2023 South American Metal Albums in Review (Part II)
In this end of year series, I am sharing some of the most notable, unique, and headbanging-inducing South American metal albums that I have discovered this year (in no particular order). Here are 7 more albums for your listening queue!
Read part I here.
Razón de Ser – El Camino que Seguimos (Argentina)
If you are tired of always listening to dark, depressing metal (can’t relate), Comodoro Rivadavia’s Razón de Ser have the perfect album for you. Not only is this album energetic and enthusiastic in terms of both sound and lyrics, it is truly just a fun time. The influence of classic metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest is very present here, as well as influences from hard rock. Highly recommended as inspirational listening while at the gym or simply to motivate yourself as you go about your day.
Pacta Corvina – Ignis et sulphur (Brazil)
Pacta Corvina make extreme yet atmospheric music that contains some truly heavy riffs. Among the heaviness, though, one can find many moments of real beauty. This album also carries a strong punk spirit in regards to both sound and lyrical content. Portuguese and English language lyrics take aim at everything from the church to mining companies to large scale agriculture, and the anger is palpable. I am particularly a fan of opening track “Agrochacina,” which lures you in with a melodic opening before proceeding to pummel you with a wall of sound.
Kuazar – Hybrid Power (Paraguay)
Kuazar play excellent thrash with top-notch production. Most lyrics are in English, but lead single “Machete Che Pope (Acosta Ñu)” employs Spanish and Guaraní to tell the story of the battle of Acosta Ñu, one of the darkest moments in South American history. This track’s music video caused controversy for its alleged sacrilegious nature, and later both the song and video were declared of cultural interest by Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies. If that doesn’t pique your curiosity about this album, I don’t know what will.
Hermostra – S/T (Argentina)
Melodic but heavy, Buenos Aires-based quartet Hermostra draws on a variety of musical influences to carry forward their message of feminist empowerment. The band employs a mix of clean and shouted vocals split between the two guitarists, who frequently harmonize and play off of each other. “We’re granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn,” guitarist Leu sings on “Ancestras,” a track that perfectly sums up the album’s blend of the mystical with everyday realities. I also want to shout out the cool album artwork created by the band’s bassist.
Waliche – Waliche Yüt (Brazil)
If you like your black metal taken off the grill while still pink, give Waliche’s debut a go. Cavernous vocals, aggressive drums and haunting guitars define the band’s sound. Tracks like “It Mirrí” and “Pampa” create dense sonic atmospheres that will keep a grip on you long after the album’s close. Also of note is the multinational and multilingual aspect of the project. Band collaborators hail from multiple countries of origin, and lyrics are in English, Spanish, Charrua, and Tzutujil Maya. Waliche also released a follow-up album, Proclamation of War, in October of this year.
Corporal Jigsore – Awakening the Extinction (Bolivia)
Death metal isn’t always my cup of tea, but when I do get the urge to listen to it, I go all in. Corporal Jigsore’s name comes from a character in a self-created myth, a “maniacal avenger of earth” who has charged the band members with carrying out his mission against “greed-stricken corrupted leaders.” The band absolutely execute this mission through brutal tracks such as “The Altar of Disdain” and “The Embrace of the Hypocrites.” This band does not take themselves too seriously, and thank god for that, because it gives them freedom to create an album that is not only ferocious but also fun.
Immundus Diabolus – Impure Dimensions (Argentina)
Puerto Madryn’s Immundus Diabolus play aggressive black metal that does not let up for a moment. Following an intro track on strings, the band launches into full on metal mode with “Gloria-Patri.” Other stand out tracks include “Morbid Act” and “Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum,” with the drumming standing out as especially impressive. The band sings in Latin, with lyrics inspired by works such as Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Black metal isn’t the most common genre in Argentine Patagonia, so I was delighted to stumble across this album.