Hacavitz - _Katun_
(Moribund, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (6.5 out of 10)
An interesting regression sonically from these Mexican deathsters. The formerly distilled Morbid Angel worship debuted on last year's _Venganza_ -- replete with ominous jungle sound effects and clean yet blasting production -- has given way to a rawer, more primitive ambience for 2007's _Katun_. Apparently the two founding members grew tired of seeking replacements for the departures since 2006's grandiose _Venganza_ and decided to head on into the studios and lash out the tracks themselves. So any question of whether this old-school vibe was purely intentional or just the result of two hombres in a rush and not having a clear idea what all those knobs were for is up in the air at this point. The bonus cover of Dark Angel's "Hunger of the Undead" is a choice that would seem to indicate the former of the two explanations, although the reliance on guitar and drums (there is a distinct lack of bass) hints equally at the latter. Even the percussion itself sports only a hollow bass thud and clattering cymbals, an effect at odds with Oscar Garcia's frenetic, all over the place (and deadly precise) drumming.

And so _Katun_ succeeds best when it most closely emulates '80s thrash and proto-death ("Regnum Satani", "Motlatito yn Quetzalcoatl", "Ya Notsi de Huitzil") rather than the technical precision of the music's '90s counterpart. The songwriting is, if anything, a horizontal progression rather than a step back, but songs like "Serpents ov Smoke" and "Tinieblas-Tenochtitlan" in particular would have benefited greatly from the generous spaciousness and attention to the mix that _Venganza_ brought to the table. All told, there are parts of the album that work as is, but as a whole this material would have been better presented in the same sonic quality as its deservedly hyped precursor. What we're left with comes off as a quickie demo of what should have been a damn good album, qualifiers notwithstanding.

Contact: http://www.cehacavitz.com

(article published 11/10/2007)

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