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Simply: One of the greatest albums ever made. Now, that alone won’t suffice and I’ll be shouted down by the moderators for saying that without elaborating, so here’s my review for “Brujerizmo”.
Brujerizmo sounds like a heavier, Spanish-speaking version of Fear Factory’s “Demanufacture.” Instantly, you can tell that the album is very different from their earlier works. Seven years have passed since the release of their first album, Matando Güeros, a poorly-produced but still very fun grindcore album, and while Brujerizmo is only the third full length, there is already a marked increase in the maturity and sensibility of the band that is evident throughout this record.
The guitar work is a highlight of the album. With simple and extremely catchy, yet still very heavy riffs with a crystal clear production, good luck trying to not bang your head and shout the lyrics. But the true highlight of the album is the bass. Brujeria have multiple bassists and I don’t know why, but the bass is so unbelievably heavy, it makes a nice change from many CDs where the bass is totally inaudible. The bass work is especially heavy on the songs with less melodic riffing, such as “La Traición” and “Anti-Castro”.
Mentioning the latter track brings me to my next point – the vocal work. With of course very heavy vocals for the most part, there are quite a few more different vocal styles performed on Brujerizmo. Rather than just Juan Brujo’s straight up brutal growls, which are still there on a plentiful level, there are cleaner vocals especially on “Anti-Castro.” This works on the level that it gives the idea that it really is gangsters singing on this album and not just death metal vocalists.
The drums are levelled perfectly, and provide an excellent pick behind the perfectly written guitars. There are extremely few blast beats, another indication of the huge amount of progression that the band has made in a relatively small number of years, leaving the old-school grindcore behind in favour of an album that’s friendlier to the mainstream listener.
There’s still a very warped sense of humour on the album, even for those who don’t understand the lyrics. English translations of the lyrics talk about typical Brujeria topics like crossing the border, Satanism, sex, and drug trafficking. Aside from the fairly pleasant lyrical matter, some strange samples are present on the album. The opening title track features a bizarre sing-along from a Mexican childrens program, and the start of “Cuiden A Los Niños” is a recording of the Spanish version of the witch doctor. Very strange, but this peculiar humour works in the albums favour.
The only low points of the album are the two songs “El Bajon” and “SIDA De La Mente” which don’t grab my interest at all. But that still leaves 11 songs not just worth listening to, but really excellent songs too, which in this age of modern music, is a monumental effort. Brujerizmo is something that metalheads all around can enjoy, it’s accessible enough for newer listeners, but still heavy and brutal enough for the most hardened death metal fans. Almost every part of the album comes together perfectly and it will stay in your record collection for a long time – I’ve owned the CD for about 3 years now and it still gets regular playing, and one can only declare that to be money well spent.