Wednesday 1 February 2023

Bruxa Maria - Build Yourself A Shrine And Pray (Album Review)

Release Date: January 27th 2023. Record Label: Riot Season Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Build Yourself A Shrine And Pray: Tracklisting

Build Yourself A Shrine And Pray

God Gun Scruples

Totalitarian Pissing

Dance Like Vasilli

Blind Side

Run Pilgrim

Hospital Visit

True Say


Paul Antony - Drums

Dave Cochrane - Bass

Robbie Judkins - Synth/Noise

Gill Dread - Vocals/Guitars


Bruxa Maria are one of those bands I've heard of but never sadly listened to. With the band releasing their new album via one of the UK's best cult underground labels (Riot Season Records) then I decided to check the band out. And wasn't I majorly surprised by their exquisite and rather noisy new album Build Yourself A Shrine A Pray. 

Bruxa Maria (for the uninitiated) play a mixture of different sounds that blends Noise Rock, Psych Rock, Punk Rock, Grunge, Alternative Rock and Industrial Rock. The warped use of psychedelia is what instantly grabs you on the opening title track with Bruxa Maria drawing influences from bands such as At The Drive-In, FUCKED UP and The Melvins. The music is quite distracting and unsettling in places with Bruxa Maria playing an aggressive slice of "Kitchen Drama'' based theatrics and gloomy distorted Punk Rock sounds. The mood is one of moody atmospherics and experimental avant-garde ideas that still allows the band to lay down some wicked extended guitars. The vocals appear right towards the end and even though quite brief, Bruxa Maria end the song in convincing fashion.

Second song God Gun Scruples opens with an in-your-face noise rock guitar attack which soon moves into Prog Rock/Garage Rock/Sonic Drone territory. There's a 70's based energy within the vocals and lyrics which the band have written for this song. However, throw in some modern day experimental noises and glitches then Bruxa Maria quickly create their own exciting style of music that has a "Pulls No Punches, Take No Prisoners" approach with a furious Sludge Rock undergroove slowly appearing. 

Third song Totalitarian Pissing could easily be a song for the crazed modern times we're currently living in. Staying with the experimental vibes of the opening two tracks, Bruxa Maria offer startling insight with their intense vocals and insightful lyrics. The Hardcore Punk angle is played mostly for unsettling effect that allows the other heavy rock/metal sounds merge as one sound that transforms into an onslaught of chaotic and aggressive 90's based Sludge, Grunge and Noise Rock. The vocals from lead vocalist Gill Dread are beautifully intense and even sweet at times but when Gill screams that's when all hell breaks loose with the music following the same way.

Bruxa Maria may not drastically change their overall sound or creative path for the remainder of the album but that doesn't stop them creating more Hardcore Punk Angst and Aggressive Violent Energy that shows the band not only throwing the rule-book out of the window but also creating their own musical manifesto for people to understand for a long time to come.

Standout tracks on the album: Dance Like Vasilli, Blind Side, Run Pilgrim and True Say. 

Check out the sweet sounding Sludgy within the early stages of Blind Side pop moments that remind me of TORCHE in places. Add the glorious and bittersweet vocals from Gill Dread then this all becomes perhaps my favourite song of the album. It showcases that Bruxa Maria can have fun with their music but still providing uncompromising slabs of furious Noise Rock with a twinge of Psych Doom appearing.. 

Bruxa Maria are a rare breed. As the band have created their own "definitive" sound for future bands to try to emulate and follow. 

There's three bonus tracks on the album which I sadly didn't get the chance to listen to. However, that being said, Build Yourself A Shrine And Pray remains a beautifully weird and exhausting release but one that also offers a lot of catchy grooves and riffs along the way. 

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Riot Season Records for the promo.

Build Yourself A Shrine And Pray is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Riot Season Records.


Facebook | BandCamp