Overstays its welcome too long
It could be said that Dino Cazares (Divine Heresy, Brujeria, ex-Fear Factory) is somewhat of a one trick pony. It could also be said that his approach to music has brought a lot of good to the metal world as well. Fear Factory, Brujeria, Divine Heresy and Asesino - with each pair being almost interchangeable at the most simplistic of views you could say. Editorial perspective aside, in Brujeria's absence, Asesino (who are Cazares (aka Asesino), Static-X bassist Tony Campos (aka Maldito X) on bass and vocals, and drummer Emilio MÃ¡rquez (aka El SadÃstico)) have returned for their second album dubbed Cristo Satanico which has finally received some overdue local distribution in the land down under.
After the very brief spoken word intro of Advertensia, Asesino are immediately down to business with Regresando Odio in a style very reminiscent of Brujeria, all be it with the crisp production sound of Divine Heresy. Furious riffage, blast beats and gruff Spanish death growls are Asesino's signature for the next 50 odd minutes. Both Maldito and Rituales Salvajes colour within the lines of that formula and their strength cannot be denied. But only after a matter of songs, the album settles into this pattern with a regularity that can make for unexciting listening indeed. You know what to expect from Yo No Fui and thankfully Padre Pedofilo throws down a slower tempo and a wide variety of dynamics making it for one of the more memorable tracks on here (if not for the title alone).
But the album's predictability across Enterrado Vivo, Puta Con Pito?, Adelitas, Twiquiado, Perro Primero and Sadistico does little to stimulate the listener. Sure they are brutal and heavy and whatever other metal adjective you want to throw at them, but the same common elements are prominent in each and every song. Heavy down tuned riff here, blast beat there, growled vocals everywhere. It's all too familiar and all too worn out and it's at this point that the album's length becomes an issue. Batalla Final, as simplistic as its approach is, is solid enough, and sure the orchestral instrumental title track breaks up the album's monotony as does the group's Spanish Fear Factory like number dubbed Y Tu Mama Tambien but it's almost too little too late at this point. I think that if a sizeable amount of the album's middle section was dumped, then Misas Negras and Matando Geros would have more impact at this point in time.
Bottom line is that Cristo Satanico is too long by probably a half dozen songs, and they exist in the one dimensional pit that is the album's middle section. Either side of that, the material is strong, heavy and diverse and in the absence of anything new from Brujeria, Asesino would be a fantastic alternative. But this one just drags and ultimately suffers for it. Caveat emptor.
(Listenable Records/Stomp Distribution)