Arandu Arakuaa - Official Website

Mrã Waze

Brazil Country of Origin: Brazil

Mrã Waze
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: June 30th, 2018
Label: Independent
Genre: Folk
1. Sy-Guâsu
2. Guâiupîá
3. Îasy
4. Danhõ're
5. Huku Hêmba
6. Ko Kri
7. Jurupari
8. Gûaînumby
9. Îaguara Kûara
10. Abaré Angaíba
11. Rowahtu-Ze

Review by John B. on April 28, 2024.

So I'm missing one album in between, but still it is obvious that Mra Waze is great progress from the already quite impressive debut full-length Ko Yby Ore. Across the board, all the native Brazilian folk ideas and the folk-black metal ideas have crystallized in the five years that have passed.

I wish the album credits could be found, because the musicians here deserve their honours. What I am sure of is that Arandu Arakuaa continues to be mostly the Zandhio Huku show, as he offers his talents both on vocals and multiple instruments. This time around, his tribal chants are more warlike, both due to his own improved technique and the more effective deployment of the grim backup vocalist. When this was Saulo growling along with ex-singer NaJila's black metal croak, it was fine enough. But on Mra Waze, the contrast of the unnamed growler and traditional chanting just hits harder. Check this out on “Iasy” and especially on “Guiapia”. Fantastic stuff!

This album is instrumentally heavier too, while still managing a cleaner fusion of the folk and metal sides. The drummer is equally at ease doing an all-around-the-kit onslaught of fills and cymbals to start “Jurupari”, as he is with a spirit-march type thing to carry along the tribal chants. The subdued latter style nicely complements the maracas too.

Guitars are heavier this time around too. Arandu Arakuaa are doing for the Amazonian scene what some of the more cheerful bands like Thyrfing or Ensiferum have done in Scandinavia. Then there are the slower heavy tracks like “Huku Hemba”, which reminds me of the more ornate songs of the Slavic pagan scene leaders. I very much welcome AA using a similar guitar tone to Belarussian pioneers Znich. Just a really great balance of bounce and crunch.

Zandhio also seems to play his Brazilian guitar, the viola caipira, in a more aggressive way too, while still keeping that instrument’s traditional relaxed upbeatness. Check out “Rowahtu-Ze” for the best of the laid-back and the energetic caipira in the same song. Starts off happily picking away with the maracas and serene female vocals; then later he can play a speedy solo right off a grinding electric guitar riff!

I really hope more comes of this aboriginal folk metal stuff. The Mexicans have been cranking out quite a scene of Aztec and Mayan influenced folk-black metal lately, but Arandu Arakuaa are kind of alone doing it in the Amazon. Would be nice if the style caught on!

Rating: 9 out of 10