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An intense, highly focused raw BM hurricane epic - 90%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 10th, 2016

"Raw to the Rapine" is an apt name for this, the first and so far only full-length recording by Tukaaria, one of the US-based Black Twilight Circle bands who draw on indigenous Mexican and Central American traditions as one of their inspirations and strengths. As raw and aggressive BM goes, the music made by the BTC bands is the rawest, most aggressive and definitely most blood-curdling and desperate of the lot. It's always an event - uh, let me change that - it should always be an event when one of the BTC bands releases an album that we should be able to get our hands on (and occasionally I do, in the case of the BTC double-set compilation and a recent Volahn release), and this one by Tukaaria should have been something broadcast to the wider universe way back in 2011 and again in 2012 when it was reissued by Profound Lore. The album is an expression of the horrors of the brutal and savage conquest of indigenous Mexican peoples (in particular the Yaqui people of Sonora state in Mexico) and the destruction of their cultures by the Spanish crown and missionaries.

At first it sounds messy and chaotic, and it's chock-full of someone screaming like he's having his chest and abdomen ripped open among the ravenous vampiric guitars with their non-stop grind, occasional squealing guitar and the floppy drums relentlessly banging away at super blast-beat speeds. The atmosphere is dark, hellish and claustrophobic throughout, and the mood is beyond desperation and hopelessness. After a couple of hearings, I notice that the vocals are much more varied than my initial impressions of them were: apart from the shrieking, they range from slavering to clean-voiced chanting and rough-edged haranguing to deep guttural swamp-monster growl complete with several layers of algae and barnacle encrustation.

The music is actually much less chaotic than it at first appears: Tukaaria maintain a basic instrumental set-up of guitars, bass, drums and vocals, and from that builds up a mighty roaring beast of dense noise layers, rapid-fire beats and rhythms and a suffocating atmosphere. The singing may be histrionic but the actual music is channelled through repetition, ferocious speed, a minimalist approach and energy into an intense and focused storm that sucks up its listeners and trails them along as prisoners in its wake. All songs are very good but I single out one of the middle tracks, "Prehistoric Silence" I think, for its deep, concentrated and manic focus, its punishing speed, the deranged ambience created by the scrabbling guitars and the incredible crushed-rocks monster vocals, as the most outstanding of all.

The more I hear this album, the more I'm convinced this is a special recording - something new always seems to arise from the apparent chaos and suffering. I only wish it had been longer.