"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Huinca - "Sic Semper Tyrannis" (CD)

Huinca - "Sic Semper Tyrannis" CD cover image

"Sic Semper Tyrannis" track listing:

1. Revuelta
2. Orias
3. Trepador
4. Santa Pedofilia
5. Huinca
6. Genocide
7. Cae
8. Rapa Nui
9. Guerrero
10. Tirano

Reviewed by on August 6, 2012

"When the band gets underway with its groove during the midst of the songs, they seem to flow better and can be quite enjoyable."

From the crop of Chilean bands making the rounds for top seed in its country comes Huinca. Ever political and always outspoken like its countrymen Nuclear, Huinca delivers its latest offering "Sic Semper Tyrannis" with plenty of groove and a penchant for political and ancestral themes, a hallmark of prehispanic metal.

Throughout the ten songs, "Sic Semper Tyrannis" floods a number of different influences into its groove metal sound. My personal favorite from the album, "Guerrero," makes the grade with an intro that sounds like a wind chamber of echoes, giving way to slamming leads and shouted choruses about the "mapuche" ancestry and culture of Chile. This song, like others on the album, capitalizes on a solid rhythm section midway. The interplay of the lead guitarist, bassist and drummer is engaging and makes it look like Huinca is truly having a good time.

When listening to the full album, it is evident that the band seems to get the rhythm truly going in the mid-sections of the songs and that carries the rest of the tune into groove territory. "Genocide" starts sluggishly like a few others, but the infusion of two different types of Latin percussion makes it roll like an interesting journey, except when it feels as if some parts were just segmented together. This percussion takes a tribal turn in "Rapa Nui," a track that has a truckload of leads and bridges, along with unusual punctuations and notes by the lead guitarist.

Huinca's axeman writes some very memorable twists, which give variety to the song's impetus. He focuses on groove metal to start each track, as with "Trepador" and the faster slamming of "Tirano," the latter a song about the two more notorious Chilean despots. "Tirano" is perhaps the most aggressive composition on the album, and the vocalist's style is best suited towards more abrasive metal like this song. The thing is, the vocalist seems to sing in a slower tempo and speak the bulk of the lyrics, which is not his best suit.

In "Orias," he sings in English - as he does in a few of the other tracks - but has more passion when he sings in his native tongue. The lyrics can tend to sound trite, as do some of the choruses in the songs when approached too simplistically. Despite this half-speed singing in "Revuelta," he gets more into his element during the chorus later on. And of course, what Spanish album would be complete without a song about the marauding Catholic priests, "Santa Pedofilia."

Huinca delivers an album that is fairly solid in "Sic Semper Tyrannis." They are finding themselves and seeing what will work and what won't as they adapt their style. When the band gets underway with its groove during the midst of the songs, they seem to flow better and can be quite enjoyable.

Highs: Good grooving, jamming and interesting Latin sounds with metal

Lows: The flow is off on some tracks and the vocals need to be delivered with better timing

Bottom line: There are plenty of good moments on this release that show the potential these guys have.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)