Album número cinco from Mexican grindcore lords Brujeria is another fun exhibition of the dark arts and criminal underworld. Esto Es Brujeria, 16 devilish tracks, shows that the mysterious sin-slingers have plenty of treats remaining in their piñata. Like in past releases, there are nuances galore delivered by guitarist Criminal, and, of course, lead vocalist Juan Brujo.
The fiesta begins wildly with “Esto Es” as a mock news debate becomes overtaken by a swelling, anthemic tremolo riff roaring to a blast beat. Their cultural flavor really takes hold during the bridge, when horns join in on the grinds and breakdowns. “Estado Profundo” follows suit, slamming along to heavy riffs with a reggaeton cadence.
Brujo takes the passenger seat in “Bruja Encabronada” for newcomer La Encabronada to scold over high-octane grinds. It appears the Alekhine’s Gun vocalist and American actress is taking over the mantle of female backing vocalist from longtime bruja Pititis.
My Spanish is spotty, so I’m guessing “Tu Vida Loca” is a grinder in reference to pop star Ricky Martin. I could swear I heard Brujo spew “Menudo” in the lyrics. Craziness is then carried out through ominous grooves in “Mexorcista.” Continuing with the bouncing is “Bestia De La Muerte,” which flaunts a catchy hook thanks to yelps contributed in the chorus by someone who sounds like they’re from Munchkin Land. Brujo adds a nice touch with his off-key growling.
You’ll find the infamous frontman sounding a bit borracho in “Perdido En El Espacio” as he meanders over creeping riffs. However, things get serious in “Testamento 3.0” when he belts out a sinister sermon in closing. The morbid playfulness that garners Brujeria a passionate following is poignantly present in “Covid-666,” a punk-rocking single from years prior, now featured as the penultimate track. And, finally, no album of theirs is complete without a cover. This time, they give their rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” in the form of “Cocaína”, where, ironically, Brujo is mellowed out.
Once again Brujeria doesn’t fail in being entertaining with their signature style of grindcore/death metal; just as the album title appropriately claims, “This is Brujeria.” To be specific, this is witchcraft. With the craft comes spells, and in this case, they’re in the form of brutal tunes with Mexican flare. Be ready to dance with the brujos when Esto Es Brujeria drops via Nuclear Blast Records on September 15.
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