Brujeria


Matando Gueros
(Roadrunner - 1993)
Their first effort. Basically a very primitive version of Raza Odiada. I.e. Much more primitive grindcore and speed (the supposed Napalm Death member is to blame I guess), and less groove and hardcore attitude. The vocals are the same great, deep, aggressive growls in Spanish though. Clocking at 32 minutes with 19 songs, this is very close to a typical grind album with many songs of under two minutes length. Here and there, the Raza Odiada 'groovier' sound shines through but as I said, these are mostly primitive hyperbrutal songs in bursts of aggression marking a straightforward but well done exercise in deathgrind with a twist. There are many slower, thick, heavy songs, some incantations, rants and sound samples, as well as more 'atmospheric' romps of noise to keep the sound shifting. And as if the rumors of Satanism and drug dealing surrounding this band weren't enough, the album cover features a picture of a real severed head. It's not a style of music I like, but check it out if it sounds like your thing.
Raza Odiada
(Roadrunner - 1995)
I've heard people complain about the Mexican vocals on this album, but I personally think they sound fantastic. The Spanish language together with the furious deep growls by Juan Brujo gives the music a tough, teeth-grinding hard edge. This is death metal with a touch of grindcore, yet it is mostly groove and thick sounding as opposed to breakneck speed. Take the simple anger and in-your-face riffs of hardcore, mix it with some thick death metal sounds a la Carcass, add a pinch of grind, and you get this brutal release. Brujeria supposedly has members of Napalm Death, Fear Factory, Faith no More and Sepultura and you can hear the sound of all the bands put together at times. The first track starts with a great intro of racist Pete Wilson getting shot - a well done explosive start that gets you in the perfect mood. The album contains a few weak songs but overall, it's an original good release if you like this sort of thing. I would recommend it to people who are into a romping brutal sound with an aggressive groove, but for me personally, other than a couple of songs, it hasn't grown on me past the first enjoyable listen. Too primitive and simple I guess.
Brujerizmo
(Roadrunner - 2000)
A hilarious introduction features a children's song complete with delicate child's vocals before erupting into some roaring and grinding thick metal. So starts this comeback by Brujeria, originally a deathgrind band surrounded by mystery and wave after wave of rumors regarding the members identities and their illegal activities. In any case, now we know the members come from Fear Factory, Faith no More and Napalm Death and include one Mexican vocalist. Surprisingly, this release comes off more like a harder-edged but polished Fear Factory side project than their earlier unique rawer mix of death, grind and hardcore. The riffing features a lot of that stacatto, precise cheese grating with down-tuned grinding guitars that we know so well in Fear Factory. The grindcore is all gone but the hardcore punk is definitely still here, as are the superb, deep bark-growls in Spanish. So imagine some aggressive hardcore riffs mixed with a heavy dose of Fear Factory and mid-paced death metal, and tough-as-nails, gritty vocals in Spanish and you should get an idea of this release. I can see this appealing to many people as it is done well and has an enjoyable sound, but personally I found it lacking (too straightforward and hardcore I guess). Try it out if you like hard-edged, groove death metal (as opposed to brutal speed or melodic death). It's done well and fills its own niche.



The Last Exit 1996-

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