Brujeria
Matando Güeros


3.5
great

Review

by blou52 USER (23 Reviews)
April 16th, 2020 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Satanismo, Rock, Y Asesinatos

Attributed as an influence in a pair of homicides in Mexico during 1996, Matando Güeros, or “Killing Whiteys” when translated, is an album of immensely enjoyable deathgrind and inconsistent songs. Released in 1993, many who saw the album were unaware of the truth surrounding the album. Donning face masks obscuring their identity, Brujeria said they were satanic drug lords who used fear and torture to maintain their power, and while now know this wasn’t the truth, the reality was much less clear back then. If a person outside the metal realm were brave enough to not only get past the decapitated head on the cover, but actually listen to the album, then they’d surely be terrified of what they heard. Brujeria’s story of being drug traffickers may be a fabrication, but the music contained in Matando Güeros aligns with the narrative they offered.

Existing within the boundaries set by death growls and shouting, singer Juan Brujo’s antagonistic and aggressive vocals illustrate the image of who Brujeria wanted you to believe they were. Diverging from the concept of uttering the most nefarious vocals able to be mustered, Brujo’s vocals render a more human visage. Brujeria intentionally selected this style to reinforce the impression that they are real people carrying out Satan’s desires. Emerging as a result of the human-like vocals, Brujeria’s lyrical perversions become discernible. Reversing and distorting the messages of community and acceptance that many of its grindcore predecessors contained, the lyrics of Matando Güeros are vile, wicked, and overtly offensive. While especially hostile towards Americans, messages of anti-white sentiment, sexual violence, drug trafficking, and theistic satanism coalesce until they form the amalgamation of depravity heard on the album. Perhaps most influential in the plausibility of the ideas is that Brujo sings entirely in Spanish, inspiring a bold and scarcely replicated sound while simultaneously alienating the foreigners they despise so intensely.

Despite what the lyrics suggest, the true messages contained are diametrically opposed to the initially perceived messages. Much in the way that a more modern band like Cattle Decapitation uses horrific lyrics aimed at humans to promote a pro-animal message, Brujeria uses their lyrics to portray a fantastical drug cartel in an effort to bring about peace. Looking at the members, proof arises. The album features such notable members as Shane Embury (Hongo), BIlly Gould (Güero sin Fe), Jello Biafra (Director diabolico), as well as Raymond Herrera (Greñudo) and Dino Cazares (Asesino), all playing their respective instruments. Besides the fact that three of the members named here are white, multiple members named have a history of fighting for social justice and equality.

Binding their own vibrant might to the vocals, the instrumentation found on Matando Güeros will satiate any deathgrind fans appetite. To discuss the musicianship on a technical level would be to miss the purpose and value of it. No, the playing won't be going toe-to-toe with the likes of Necrophagist or Gorguts. However, the album is much more akin to the zest and outright fun of S.O.D.’s legendary Speak English or Die than it is to the aforementioned bands. The guitars and bass are filthy, unsophisticated, and everything the style needs them to be. Unsurprisingly, the drums take a relatively minor role. All the mainstays of the genre are performed to spec and the pace follows that of the bass and guitar. Considering drummer Greñudo joined the band 2-3 years later than all the other members in Brujeria, sticking with tried and true methods was a respectable decision. Songs like “Leyes Narcos” and “Sacrificio” draw heavily from the albums grind heritage, while other songs such as the more anthemic title track serve as mid-tempo reprieves that closer resemble the album’s other parent: death metal.

Lamentably, Matando Güeros drastically changes in the second half of the album, aside from the song “Machetazos (Sacrificio III)”. Replacing the deathgrind assault is a dissonant, oftentimes non-musical collection of songs devoid of much of the musical aspects that made the first half as replayable as it is. The second half is indeed entirely extreme, but this version of extremity is seemingly born of harsh atonality rather than the frenetic aggression of grindcore or pulverizing low-frequency bombardment of death metal. Perhaps these songs would find their place on an album that hadn’t already set a style so different than this, but I find the transition here jarring and unnecessary. The final four tracks came from the band’s 1990 single Machetazos!, so the inconsistency in styles this creates is more understandable, but the reasoning does not excuse the effect this decision has.

What could have been among the greatest albums of its kind was tragically restricted from the heights of underground fame it could have achieved had the second half been changed. In spite of the regrettable second half, the 16 or so minutes spanning the first half of Matando Güeros deserve to be listened to and experienced. Even the second half is deserving of an attempt at listening if it sounds at all intriguing to you. Regardless of my feelings on it, you may glean something from the experience that I hadn’t.



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user ratings (66)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
blou52
April 16th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Okay, serious question: what do you think about the review length and style?



Also, believe it or not, Vice News has a pretty good article on the album that I found while looking for a release date. You can read about the cover in the article too

oltnabrick
April 17th 2020


40621 Comments


cool review


surprised this didnt already have one

blou52
April 17th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks!

Same. I thought this album was as popular as Repulsion or Terrorizer or something back when I discovered it a few years ago. I guess I was mistaken

parksungjoon
April 17th 2020


47231 Comments


brujeria really aren't that well known

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2020


2406 Comments


i liked pocho aztlan but haven't listened to anything else by them. good review, will check this out

parksungjoon
April 17th 2020


47231 Comments


solid writeup though, cheers!

blou52
April 17th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@parksungjoon That's what I was getting at in that comment. I was under the impression that the album was much larger than it is. To give a bit of perspective, I don't think I'd even heard of black metal when I found Matando initially.



@mynameischan This album is their most grind-y for sure. The albums after this have way more groove metal influence and the guitars sound more like modern grind

parksungjoon
April 17th 2020


47231 Comments


i was replying to oltna sry for the confusion

yea it is quite the mystery

Cormano
April 17th 2020


4073 Comments


oooff Verga del Brujo used to be my jam, it pissed off my then gf so much, great times. hard to listen to this band without getting a good laugh but I still dig

ESTAN CHINGADOS
PAL INFIERNO CABRONES

metalhead2425
April 17th 2020


388 Comments


Finally reviewed this I see. Album is fun.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2020


10701 Comments


Excellent review, pos.

First found out about this band and album in the ‘90s through a piece in Metal Hammer Hellas about metal/non metal albums with obscene album art.

Never cared to listen though, as I wasn’t into grind at that time.

blou52
April 17th 2020


340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I appreciate the feedback, glad to see you guys like it

Gwyn.
May 25th 2020


17270 Comments


This album sounds like those cultists from Resident Evil 4 yelling at me for half an hour

Allergist
July 23rd 2020


1079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

!!!!!!!!MATANDO GUEROSSSSSSSS!!!!!

ianjulian
September 16th 2020


646 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mecos !!!!!



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