|Review: Brujeria - Matando Gueros|
Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1993
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: May 15, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)
The debut from what the label claimed at the time was a band of Mexican drug lords who had to record anonymously to protect themselves from arrest is really an extended joke, one a lot of people didn’t get. The more you know about Mexico and Hispanic culture, the funnier this CD is, which you would never expect from a band that has a genuine picture of a for-real frigging severed head on the album cover.
Brujeria (which means roughly ‘Witchcraft’) are a studio project led by Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares and Ray Hererra, joined by Faith No More’s Billy Gould and a few others, the lineups are obscure at best. This is downtuned, grungy death metal roughly similar to Napalm Death or even Deicide. Most of these tracks are very short, several less than a minute long. Musically this is very basic, and not really terribly interesting. The production is low-budget, apparently on purpose, and the quality varies between songs, in keeping with the conceit that these are drug lords who record whenever they can take time out from their busy schedule of snorting coke and slaughtering people.
The existence of "brujeria" is a folk belief among many South Americans, and drug lords in particular are fond of keeping a supposed "brujah" or sorcerer on staff, as it were, to use his supernatural powers to help them evade the law. Thus the joke becomes more clear. It would be akin to an American metal band calling itself "Satanism" and claiming to be part of a cult of child abduction and ritual abuse – you see the joke? The song titles and lyrics are all in Spanish, and only with the help of my wife was I able to understand how hilarious these are. "Culeros" is an extremely rude term for the ass, so this track is essentially three guys in an echo chamber hollering about asscheeks for thirty seconds. "Chinga Tu Madre" is, literally "Fuck Your Mother". And track 16 translates as "Molesting Dead Children" with the chorus something like ‘molesting dead children with my erection’. The whole thing is so over the top and extreme as to be obviously silly to anyone who understands the lingo, the funniest joke of course being on those who didn’t and took this seriously when it was released nigh a decade ago.
So, not a classic release by any stretch, but as both an elaborate prank on the gringos and a satire on the more extreme death metal camp "Matando Gueros" stands alone. Get it for the must-see-to-believe cover and the lyrics, if nothing else.
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