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Cristo Satanico is just another reason why you should praise the man himself, Dino Cazares. After much success with Fear Factory and Brujeria, Dino has moulded together yet another demolishing wrecking-ball of extreme metal known as Asesino and they show no signs of slowing down. After an impressive debut back in 2002, Asesino’s latest release Cristo Satanico is definitely a vast improvement and perhaps one of the best death-grind releases of the 21st century. With Maldito-X providing the cranking bass lines and verbal assault, Asesino delivering his signature machine gun riffing and Sadistico’s percussive molestation, this sick and twisted trio’s perverse combination of death metal, grindcore and dark humour is an excellent one and a highly enjoyable listen.
After listening to the short intro track, you are instantly hit with a barrage of machine gun riffs, short bursts of double kick, vicious blasting and a piercing high-pitch scream. These constant onslaughts maintain both brutality as well as an ample amount of groove to them and provide countless opportunities to head bang until your neck is cracked and broken. Now while the album is mainly a bombardment of intense grindcore influenced death metal, one of my favourite tracks, “Padre Pedofilo” seems to take a different approach. It holds back on the blasting and brings the tempo down a few notches and is a lot darker. The song starts out with some indecipherable whispering combined with what sounds like violins or a string section of some sort, creating a real sinister atmosphere. The slow chugging riffs and power-house drum beats in the verse and chorus also have a strangely disturbing presence about them as well as Maldito-X’s menacing vocals. Dino chucks in some harmonized tremolo picking sections as well throughout the song which also make an appearance in “Soy Maldito,” another one of my personal favourites. This track is absolutely menacing yet surprisingly melodic, featuring monolithic tubular bell melodies and haunting keyboard work.
Overall, the vocal performance is an incredible effort. He alternates between these low to mid range raspy growls and shattering high-pitch screams which he can hold for quite some time as you can see in songs such as “Regresando Odio” and “¿Puta Con Pito?” The lyrics are yet another element which makes this album so incredible. Even though they’re ALL in Spanish, they are infectiously catchy, especially the epic chorus in “Y Tu Mama Tambien” which gets me singing along every time. The lyrical content itself revolves around subjects like violence, drugs and perversion with a humorous edge and while I don’t speak fluent Spanish myself, I still get the general gist of it and find myself having a bit of a laugh every now and then.
Another thing you will notice about this album is the production. The sound is incredibly clear and every instrument is precisely refined. Sadistico has achieved a monstrous drum sound with every stroke sounding completely obliterating. He sticks to playing the usual combination of annihilating double bass and blasts as well as a few little tricks of his own and is able to maintain a lot of groove to it even though he is completely hammering everything at furious speed throughout the majority of the album. The combination of both explosive, rapid-fire drumming and Dino’s machine-gun tremolo picking fuse together brilliantly and Maldito-X’s furious fret-work compliments their aggressive playing style just as well.
Cristo Satanico is yet another solid release from Dino and highly recommended for fans of both death metal and grindcore. El final…
Dino Cazares and the metal press have always had a tenuous relationship. While praise has been lauded on his brilliant efforts in the past with Fear Factory and Brujeria, his new main focus Divine Heresy met mixed responses from critics, being described in Terrorizer as ¡°money metal¡± despite the deathcore 3-piece¡¯s rejection of current trends. So for anyone that thinks our generously-proportioned Mexican axe-bandit has sold out then prepare to be silenced by his new grind project, the natural successors to Brujeria, Aesesino. While Divine Heresy may attract its fair share of 15 year-old girls and fringed-scene kids this is an unlikely proposition when it comes to Aesesino. Frantic blast-beats, Dino¡¯s trademark machine-gun riffs and brutal all-Spanish vocals are set against tongue-in-cheek lyrics (you may need a translator), spoken word passages and a refreshing tech-death approach that makes this one schizophrenic beast of an album. Shit, if Metal Hammer and Terrorizer can¡¯t get their heads around it (both giving it a measly 6/10), then all these teenage scenesters that Dino has been accused of trying to attract with DH aren¡¯t going to get it either.
Apparently Roadrunner, who wouldn¡¯t be where they are today without Dino¡¯s work (although the less said about Roadrunner United the better), didn¡¯t get it either. For this project Dino has teamed up with Static X rhythm-section Tony Campos and Emilio Marquez and released the album on the much more low-key Listenable Records (In the UK at least; it was released stateside 2 years ago on Odio records.) This makes it just the second non-Roadrunner output of Se¨¾or Cazares¡¯ career, the first being Aesesino¡¯s 2002 Corridos de Muerte debut. Does this mean the long relationship of Roadrunner and one of their longest serving purveyors of noise is coming to an end? Perhaps the more pertinent question is whether or not that would be such a bad thing. The departure of Obituary from Roadrunner¡¯s stables due to mismanagement shows what happens when a label stops caring about the seminal bands that laid its foundations. Let Roadrunner fuck around with the new Trivium and Nickeback releases, Aesesino are a band that can carry their own weight. Sure they lack the more straight-ahead grind approach of recent outputs from Rotten Sound or Insect Warfare but despite its technical approach and other inaccessibilities, the songs on Cristo Sat¨¤nico are good fucking songs; tunes that stick in your head. Listen out for ¡°Y Tu Mama Tambien¡± and you¡¯ll understand.
In a recent interview Dismember guitarist David Blomqvst said ¡°Death Metal has to be ugly, raw and in-your-face, not catchy.¡± Without meaning to denigrate the words of one of the greats of the Stockholm scene, what Dino Cazares and co. have accomplished on this album is something that is both ugly and catchy, raw but still technical, in-your-face but still retaining enough creativity to keep the endless swathes of kids in ¡°Bring Me the Horizon¡± t-shirts away. Another great album from Se¨¾or Cazares.
While anybody who has a basic knowledge with conversational Spanish knows that Asesino isn't to be taken too seriously lyrically; in terms of music, this album is amazing. The first thing you will probably notice about the album is the awesome production quality, which is among the best I have ever heard on a deathgrind album. The sound is clear and polished, which allows the listener to actually enjoy the music of the album, instead of trying to decipher what is going on, as in the case of some deathgrind albums.
The music is an intense listen, with Dino Cazares naturally being the star of the show. His riffs drive the music, generally alternating between a grindy, power-chord laden riff into a creepy sounding tremolo picking style (think Swedish death metal). Dino also throws in a few (almost melodic) thrash riffs into the mix, giving the music a distinct sound. Tony's bass playing is dead-on, with a few groove parts eschewing the guitar for brief bass-only riffs. Tony's vocals are awesome, alternating between a mid-range growl and high screams; and as I said before, if you understand Spanish obscenity, you'll have a good laugh.
In my humble opinion, the pinnacle of the album is the drumming, however. Emilio Marquez completely destroys on this recording. Alot of mixing time was spent EQ-ing and perfecting the sound of the drums, and they sound killer. Emilio's snare has one of the most intense sounds, especially during blastbeating sections. He also throws in some crazy fills and intense double-bass sections. One of the best things about Asesino is the ability for the drums and guitar to build on top of each other, to form an intense riff (i.e. the first riff in "Perro Primero").
The album also features some decent backing vocals from Jamey Jasta (under the name "El Odio") on the track "Regresando Odio," as well as several awesome guest solos from Andreas Kisser (under the name "Sepulculo").
Overall, if you are into good deathgrind, or you just want some brutal shit to listen too, you could do far worse than "Cristo Satanico." It's probably one of the best albums in it's genre, and a definite recommend.