The leaders of the drug cartel grind are back! With their fifth album “Esto es Brujeria”, the kings of snuff are well & truly back with a massive return.
Now being a band for over thirty-five years Brujeria have created some of the most legendary grind albums to date. “Matando güeros” their debut 1993 album threw them into the limelight but being an unknown band at the time, with a mysterious lineup & a backstory that is still shocking in 2023 helped create a legacy the band have been able to still carry firmly to modern day.
“Esto es Brujeria” is a mighty album. Sixteen tracks with a hefty fifty-minute run time, making up for such a long wait for fans since the band’s 2016’s “Pocho Aztlán”.
Opening the album in Brujeria fashion is their great little newscast skits. Really setting that tone that lets you soak up the band’s imagery & the stage they love to set. As the newscast closes the track slowly creeps in with a blasting drumming section. In “Esto Es Brujeria” the track builds & the use of a brass section at points really brings out that real true mexican sound that’s in the bands DNA while also setting the pace high & frantic is what Brujeria does best.
“El Patrón Del Reventón” brings the pain, a nice grinding track that has an epic breakdown, Heavy as hell & the perfect excuse to get in the mosh pit. A groovy riff that really builds nicely as vocalist Juan Brujo spits some great vocal lines. Building up the intensity.
The great strong point & even selling point of Brujeria has been their vocal attack. On this album the band has up to four vocalists. With all different styles. Pinche Peach, Juan Brujo & El Sangrón have been long time fixtures but the new addition of La Encabronada throws in a great texture to the band’s sound.
“Bruja Encabronada” is her track & it’s a full on assault. Her vocals are fierce & pissed off. A great textual change in the band’s sound that has given the band & this album a new breath of life. The track is punishing & features a great bass break from the ever legendary Hongo before a slowing down of the track into this great headbang moment.
A track like “Mexorcista” really pays off with the sound the band love to play with, An eerie & unsettling intro section really plays into the tracks over all landscape. Making it sound out from other tracks on the album but still sitting nicely between the outright heavy tracks. Now this track does have a blistering sound but what it does nicely is give this unstoppable lunatic sound that might be scary but in the end works so well.
Also using one of the heaviest guitar tones in the band’s history “Testamento 3.0” is a lesson in brutality. Starting with this tribal like guitar chugging while vocals creep over the back & forty chugs this track quickly becomes hypnotic. It’s a simple trick but is so effective, as that tempo build the track is finally unleashing into a tirade of savagery. A true lesson in grindcore this track is. A great second half track that needs to be heard.
Closer “Cocaína” fits right in with the lunacy that is Brujeria. Using the riff from Kiss’s “War Machine” to write a song about Cocaine is just brilliant. And a nice fun palette cleanse as the album draws to a close & the perfect pairing to the bands “Marijuana” track!
Brujeria will always be their own beast. Releasing grind albums that reach so many aspects of the metal genre. Keeping it fun but also still consistently writing tracks that are heavy as fuck & will be great in their live show. A great return for a band this far into their discography & still crafting great albums that will maintain their legacy.
Review: Joseph Mitchell
The New album, Esto Es Brujeria, out Sep. 15, 2023 via Nuclear Blast