Raxa - _Oxlahun Ti Ku_
(Stygian Crypt Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
Raxa is one of the many projects of Russian-based Lefthander, whose sinister art was featured in these electronic pages some time ago in his Sea of Desperation guise, which was an acceptably entertaining if orthodox entrant to melancholic doom. However, Raxa is something entirely different, allowing Lefthander to live up to his name by walking down the path less travelled, exploring the lives of the ancient Aztecs. Plus, all the lyrics are in the ancient Aztec language. (Allegedly -- English lyrics are present in booklet, and I can't tell shit from his growls.) Lefthander is also a member of Aztec influenced Tenochlitan, so whatever the reason for interest in Aztecs, it appears to be more than a passing phase.

By comparison to Sea of Desperation's _Spiritual Lonely Pattern_, this is a much more atmospheric album, and strong use is made of keys and ambient passages. Some of the doomy guitar rhythms are reminiscent of Sea of Desperation, but this is otherwise a vastly different musical expression. Some the inherent limitations of a one man project which plagued Sea of Desperation -- such as overly simplistic melodies and programmed drums -- are present, but they are not so problematic in the context of an overwhelmingly atmospheric release.

_Oxlahun Ti Ku_ is far from classic status, being disjointed on occasion, and at other times, over simplistic. However, it is also different and tackles subject matter largely ignored in metal, and sometimes just being different can make all the difference.

Contact: http://lefthander.musica.mustdie.ru/

(article published 3/2/2008)

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