LIVE REVIEW! Brujeria - Mama Roux's Birmingham

June 4, 2019

We’re back in Birmingham as Mexican banditos Brujeria roll into town. The masked drug lords on a headline tour of the U.K. for the first time in a long time.

Mama Roux’s is the venue, the small room under a railway arch in a Digbeth back street the ideal scene for a massacre. Brujeria are notorious for their wild shows and rabid fans and as soon as this date and venue was announced we knew it would be perfect for the most raucous show of the year.

Opening proceedings are Sangre, a Californian outfit we first crossed paths with at last year’s Bloodstock festival. Of Latin American decent, the lads intertwined their heritage into their musical offering which is

grove laden thrash metal with a hardcore twist.  For thirty minutes the band brutalise the early crowd with El Sangrons throaty, violent vocals and to the point aggressive riffs.

“We are from Canada where we build igloos and fuck polar bears” is probably the best introduction I’ve heard a band give themselves in a long time. Aggression are out and out old school thrash metal, a band who started out alongside Annihilator and Anvil in the 80’s but without the notoriety the others garnered. None the less they put on a magnificent showing, ‘Strangulation Ejaculation’ highlighting technical excellence but maybe the title suggests why they didn’t quite make it as main stream as their peers?

Venomous Concept are a unique offering and I am very much looking forward to their set. One of Shane Embury’s many side projects away from Napalm Death, the band also featuring Kev Sharp (Brutal Truth) and John Cocke (also of Napalm Death fame). Sadly missing Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, Anthrax) tonight and hence Embury is on bass rather than his usual guitar spot in this outfit. As you might expect we are treated to a set of short, sharp, brutal grind influenced songs but there’s a twist. There’s a

slight hint of country intertwined into all of this, ‘Oink!’ and ‘Farm Boy’ taking us away from the normal grindcore subject lines. But ‘Fucked in the Czech Republic’ has to be the highlight of an intense forty minutes.

Onto the main draw for tonight and we have Brujeria, the drug barons who formed the band back in the late 80’s but always keep their faces hidden to avoid being recognised by the FBI… or so the story goes. Dual vocalists Juan Brujo and Fantasma take centre stage, joking in Spanish between songs; we all laugh along though I’m fairly sure none of us in the room have a clue what they are saying. Songs from the latest album are mixed in with the old, throbbing angry bass and drums, screeching fast guitars and machete wielding vocalists all the way. However the older material is the highlight of the set for me; ‘Brujerizmo’ and ‘Anti-Castro’ are brutal grind with a Mexican twist.

The evening has seen its fair share of noisy, aggressive, fast and angry music tonight. Four bands who put on one hell of a show leaving us battered and bruised from an eventful time if a good friendly violent pit. May they all return to these shores soon!

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