Maquahuitl - Con su pistola en la mano
Jan 1, 2021 (updated Jan 1, 2021)
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Con Su Pistola en La Mano blends the vicious and pummeling sound of black metal with the immersive environment of a Ennio Morricone soundtrack, an odd combination of sounds that shouldn’t work on paper but ends up working much better than it should. The EP tells a story through its exhilaratingly brutal riffs as it follows the tale of an outlaw, someone who has become somewhat of a legend in Mexico. Gregorio Cortez, after killing Sheriff Brack and Moris because of an altercation he was involved in, became a walking bounty. He was a man on the run. For 13 days, he was the victim of a countrywide manhunt, until he was eventually caught and charged. While it is debatable whether or not the man’s actions were commendable, seeing that the murder was only in self-defense, he had become an icon among the people of Northern Mexico.

Maquhuitl frame Cortez’s hunt through a black metal EP that sounds as cinematic as Cortez’s story is. The pummeling quality of typical black metal is here, though what deviates this EP from other albums in its genre is how it beautifully infuses the sound of being on the run in early 1900s Mexico. The way I l look at it, the more typical black metal riffs are the soundtrack for Cortez running from his hunters, meanwhile, the moments that sound more in line with Wild West soundtracks are Cortez taking a quick pitstop, whether that’s at a saloon filled with drinks and dancing women or in the middle of an abandoned desert where Cortez can take in the heated sun is up for you to decide. It lets your imagination run wild with ideas whilst simultaneously painting the perfect portrait for a story you’re supposed to envision yourself as a part of, and that’s something I can always admire from a project.

The EP has seen fit to do renditions of classic western musical clichés, though Maquhutil covers these songs with guitars adding a certain punch that most covers of these songs lack. This leads to some incredibly creative and fun renditions of western classics squashed in the middle of metal songs. Occasionally, screaming and dissonant vocals will enter the song, and honestly, my greatest complaint is the somewhat rough vocal mixing on El Corrido de Gregoriorio Cortez. Nonetheless, the vocals add to the enveloping atmosphere of the enthralling atmosphere of the EP, lyrically detailing Cortez's story in depth. If you are looking for a brief and distinctly unique metal experience that you won’t forget throughout 2021, then check out Con Su Pistola En La Mano.

Favorite Tracks: Ahantoc, Pistoleo

Worst Track: El Corrido de Gregoriorio Cortez
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