Messenger Of God

Last week I though gigs couldn’t get much weirder when I went to see a W.A.S.P. tribute band belt out a 90 minute greatest hits set in the hallway of an out of use prison. On Saturday I’m of to see a Mexican thrash metal band play in a pub in Macclesfield! 

For those who don’t know, the market town of Macclesfield used to be renowned for its silk trade in the 1800’s. Two centuries later it’s more associated as a stop on the train for those people travelling north from Stoke on Trent to Manchester. 

Much like Shrewsbury a week ago it will be my first gig in the town. I think it should have been my second there as I’m pretty sure I drove there twenty odd years ago to see Skunk Anansie play somewhere but it was sold out and we were turned away. Or we were turned away from a Manchester venue where the band were playing and attempted to attend an alternative show in Macc but couldn’t find the venue, pre sat nav days obviously. One of those statements  is correct! 

On Saturday Mexican thrashers Piraña play what should be their fourth British show, assuming none of the previous three have been scrapped. Their nine date trek is with touring partners Past The Fall from London. I’m not to knowledgeable with either band, but put “thrash metal” and “Mexico” in a sentence appearing in a town less than 15 minutes away by train then I’m obviously interested!

According to the Metal Archives the Querétaro quartet formed in 2003 and have released two full length albums, with 2012’s Corruption being the most recent release, (also the album where Messenger of God can be found.) I have both albums and an EP queued up on Spotify to have a listen to before the weekend and I’ve investigated a few tracks via YouTube, though I have a sneaky suspicion some of the Piraña tracks there could be by a different band? If I’m suitably impressed enough on Saturday I have two further opportunities to see the band within an hours drive next week, but both on a weekday night. 

Over the years I’ve found some gems within the thrash metal scene and well off the beaten track, but virtually every band was from Europe, Australia, Canada or the United States. The underground thrash metal scene from Central and South America has completely passed me by. 

I’ve delved into a few bands here and there, and mainly from Brazil or Mexico (Nuclear, Deathraiser, Commando, Blackning and Drunk in Violence to name check five) but I’ve seen a shed load of  bands online from some far flung territories like Peru, Argentina and Chile and never gave them the time of day and went on to something from Eastern Europe. Piraña are also going to be a much more realistic and authentic Mexican band than the other band from the country that I have seen on stage this year. Brujeria anyone? 

Piraña, and Past the Fall actually, are both bands I’d hoped to have seen somewhere in mainland Europe back in 2015 when they along with Australian band Desecrator, supported Hirax on a Euro trek. Hirax made it to these shores for a handful of dates after the mainland dates finished, but unfortunately none of the three support acts made it over. For as many tours that traverse the British Isles, it’s the ones that don’t arrive on these shores, or the ones that disband the package before they hit the ferry over the channel and we end up with the same names opening up the British leg of the tour. 

 

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La Ley del Plomo

Well that was a pretty impressive start to the first evening of eight days away from work. 

Back home and reasonably well rested after  five hours sleep. Not booking a hotel for our Dublin trip wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever come up with, but it worked out well for us, considering we had to be at the airport around 5am regardless. 

The biggest stumbling block with the no hotel money saving experience was me having to be in work at 5am Saturday before a noon train to the airport. Staying awake was a bit tough at some points, but I survived twenty nine hours without a sustained amount of sleep. I think I got two fifteen minute blasts in the airport. No sleep ’till Stoke!

The Iron Maiden performance was absolutely on point again yesterday within the walls of the old Point Depot (now the more boring 3 Arena) on the outskirts of the city. We sampled several drinks at local drinking establishments during the shuffle along the edge of the Liffy and arrived minutes after Shinedown had exited the stage, good timing for some. I can put that right in a little over twenty four hours when I drag this old and broken body to Manchester tomorrow to experience some weird kind of Groundhog Day. 

Tuesday sees this weeks relentless schedule continue with a trip south to Birmingham for the Napalm Death doss. To be honest though I’m more interested in the support acts, which will be more apparent by the time Thursday’s repeat performance lumbers into sight, but I’ll hang around to see the headliners in a few days. 

I thought Brujeria’s impending performance at this years Bloodstock Festival was due to be their UK debut (imagine that, Bloodstock with its current trends booking a band who’ve never played the festival!). This quartet of British dates was announced after their festival confirmation and subsequently trumped their exclusivity boast. Having done a brief bit of research it’s not even their debut shows here. They’ve played a handful of gigs here before on a very irregular basis. 

This deathgrind band (a hybrid grindcore and death metal) comprises of masked Latino gangsters and have a bass player, Hongo, who has a remarkable resemblance to the headline acts bass player Shane Embury. If it actually was Embury behind the bandanna he’d have earned his fees on this tour playing in three of the four bands performing every night.  

Brujeria’s seeds as a band were sown as far back as the late 1980’s, with the debut single ¡Demoniaco! surfacing in 1990. My first insight into the band was via their gruesome 1992 7″ single ¡Machetazos! followed by the controversial debut album Matando Güero with its album sleeve featuring a severed head being held aloft. The head subsequently became the band’s mascot Coco Loco. 

Last year saw their fourth album Pocho Aztian released by Nuclear Blast, sixteen years after Brujerizmo saw the light of day. I guess it must be hard to run a drugs cartel and write and record a new album. With the bands (kayfabe) anti American stance it was no surprise to see the single Viva Presidente Trump! released in the same year. Up until that point and following Donald Trump’s subsequent election, I don’t think I’d ever seen a Brujeria shirt. Now this anti Trump shirt is almost as popular (and controversial) as Municipal Waste’s walls of death garment. 

La Ley del Plomo (The Laws of Lead) was included on the 1995 sophomore album Raza Odiada and the video is probably a bit more suitable for home viewing compared to some of their promotional videos I’ve seen.