You may remember a premiere about two months ago from Berlin’s Albez Duz. On their album Wings of Tzinacan, Albez Duz blended crushing doom heaviness with quiet restraint. The full album dropped last month through Listenable Records, so today we’re glad to bring you a stream of the album along with a track-by-track breakdown with guitarist Julia Neuman, drummer Eugen Herbst and vocalist Alfonso Brito Lopez.
Give the album a listen and enjoy the walkthrough.
“There are few things more satisfying than an opening track that comes galloping straight out of the gate, and that’s what we tried to achieve with ‘The Uprising.’ This one has an energy of preparing for something that could end in either triumph or catastrophe. It’s filled with plenty of hooks and power, but every passage has a purpose in the tale – from the battle hymn chorus, to the fast riffing breakdown and subsequent lull of the organ, to the final return of the chorus layered with diabolical guitars. The end is something we kept as a little tribute to one of the greatest heavy metal records of all time.” -Julia
“This is maybe the most atmospheric song on the album – like a spiritual narrative. You’ll hear versus with a deliberately monotone voice contrasting with a louder dynamic of the chorus, and then there’s a central bridge influenced by the forces of black metal and vocal additions from our friend and producer Michael Zech.” -Eugen
“Our Lord, the Flayed One”
“A straight rocker, or a ‘pop song’ as some people have told us, this is completely different from the first two tracks. Originally we played this song much slower, but after a while we felt it needed to be fast, even though that’s more rarer our world. It’s now an integral part in our live set and contains a few things around the middle that are a small tribute to the LSD, Krautrock bands from the ’70s.” -Eugen
“The only ballad on Wings of Tzinacan. This song was written quickly, even though we had a completely different melody recorded at first and that didn’t fit with the album. We came to the realization that it would not be on the album. But the next day, a new melody came to us, followed by the guitar solos. And the lyrics flowed out, like always, as very personal themes from our lives.” -Alfonso
“This 9+ minute song starts with classic doom, but in our style. More details unfold until it becomes quite dramatic. We could’ve ended the song in several different places, but the journey goes on into a Pink Floyd-ish trip. Just as you’re leaning back into comfort, the roar returns like a call from the grave. The outro is the slowest part musically and represents the eternal presence of melancholy and sorrow. And yet, it somehow feels comforting, like you’ve just returned home.” -Eugen
“Here we ditched the melancholy in favor of ’70s rock worship, inspired by Eugen’s appreciation for Hawkwind. At first we weren’t sure if it fit the album, but then it took on a life of its own as we imagined it to be a theme for Tzinacan in flight. It’s a short glimpse of light and breath of fresh air before a plunge back into darkness, the pulsing anti-doom curveball preceding the album’s doomiest track.” -Julia
“If you didn’t know better, you might think someone’s screaming bloody gore on this one. That’s actually the sounds of the Aztec death whistle, a hollowed out skull that accompanied human sacrifice in pre-Columbian rituals and was used as a scare tactic at the start of battle. The sound is pretty terrifying if you really crank it up in a dark room or imagine it amplified across the lips of hundreds of warriors. ‘Death Whistle’ is a dense, suffocating monster dedicated to this ‘ocarina of death’ as it collides with a single punishing doom riff and trance-like vocals.” -Julia
“Omen Filled Season”
“This cover version of Death in June was at first only going to be played in our concerts. After a while, we decided to record it and include it on our album. I’m a big DIJ fan and personally don’t count this song as one of the best, or their most known songs. But its melancholic atmosphere was something we really wanted to recreate. The original is quite minimalistic and it was great to add some stuff to our version.” -Eugen
Grab the album here.