REVIEW: BRUJERIA – “Pocho Aztlan”
The Mexican lords are back with their latest offering ‘Pocho Aztlan’. It roughly translates to what is a ‘wasted promised land’. It took us sixteen years to have a full album from Brujeria since their last record titled ‘Brujerizmo’ released in 2000. Brujeria is a grindcore/death metal band from parts of Mexico and United States. It is rebellion personified. They have been through a lot of controversies during their career and are seen wearing face bandanas, resembling narcotic drug lords. Their lyrical themes consist of drugs, sex, religion, Satanism, country, immigration and atrocities against women etc. The band has not been very active in the live circuit and chooses to stay anonymous because of obvious reasons.
The initial impression about the album, ‘Pocho Aztlan’ is pure riff worship. Its a lengthy album containing thirteen songs of hard hitting metal having influences of death metal, grindcore and groove metal. Majority of vocals are Spanish, which made it difficult for me to understand it as far as lyrics are concerned. The album begins with a mysterious folk/tribal tone and all of a sudden you can hear police helicopters whirling down. ”Who wants celebration? Put your hands up.’’ The drums blast in with palm muted riffing. This is the title track to begin the album with. An extremely moshable song, with a very unorthodox vocal style which sounds raw and perfect being sung in Spanish.
“No Aceptan Imitaciones” is a pure death metal delicacy, very old school flavored. The song features a breakdown which is meant to hurt a lot of necks headbanging to this one. “Profecia del Anticristo” , the next one, is an absolute carnage of a track. What you hear is a very fresh approach to traditional death metal comprising of simple drumming and riffing pattern, resulting in mind numbing heaviness. It would be an absolute delight jamming this one. By now, it is pretty evident to the listener that the band has stuck to its roots, no major experimentation’s. They have achieved the album they desired and are absolutely proud of it, well they should be.
“Plata O Plomo” is another interesting track on the album. It has an industrial vibe to it and it is heavy, an absolute riff parade. “Satongo” is a classic grindcore track, followed by “Isla De La Fantasia” which is a strange however, fun track. The vocals sound chaotic while binding with the guitar work. A lot seems to be going on lyrically. A very similar grind-death formula has been applied while creating all the other songs on the album, rendering a consistent sound all throughout. Similar palm-muted riffing, spot on drumming is heard in “Bruja”. The next two tracks, “Mexico Campeon” and “Culpan De Mujer” are straight up grindcore featuring some of the most chaotic songs on the album. “Debilador” contains an amazing breakdown-esque riff structure followed by the last song on the album ‘California Uber Aztlan’, which is a fitting death-grind end to the album.
‘Pocho Aztlan’ is a worship of guitar riffs, mind-numbing drumming and one of its kind chaotic vocals you would have heard. Roughly sixteen years is what it took the band to create this monster of an album. With the sole purpose of heaviness, Brujeria have achieved this album and will be absolutely proud of it. Be prepared for pure chaos when the band starts touring this fall. Lot of necks are about to get hurt.