Formed in 2002 by former Nocturnus vocalist/bassist, Emo Mowery and ex-vocalist for Lucian Blaque/Crimson Glory/Seven Witches, Wade Black, the band Tiwanaku is a musical vision that succeeds for the most part with the dichotomy of vocal leads that both men bring to the metal table and the skillful playing of drummer Richard Christy (Death/Iced Earth) and guitarist Rick Renstrom who's resume includes Until the Bitter End and Rob Rock.
The music itself is pretty standard death/hardcore with a bit of progression to the vocals and is nothing groundbreaking, but the CD primarily works as a whole because of the extreme ranges of vocal sound that both singers employ--Emo with the deep, cookie monster vox and Wade Black with the ultra high vox. I'm reminded of some of the male/female tradeoffs of some bands, yet it feels a bit more evil on Wade's end instead of having a female lead. When both guys sing at the same time, it's like putting Lemmy and Rob Halford in a double electric chair and blasting them with a million volts.
The guitars of Tiwanaku are raw and without many effects, but the production is well done. The first song "Illusion" is probably the most predictable in structure going from blast beats to slow downs. I actually preferred the riffs after the main guitar solo. "Magnacore" and "Shockwaves" are solid numbers that could have been on Torquemada's, Spanish Inquisition soundtrack. Wade takes the lead for most of the experimental last song, "What If", with its opening keyboards and classic, alien-invasion sounds. It embodies the Tiwanaku-themed ideal of the mystical stargate/landing site of the ancient Incas and I'd say musically it will probably be the hit or miss number of the lot.
Tiwanaku is perfect for the casual death metal listener like me who wants the aggression and speed without the weight of anti-theological agendas and buckets of splattered blood.
An interesting note on the CD says, "All material heard on this cd is copyrighted and trademarked by TIWANKU so feel free to post it on the internet or copy it and pass it around!!"
Fire up your file trading programs, folks--Tiwanaku doesn’t mind.
About this Writer: Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.
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