Brujeria have always possessed an enduring mystique, portraying a band of faceless Mexican drug lords rarely playing live but yet led by legendary front man Juan Brujo and backed by scene progenitors Shane Embury and Jeff Walker.
Pocho Aztlan roughly translates as “wasted promise land”, Aztlan being the fabled ancestral home of the Aztec people and Pocho, the slang term used by many Mexicans to refer to their counterparts born in the U.S. The title sets the scene for the heavy political message throughout but there is always a hint of trademark tongue in cheek as we have become used to with Brujeria, none more so than on tracks like “Culpan La Mujer” (‘Blame The Woman’) and the bizarrely brilliant cover of Dead Kennedy’s “California Über Alles” (“California Über Aztlán”).
Musically, Pocho Aztlan represents the band most varied and rich offering to date. The dark title anthem eerily opens up proceedings before delivering a great blend of classic grindcore on tracks like the “Aceptance Imitacionces” and “Satongo” to slower groovier numbers like “Plato o Plomo” and “Códigos”. Despite more experimentation on show, Brujeria stay true to their routes with that trademark groove, monstrous riffage, and stripped back/down-tuned guitar sound that really takes you back to the halcyon days of the genre. All of which is of course carried off with Juan’s chaotic vocals delivered in his native Spanish tongue.
Brujeria are a band who retain a unique aura in an age of countless forgettable imitations (“No Aceptance Imitacionces!”). Pocho Aztlan is their fourth and arguably best release to date. The metal scene is far richer for it, despite the wait!
Pocho Aztlan is released 16 September by Nuclear Blast. You can pre-order it through Amazon: