Review: Xoal – Alone in the Crowd

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Country: Mexico

 

Xoal, the one man project from Guadalajara, Mexico release their second full length album in two years, titled “Alone in the Crowd”. The album consisting of ten tracks, travels the listener to three different worlds during its 42 minutes of length as it contains lyrics in English, Spanish and Nahuatl (the original language of the Aztecs).

Despite the band is meant to be melodic death, their album extends to more genres. The first taste comes from the omonymous track, whose acoustic intro is succeeded by the melodic guitars and death vocals. The element of thrash is also apparent, combined nicely with the “heavier” style of melodic death. The next track “You” is of a similar style in its intro, but much more melodic than the first one.

It’s time for a travel to the ancient civilization of Aztecs. Songs like Xiqui Yehua can make someone feel emotional, mostly because it’s a tribute to those people’s roots, where they came from before everything else happened. It’s really nice to see how heavy metal is harmonically combined with the folk elements that honour the origins of the people of Mexico – and let alone in an album that is designated to be a death metal one!

Back to melodic death metal with “In Solitude”, a track that keeps the hardcore metal fans on the edge of their seats, inviting them to limitless headbanging!

And then, here comes “Macochi”, a folk ballad that makes the album even more interesting with its style, the use of traditional and more modern instruments and –of course- the Nahuatl lyrics. A masterpiece that –I will say it again- takes a lot of courage to put into a death metal album.

As we approach the end of the album, Xoal experiment with the combination of death thrash with flute and more traditional instruments. The result is called “Mexica Tiahui” (whose lyrics are in English, despite the title) and despite its rhythm is not as fast as previous tracks, it maintains the interest of the listener to its very end. The next track “Nimitztñazohtla” is a love ballad(!) that combines English and Nahuatl in another nice (and successful) experiment.

Time for some Spanish lyrics, combined with atmospheric death metal elements. “Vinimos”, the second to last track, is a combination of “traditional” with “modern” death metal elements that (at least to my ear) is very pleasing to hear. I note the keyboards that give a whole different sense to it. The final track, “Walking toward the void” fascinates with the Spanish guitar in its beginning and intrigues the listener to explore and wait patiently on what comes next; a more “classic” death metal track, with a great combination of folk elements. Maybe my personal favourite of the album, it’s a track that is spot on the message that Saul (the founder of the band) wants to communicate.

Albums like “Alone in the Crowd” tempt the listener to explore the metal scene in Mexico, as well as its civilization. If you are a fan of the history of the Aztecs and melodic death metal, you found the album to listen to. Enjoy!

 

8/10

 

Tracklist

  1. Alone in the Crowd
  2. You
  3. Walking Toward the Void
  4. Xiqui Yehua
  5. In Solitude
  6. Macochi
  7. Mexica Tiahui
  8. Nimitztlazohtla
  9. Vinimos
  10. In Xochitl in Cuicatl

 

Band Members

Saúl Franco Hernández – Everything

 

Mini Bio

Xoal is an one man project from Guadalajara, Mexico. The band plays melodic death metal, combined with folk elements and lyrics in English, Spanish and Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs). The “Alone in the Crowd” is their second full length album, after the omonymous (Xoal).

 

Contact

Bandcamp: https://xoal.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Xoalmetal/

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s