Esto es Brujeria

I love all things Brujeria.  When they first were getting signed to Roadrunner Records the promotion for their upcoming 1993 debut Matando Gueros was genius.  The magazine, pre-internet, had members of the label in a basement surrounded by the band, the band with bandanas around their faces and they had AK-47’s pointed at it was either Borivoj or Monte-both members of the label-I can’t remember, anyway they had a contract and Brujeria were making demands.

The whole schtick was Brujeria were members of the Mexican drug cartel etc…. the rest is history and the array of members through the years, both past and present range from bands such as: Napalm Death, Pentagram (Chile), Carcass, Cradle of Filth, Faith No More and Fear Factory. Through their 30+ years, they have released countless ep’s, singles, comps and Esto es Brujeria is their 5th proper full-length.  Their last album, from 2016 Pocho Aztlán, was a great comeback album as the band had not released an album in 16 years and this time around the hiatus was only 7 years….however, Esto es Brujeria shows no signs of Brujeria slowing down and this is yet another excellent album, which is stronger than the previous album if you can believe that.

16 songs in 53 minutes.  The last 3 songs are retreads, meaning “COVID-666”, “Lord Nazi Ruso” and “Cocaína” previously appearing on singles over the last few years.  The songs are all very good and you must check out the video they did for “COVID-666”.  Very tongue-in-cheek and a lot of fun.  I always love how Brujeria always wrote songs that were related to the sign of the times, whether world or nationwide-very clever band.

The title track opens the album with a nice nifty spoken word and the album and song title roughly translates to “This is Witchcraft”.  While the spoken word continues the blasting gets louder and louder and the lead vocalist, since the band’s duration- Juan Brujo comes in angrier than ever.  This is one of the best opening songs the band has ever done as it’s full of blasts, scorching guitars, and a ton of aggression.  The Holy Shit moment for me is at the 2.10 part.  Isolated excerpt and then a trumpet sounds with a famous Hispanic jingle and Pinche Peach’s vocals coming in with the laugh and BOOM, Shaka Laka, BOOM, right into the scorching blast beat with the trumpet playing the jingle over the blast.  It sounds like a bullfight whirlwind blast beat chest-thumping anthem and luckily this trumpeting blast beat returns later in the song.  Nice mega distorted bass guitar comes in a bit isolated later on when the song slows down a bit.  Devil Almighty!- this may be my favorite song for 2023.  I am not joking-I have listened to this song like 35x already, repeat, repeat.

“El patrón del reventón” is up next and the massive blast with the snappy guitars and the double bass is chest collapsing.  I love this blast beat with the slow crunch riff pattern several times, before the guitar riffs come at a fast pace.  Seriously if you thought you were going to catch a break, from the opening song, fugghetabout it!!!..well around the 1.26 mark, the song slows down and is so frickin’ heavy-vintage Brujeria-this song will blow your head off and send it into outer space.

“Mexorcista” is a slow grinding riff-haven of a tune.  The song gets to a more mid-paced speed, but then gets back into that slow, almost doomy section again and these parts go back and forth and are quite good.  Picking up at a vintage 90’s death metal gallop at the 90-second mark makes for a classic moment and then the various vocalists, all over this song, really make this a dynamic song.

“Mochado” has some punishing rhythmic patterns with creative drumming and plenty of drum rolls and monster blast beats.  Juan Brujo continues berating us throughout this song as if he has walked right through the microphone and is grabbing you by your trusty suspenders and picking you up and pile driving you again and again and again and again….and Again!!!  A few poly-rhythmic almost djent-sounding moments come in..brief…and then right into more blast beats….

Esto es Brujeria is aggressive AF with plenty of mid-paced slow grinders with incredibly catchy and memorable riffs and song structures.  Brujeria also know how to keep things fun, like the opening song, with the trumpet and this is definitely one of my favorite albums for 2023.  Like a fine wine, Brujeria continues to age well through the decades.  Buy or Die!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 17th, 2023


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