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Cabrakaän’s Metal Documentary Takes A New Look At Their Mexican Folklore Genre And Its Cultural Implications

todaySeptember 14, 2023 13 1

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Cabrakaän is a Mexican metal band that is now based in Calgary, Canada. They formed in 2011 and have made it their mission to infuse metal with traditional instruments and folky elements. This year they are releasing an album “Aztlán” and to complement it have produced a documentary further explaining their musical background and heritage. They share their thoughts on the video explanation:

“We hope that it will be engaging to people who aren’t necessarily metal fans, who are interested in music and culture. A lot of the music is a blend between our previous releases and stem tracks from our upcoming release. We hope that this helps to tell our story and to get audiences interested in how our album will sound.”

The overall goal of the documentary is to showcase the band’s story to existing and new audiences. It’s about how they use music to hold on to their Mexican cultural roots while setting their foundation in a new country through storytelling in their music, incorporating folk themes, and collaborating with Canadians as they weave their cultures together. The film is presented in Spanish with English subtitles and features interviews with professional instrument makers and an anthropologist.

Watch the documentary at the following link: https://youtu.be/K-qC2oY5xwU

In addition to the documentary, this past August, Cabrakaän released its music video for the first single “Mictlán” (pronounced mickt-lahn) off their forthcoming album “Aztlán. The track details the nine levels of the underworld in Aztec mythology through which the dead must overcome a series of challenges before reaching their final resting place. Musically, “Mictlán” features nylon string instruments to emulate the sound of a vihuela (Spanish guitar), hompak (Mayan trumpet), and orchestral arrangements. The band explains more:

“Through haunting melodies and thunderous rhythms, “Mictlán” delves into the depths of Mictlán, painting a sonic landscape that takes listeners on a journey through the nine levels of the Aztec underworld. With its powerful and energetic sound, the song captures the essence of Mictlán, enveloping the audience in an otherworldly experience. Mictlán is a concept that is still relevant today in understanding the meaning of our lives. The song contains the musical elements that make Cabrakaän who they are: a fusion of folkloric themes, orchestral arrangements, and, of course: heavy metal.”

Music Video – “Mictlán” at https://youtu.be/mPLYXJBGXGI

Spotify – https://spoti.fi/3slVyT6

Cabrakaän’s sound and style were initially influenced by popular metal acts like Nightwish, Amon Amarth, and European folk metal bands. Soon after, the band established a distinct sound, style, and ambition to tell the forgotten pre-hispanic folk stories, mythologies, histories, and traditions of Mexico’s sociocultural past and present.

The lyrics and music on “Aztlán” are thematic and are heavily inspired by Mexican culture, history, and mythology. In the past, band founder and drummer Marko Cipäktli and vocalist Pat Cuikani’s lyrics have engaged with Aztec and Mayan mythology. Lyrics from “Aztlán” will engage with a mix of themes related to the Spanish conquest and more mythological concepts. It is recommended for fans of Nightwish, Epica, and Equilibrium.

“Aztlán” is due out on November 17, 2023, and available for pre-order at https://cabrakaan.bandcamp.com/album/aztl-n

Written by: Road Dog

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