Pocho Aztlan

Larga vida a Juan Brujo
dB rating: 8/10

Release Date: September 16, 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast

Brujeria doesn’t need to put out a good record. The band’s existence as supergroup-in-the-guise-of-Mexican-druglords has always been such a fucking delight that the fact they released three legitimately killer records was just the sour cream on the enchilada. So, the news that they were coming back was already good enough. But instead they decided to put out Pocho Aztlan, another absolutely killer record.

While founding member Dino Cazares is gone, Napalm Death’s Shane Embury has kept the sound alive, and the inclusion of Jeff Walker from Carcass is likely another reason why the quality is consistent. The band is still doing the grinding, d-beat, groove metal thing that in less dedicated hands would have come off worn or dated. The production values have been beefed up, but this is a grisly, stomping set of anthems tied together by the unmistakable voice of Juan Brujo.

The reason Brujo remains so notable is because he is essentially an enraged leader of a cartel barking threats at you. He never sounds like someone trying to be the frontman for a metal band. Even during the few songs where you could consider the band “expanding” their sound, he is pissed and belligerent and minutes away from setting you on fire and snorting the ashes.

Despite the opening paragraph, make no mistake: This is not lowered expectations. This is not reverence for scene veterans. Fans of Brujeria will be very pleased with Pocho Aztlan. And for the non-fans: Better sleep with one eye open, gringos.

— Shane Mehling
This review taken from the November 2016 issue.

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