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Brujeria - "Pocho Aztlan" (CD)

Brujeria - "Pocho Aztlan" CD cover image

"Pocho Aztlan" track listing:

1. Pocho Aztlan
2. No Aceptan Imitaciones
3. Profecía del Anticristo
4. Ángel de la Frontera
5. Plata o Plomo
6. Satongo
7. Isla de la Fantasía
8. Bruja
9. México Campeón
10. Culpan la Mujer
11. Códigos
12. Debilador
13. California Über Aztlan

Reviewed by on September 2, 2016

"Brujeria are back with a vengeance and an album which matches the intensity of their live shows"

It's been sixteen years since Brujeria, the deathgrind supergroup led by the enigmatic Juan Brujo, last released previous studio album, "Brujerizmo." In that time, the members of the group, including Napalm Death's Shane Embury and Carcass frontman Jeff Walker, have focused their energies on other projects but now the masked banditos have returned with "Pocho Aztlan," named after the legendary home of the Aztec people. So, how does it hold up compared to their previous efforts? Let's find out.

The album opens with the title track, "Pocho Aztlan," which begins with a very eerie choir performing something of a horror movie mesh reminiscent of the theme from The Omen and the "One, two, Freddy's coming for you," skipping rope song from A Nightmare on Elm Street. It sets the tone perfectly, as what follows is one of the darkest songs Brujeria have ever done, whilst still retaining a groove that has become synonymous with the band over the years. A solid beginning sets up Brujeria's darkest album to date.

Brujeria have stayed true to themselves while displaying a lot of variety on this record, including "Profecía del Anticristo," which has tinges of black metal as well as an excellent hardcore breakdown. Groove is a big part of the album, with songs such as "Plata o Plomo" and "Códigos" displaying it proudly. Their brand of deathgrind is still prominent though, as can be heard on the likes of "No Aceptan Imitaciones" and "Ángel de la Frontera," the latter of which, much like "Bruja," features an anthemic chorus that will make them live favorites in the future, before closing with a faithful but still unique cover of the Dead Kennedy's classic, "California Uber Alles." The lyrics on this version are changed to attack long time target Pete Wilson instead of former governor Jerry Brown.

All in all, Brujeria are back with a vengeance and an album which matches the intensity of their live shows. Fans have waited a long time for new music from the Mexican metallers, but it seems to be well worth it. They sound fresher than ever with the new additions bringing themselves to a long running project which has always thrived on ideas and targets. "¡Bienvenido de nuevo!"

Highs: "Plata o Plomo," "Bruja" and "México Campeón"

Lows: Disappointing that the album does not include the single "¡Viva Presidente Trump!"

Bottom line: Brujeria's fourth album is a strong contender for their best and features plenty of songs which will go over brilliantly live.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)