Fifth Sun" is more than perfect. I mean that if you try to listen to this album, with your Walkman during the night on your bed, I'm ready to bet that you will believe that you're back in the Aztec empire. It's simply genius and since that I got this feeling, you can be sure that it can work! On the other hand, some others songs are pure ambient music. Without any vocals with only some minimalist sounds like winds or rain, or with some percussions, those songs are definitely not so catchy and can be a bit boring if you don't listen to the album from the beginning to the end. But still one more time, it's above all a mater of ambience and with such songs, believe me that the frozen ambience of the album will be really disturbing for a lot of people.

The production is also really good! Well it wasn't so hard to find a great cover when you know the quality of Aztec's frescos, but the sound is really nice and the booklet is really good, full of great pictures and symbols. No really, if you're into this kind of music, this album is among the best surprises of the genre.

Tenochtitlan is a love or hate band but if you like original stuff, you just have to know that you're in front of one of the most original albums of the last ten years. It's not easy to access, especially if you're into classic or old school music, but if you like great ambiences and Doom in general and if you're not afraid by world and ethnic music, I'm sure that you'll love this album. "Epoch Of The Fifth Sun" is a great delicious discovery!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 8

Written by Jeff | 18.09.2006



Comments: 4   Visited by: 25 users
18.09.2006 - 14:19
You might also want to point out that most of their stuff can be downloaded from their website. The quality might be crappy and the songs aren't exactly the same as on CD, but it gives a very good idea of what the band is about.
All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu... This is the truth! This is my belief! ...At least for now.
- The Mystery of Life, Vol. 841 Ch. 26
18.09.2006 - 18:38
avatar of misery
A good and interesting band. And "Sun Winds" is indeed an awesome song, best of their entire discography.
19.09.2006 - 04:16
Only discovered this band a week or so ago, and really enjoyed everything i've heard so far!
31.08.2008 - 07:04
Liver Failure
Amazing album.. didnt expect that the best meso-american themed band would come from Russia... but it did. Just exellent. ''Sun Winds'' is an epic, the flutes on ''Secrets Of Pacal And Virakochi'' (or ''Òàéíû Ïàêàëÿ è Ïðàâèòåëÿ Âèðàêî'' ) are wonderful, even better than Toccata Magna flutes. The solos on ''Teotihuacán'' and the complex ''Roads To Kopan''... everything combined for the creation of a fantastic atmosphere.
9.9 / 10
I'll take 0.1 off because ''Ye Cham-Zl A-Em-Aan'' gets really annoying after a while...

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/

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