Track By Track: Dirge – Ah Puch

Dirge’s debut offering Ah Puch is a concept album based on Mayan, Aztec Mythology mixed with historical events. The story revolves around the resurgence of the ancient Mayan God of Death – Ah Puch – during the conquest of Yucatan peninsula by Hernan Cortez. The music has been written to accentuate this theme, sending the listener through this fantastical world accompanied by a thick wall of sludge, and clouds of bong-smoke. Though this is the band’s debut album, with an ambitious concept behind it, the band are no strangers to the world of metal.


Ah Puch

On the day of Ehcatl, Tenochtitlán was flooding with the blood of the Aztec. The corpse of their slain king, on the altar of sacrifice, the streets were clogged with the debris of human remains. The rainforest had turned silent. There was an eerie calm throughout the Yucatan.The events unfolded in the sacred city of gold on the day of one wind were foretold in the prophecies of the aztec calendar. Montezuma had fallen prey to the conquistadors. Tenochtitlán had collapsed and the guardian of the ancient city was dead. The Yucatan had been conquered.

Invoking the demigod

The jungle suddenly began to crawl over the city. The roots of the massive trees dug into the streets. The city started to crumble as the the vegetation penetrated through. The canopy of the forest grew dense. The trees and leaves blocked the rays of the sun and suddenly, it was dark. The blood in the streets turned to sludge and the city turned into a lake of a thick black acid. All buildings collapsed and melted into the acid sludge except the temple of Huitzilopochtli. The skies rumbled and it began to rain. The conquistadors fled the city, but caught a quick glimpse of what remained; an ancient temple, with glowing green relic hovering above.

The mighty Acantun stood at the altar of sacrifice. They began chanting the ancient Mayan hymn of death. The skulls on the Tzompantli started burning and melted away and the relic of doom, the skull of Ah Puch, appeared. Still chanting, they held up the body of the dead Aztec king. One of the Acantun pulled the obsidian dagger out of Montezuma’s chest and with one swing severed his head and pulled out his spine. They harvested his lungs and placed them in his hands. The corpse was now seated, legs crossed, chest open and lungs in hand amidst the haunting Mayan chants. On top the relic was glowing green and oozing sludge.

Montezuma’s Revenge

The sludge dripped into the neck cavity of Montezuma’s corpse and the skull of Ah Puch fused with Montezuma’s body. The bones cracked back in place as flesh of black and green manifested. The spirit of the of Ah Puch had entered the body of King Montezuma. The circle of the blood and roses had been disturbed and the Yucatan had invoked the god of death into the Mortal realm. The sacrifice of the conquistadors had to be made to restore the circle of blood and roses. Doom was inevitable as Ah Puch would now unleash oblivion upon the conquistadors.

The Swamp of Blood

While running through the dense forest, the conquistadors suddenly came upon a swamp land. Nine of them entered the swamp and started making their way across. Suddenly the swamp gripped their feet tight. Ah Puch appeared out of the swamp. He opened his mouth and puked thick black acid on the conquistadors stuck in the swamp. He chanted the spell of death. Each of the Conquistadors dissolved and in their place the manifested, the Bolontiku. They were invoked by Ah Puch to assist him in the ritualistic sacrifice of La Malince, to invoke the goddess of gallows and suicide, Ixtab. For it was only with her spell of mental disintegration, he would be able to track and kill the cowardly Cortés.

The Dilemma

La Malinche was born and raised as a slave in the dungeons of the Tlaxcalan tribe. She had lived her entire youth in company of the captives held to be sacrificed. Being raised in the chaos of undetermined but inevitable death, she had a great understanding of the human survival instinct. She had decoded the the dilemma of the human existence.

La Malinche

La Malinche was lying on the bed of Cortés, when she shot up in the air, her arms and legs stretching out. Ah Puch and the Bolontiku manifested in the room. The bolontiku ripped her apart and Ah Puch chanted the prayer of manipulation and desecration. She screamed. With her heart in his hands, her body lay on the ground, devoid of blood, wrinkled. La Malinche turned black as Ixtab ascended into her body from the depths of the gallows. She had planned a complete breakdown of body and soul for Hernan Cortés. She would now make him wither down and disintegrate. She would turn his own mind against him. Ixtab was the empress of the potions of self sacrifice. She had in her arsenal, the deadliest of potions of hallucinogens and hypnosis.

Corpse of Cortés

Cortez had made it back to the Tlaxcalan tribe stronghold. There was complete chaos in the stronghold and people were scrambling to evacuate when the main gate suddenly fell open. Then, La Malinche appeared. Cortés emerged from the tent of the chief Tlaxcalan to see her standing right in front. He saw her standing bare naked in front of him looking more beautiful than ever. He approached her and covered her with his robe. She kissed him, releasing the potions into his mouth and down his throat. The potions violently coursed down his throat and into his veins, sending Cortez is a  mind melting frenzy of hallucinations. Confused and in agony Cortez fell, twitching and contorting. His destiny was not death, but imprisonment. His mind was forever trapped in his corpse in an unending streak of torturous hallucinations. Malince turned back into ixtab as Ah Puch appeared with the Bolontiku. They flooded the Tlaxcalan stronghold in sludge, consuming all. The ancient Maya had reclaimed the Yucatan and the circle of the blood and roses was restored.

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