Groundbreakers: Brujería — Matando Güeros
Vamos a ver si aguantan la Brujería, güeros pendejos…
Institutionalized in 1989, Brujería made a revolution in the international representation of Latinos in the incipient extreme metal scene. Equally criticized and hailed for their lyrical content, nobody could deny their innovative stage persona as a group.
Lead by the charismatic Juan Brujo, the disguised musicians and supposed drug overlords summoned a new satanic panic with their full length debut, aptly titled Matando Güeros (Killing White People), raiding México and beyond with the depravity of their Deathgrind cocaine & tequila mix, influenced by bands like Terrorizer, Carcass and Repulsion.
They were the consorts of the Devil, the murderers, the enemies of the Church and even TV news shows dedicated airtime to the band linking the “música satánica” they were promoting with the increase of brutal murders in the north of the country, eventually perpetrated by real cartels.
The disgusting album cover featured the severed and partially burnt head, bought precisely by the band’s lead singer to the sensationalist Mexican tabloid “Alarma!” in order of increase the controversies on the easily shocked Latino population.
Their aesthetical choices, besides the explicit lyrical content, were paired to the message of the band. Juan Brujo and his band of criminals wore bandannas and balaclavas to hide their faces with serapes and machetes to represent the Mexican roots, while the aggressive speech of Satanism, drug smuggling and primitive sex was intensified with the intentional hidden identities of all the members. Dark and twisted “personalities” like Adolfo Constanza or Pablo Escobar were direct inspiration to the band, along the cited extreme musical background.
It is easy to target Brujería for these antics, dismissing their musical output and their palpable print on the global metal history. The noise they made with the outside community and the general population with the newspaper gossip material tale of terrorizing drug lords chased by the FBI was sometimes bigger than the release, but Matando Güeros is a fine slice of prototypical extreme metal paired with careful concision in regards of the band’s overall concept.
With the spoken word intro of “Pura de Venta”, we have a bloody taste of the filthy barrage to come in the next 33 minutes. The nasty rumbling bass sounds like the burbling odor of fresh open wounds, meanwhile the guitars, voices and guitars stench with putrefaction. The sloppy musical execution is a perfect mimic to the choppy killing methods of the brute narco forces.
The groovy cut “Matando Güeros” is an instant highlight and was becoming later a staple of the band’s live set and one of the most recognized songs of their catalog, but there is more meat to digest in this bad boy. “Verga del Brujo/Están Chingados”, “Seis, seis, seis” and “Molestando Niños Muertos” are gore rotted examples of the moody death metal sound, barely scratching the obscure doom metal graves.
On the other edge, we have frenzy circle pit inducing short machine gun grind attacks like “Leyes Narcos”, “Greñudos Locos” and “Desperado”, that are a delight to listen with those frantic and clumsy drumming.
The low-key brown production has not lose any charm with all the years passed since the debut of this album, it even serves as testament of the era and still being a clear representation of the band’s sound.
For the underrepresented Latino metal music niche, Brujería and Matando Güeros meant a lot more than we thought at first glance if we dissect a little more their formative year’s history. Their debut supported the Latino scene and gave a new voice to the underworld.
In another layer of analysis, we find that the incorporation of Mexican Spanish slang in the overall speech was a subtle invitation of inclusion of the Latino to the Metal community, which was going to be more globalized than ever with the underground tape-trading scene. It is worth to note that the lyrics have a hazy fraternal coding on the metalhead reunion in songs like “Greñudos Locos”, that was an embracing open letter of brotherhood to the Latino metalheads.
Their image was menacing at the time and also inspired a sense of cultural embrace for what the Mexican and Latino culture means, with all the social issues that faced millions of them on the road for an “American Dream”.
For their contribution to the global metal scene, for paving the road for Latinos to the competition of metal brutality, for having one of the most weirdest mascots of all time and for trolling old people in the 90s, we honor this record and these satanic criminals with the Groundbreakers Toilet ov Hell Award.
“Óiganme bien esto es para ustedes
Hermanos pobres y pinches greñudos
Estos versos son tuyos, no de gabachos
Los que no entienden, aprenden”.
Groundbreakers is the Toilet ov Hell’s Hall ov Fame where we induct some of the most important and influential metal albums of all time. Catch up on previous entries into this hallowed bowl.
Neurosis – Souls at Zero
Death – Symbolic
Fear Factory – Demanufacture
Voivod – Killing Technology
Today is the Day – Temple of the Morning Star
Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil
The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed
Acid Bath – When the Kite String Pops
Ministry – The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Vulcano – Bloody Vengeance
Sleep – Holy Mountain
Kreator – Pleasure to Kill
Kayo Dot – Choirs of the eye
Thin Lizzy – Thunder and Lightning
Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses
Bathory – Hammerheart
Blind Guardian – Imaginations from the Other Side
Black Flag – My War