Sudamérica Brutal IV: ‘La Bruja’ Tells The Tale of Parabellum…
In 1987, there was a band called PARABELLUM. They were pioneers and sonic adventurers operating in a world of violence, squalor and geographical isolation – This was Medellin, Colombia – a mountainous city in the province of Antioquia….a place that God had seemingly forgotten.
Though in truth, they only released a total of four ‘studio’ tracks on 2 EPs, the sound that PARABELLUM created was one of unprecedented nihilism, evil and extremity. To this day, 1987’s “Sacrilegio” and 1988’s “Mutacion Por Radiacion” live on as coveted relics of underground metal, further enshrined by Victor Gaviria’s film “Rodrigo D: No Futuro”. There are so many unanswered questions about this band, which is why we sought out guitarist Carlos Mario “La Bruja” Calderon and drummer Cipriano “Cipri” Alvarez to talk about the legacy of their sound.
We’d been told that Cipri was ‘a philosophical type’ who had turned his back on metal – we were not surprised when he declined to interview. “La Bruja” on the other hand, was more than willing to discuss the past, and invited us to his apartment near the Avenida Oriental, right next to the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
Carlos Mario is a quiet type, a man who looks as if he spends a great deal of time in musical isolation. The room he takes in his aunt’s apartment is modest and sparsely decorated, aside from a few acoustic guitars. He has a hooked nose, beady eyes and walks with a limp, features that once coined his nickname, “The Witch”. Looks aside, the man is a genius. When we arrived for the interview, he gladly took part and even showed us some new music he’d been working on. Here’s a little bit we saved, just for you.