Cabrakaän will release their new albu ‘Aztlán‘ today. Cabrakaän is a Mexican-Canadian folk metal band that relocated from Mexico to Canada, shortly before the global pandemic, after a moving performance in Calgary and friendships made as a result. Formed back in 2010 in Mexico by composer, drummer/percussionist, black/death metal shouter and producer Marko Cipäktli and classically trained soprano vocalist Pat Cuikani, the band quickly began to shake up the scene with sensational live shows.
Here’s their new single ‘La Cigarra’.
Inspired by their shared love of the diversity of Mexico’s indigenous languages and cultures, the at first glance disparate duo combines a passion for raw metal with folk music and opera added in.
The disruptive nature of their own ancestral roots reach both deep into the Mesoamerican culture of the Mexica/Otomi people and simultaneously into the Spanish culture of their repressive conquerors. This makes Cabrakaän a gang of the driven, of explorers and cultural ambassadors. The appeal of the disreputable – the denied world of the Aztecs (Mexicas), Toltecs, Otomi and Mayas – gets a fair shot at becoming a place of aspiration for metalheads. Finally, because even in today’s times of empowerment, the confession of pre-Hispanic roots is still taboo in large parts of Mexican society.
With their upcoming new album ‘Aztlán’ these taboos are going to be broken again: While earlier works dealt directly with the ancient Mexican cultures, Cabrakaän have now built the bridge from those to the Spanish conquest – an era of colonization and slavery that wove folkloric threads from Africa and Spain into the country’s musical fabric.
On Aztlán, the band wraps all of this tight into raw folk metal, drawing on a variety of historical instruments in addition to classic metal instrumentation, including percussion, flutes and ancient sound artifacts. Such artifacts were rediscovered and recreated by researcher Agustin Garcia Reyes (an expert on Mesoamerican history), who also performed on the album. A string ensemble of cello, violin and viola provides the soundtrack-like context on the album acoustically, while Pat, in addition to the transformability of her vocal performance, also repeatedly makes historical instruments resonate with the band’s rich, vivid sound.
In folk metal, we all have become accustomed to thinking of the Middle Ages or hearing exciting stories from the time of the Vikings. With Cabrakaän, now composed of multi-national musicians from Mexico, Colombia, and Australia, who are based in both Mexico and Canada, Mexican ancestors and their deities get a voice – loud, colorful, yearning, passionate and always poignant.
With the underworld epic Mictlán, sung partly in Spanish and partly in the Aztec language Náhuatl (one of the 62 Mexican national languages).
- Luces y Sombras
- La Cigarra
- Mictlán (English Version)
- Fuego (English Version)
- Luces y Sombras (English Version)