The Mexican Death Metal Underground – 15 of the Most Dangerous Bands South of the Border
Mexico has long been a source of inspiration for brutal death metal, goregrind and grindcore artists. From Japanese bands being inspired by Brujeria to Canada’s Fuck the Facts naming their 2008 album Disgorge Mexico, the reach of those residing south of the border is palpable and lengthy. It’s no secret that there are legions of metal fans and bands in Mexico, and like Luchadores, many of the best are local secrets. But thanks to festivals like the Sick Dog Fest, many of these underground bands are becoming more known in the brutal lexicon.
Here are 15 of the sickest we could find…
The ongoing Sick Musik to Your Guts compilation series is doing the dirty work in helping promote numerous underground Central and South American bands. Cadaverous Infest is just one of the acts showcased on these albums, now in their fifth edition. The band is relatively new, though the tracks released thus far on their Clostridium EP and split release with Corrosive Vomit show these Leon-based maniacs have a future as bright as a pile of Minion vomit.
To your average person, Hallux valgus is a common foot deformity – if you have seen the TLC program My Feet Are Killing Me, you know how hardcore some of these deformities can be. and Hallux Valgus the band is the audio equivalent of a grisly foot operation. But these guys don’t stop there, going for a full-body experience in deformation and pulverization. Sickening Abominations Through Dehumanizing Lividity is the latest EP from these Leon slashers; press play and have your ass kicked by this Foot Clan.
Pile up, high as heaven, your hecatomb of victims, offered to the God of love. Since 1998, Hecatombe, meaning a mass killing of sacrificial victims, have been churning out savage death metal as an independent entity with their own rancid vision. Along with their name, religious allocations run through their work, such as the album Apocalipsis 6:17, referencing that old chestnut of a verse, “Because the great day of his wrath has come; and who can stand?” Perhaps after listening to Hecatombe, no one.
The Chainsaw Gang
The saw is family! The saw is the law! The buzz is back! Insert your favorite Texas Chainsaw Massacre tagline here to describe Chihuahua-based foursome The Chainsaw Gang, who also go by CHNSW. They may be a new act, with their chainsaws still relatively shiny and not blood-caked in comparison to those of some rusty-bladed veterans, but their debut LP Gutted Alive is as vicious and disturbing as that infamous cartel chainsaw beheading video (which you definitely should not Google, but which might pop up if you try to look up this band, just FYI).
Multi-band split releases are a good way to get bands from different nations together on one compilation in order to introduce them to communities across the world. With brutal death metal, a split could be compared to a body being cut up five ways like a pizza. Human Decomposition made their debut one such cheesy pie, Rotten Bowels, alongside bands like Human Carcass Crop Circle and Perverted Dexterity. Since then, these guys have let the worms have their way with the body, as well as space and time, releasing Wormhole Prototype, which includes songs like “Slamming in da Club,” which I’m sure will be playing right after BTS at your favorite disco.
Goregrind and death metal can often be educational – if you don’t have the money for medical school, you can still learn some terminology via band names, song names, album titles or album art. This time, we learn about taphonomy, which is the study of how organisms decay and become fossilized. I’m going to double down on your education and throw in some Spanish lessons – Las leyes de lo enterrado, their full-length album from 2020 translates into the laws of the buried. Finally, they band can educate you on how to grind unrelentingly and pick the bones clean much like the vultures on their album cover.
No one ever wants to find an anomaly in their vagina, though when they are discovered, they have to be dealt with seriously and professionally. And Jalisco’s Vaginal Anomalies do take their song subjects seriously — pointing out the anomalies not in vaginas exclusively, but in society in general with such as in songs like “The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement Of The Priest,” which features a guest appearance from foot anomaly aficionado Alex Gama from Hallux Valgus.
Intestinal Rancid Flesh
This list needs a bit more slam, and Intestinal Rancid Flesh are the right band for the slot. The band describe themselves as “Mexxxican alien brutal slam,” meaning the horrors of extraterrestrial probing and prodding have made their way south of the border. The band took part in the latest Sick Dog Fest and opened for anime grind legends Jig-Ai in 2019. Keep your orifices open for more content from the rancid ones.
Let’s get out our POGs and continue slamming, shall we? Virulent Vasectomy are certainly more horror-minded than your typical slam band, utilizing creepy child-voiced intros to their disgustingly heavy output. Their 2021 release Harum Scarum is a grinding, lurching journey into a crime scene which appears to be sexually motivated. Slap the yellow tape on this one and do not cross unless part of the investigation.
¡Grotesco! An image of a bloody machete may remind the average listener of a fictional killer like Jason Voorhees, but Matanza use real life butchery as their creative inspiration — with the hand wielding the knife on their Sangriento album acting as a reminder that there are real villains just as heinous. Indeed, the bright, fresh, smeared blood of cartel victims paints the vibe Mantaza are going for with their ultra-violent aesthetic. Savage butchery to the max.
Hailing from the Desierto de los Leones in Mexico City, the three-piece known as Xiat bring a musical complexity which stands alongside the brutality of their output. Drummer César Sánchez Silva is well known in the scene, playing in bands like Hacavitz, Profanator and Drowned in Blood. In Xiat, his skills are showcased at the forefront of the storm, complimented by precise slicing and dicing from the additional instruments. Tune into their album Sumision for a taste.
If looking for something a bit more ominous, Guadalajara’s occult death metal troupe Ravenous Death have your fix. If Morbid Visions weren’t enough, hell’s floodgates have been pried open for visitors with their 2022 album Visions from the Netherworld. Within this album and their previous work, Ravenous Death know and use the power of atmospherics, never afraid to slow down the tour of eternal damnation so you can experience every gruesome detail.
Like organisms, metal adapts and changes. Slamming deathcore has positioned itself as a capable and formidable form of heavy music within the expanding heavy umbrella. At this moment in time, the music is lethal, but will it survive through centuries? Natural Selection are an example of a band who are under the radar but could probably be the last ones standing after a nuclear war. If you don’t agree, take it up with the beast on their album cover.
The bastard spiritual sons of Carcass, Oxidised Razor — taking their name from “Oxidised Razor Masticator” — have been delivering crime scene sickness since 1998. Corpses, porn, and a whole album about the squirming horror of worms are the subjects discussed on their audio nasties. Their latest, Mors Vehementi (Violent Death) offers a new face of death — proving that good old-fashioned blood and guts never goes out of style.
After all of the grinding and pile-driving in this list, surely you expect a climax, right? Semen jettisoned out of Mexico City in 2002 and from that day have been a rotting, crusty stain on music’s underwear with releases like Depositos de Semen in 2004 and the charmingly titled Coprophilic Infectious Process in 2014. Semen – what can you say? Let it drip, let it rip. Or as their song says, “More Fuck. More Fun.”