Sudamérica Brutal VIII: Oquendo 666 – Inked For Life!!

MASACRE / MORBID MACABRE screamer Alex Oquendo is the alpha and omega as far as we’re concerned. As the first person to believe in our South American pipe dream (not even the mag did), Alex deserves our biggest hail… we’ll even forgive him for raping our photographer with a needle.


“I brought you to Colombia to show you that this place is not about drugs and violence.” he told us, and he wasn’t wrong. The Medellin, Colombia he showed us was one of endless laughter, true friends and irresistible charm – streetside sancocho, Sarcofago-worship and “Ultra” metal brotherhood. Though he’s a guttural god of “Metal Medallo” onstage…offstage his hospitality and humour know no bounds.


Like countless others, Senor Oquendo grew up in a rough neighbourhood during the Escobar years, but had his dreams. From the barrio of Manrique, he sold hand-painted t-shirts, listened devoutly to KISS and even sang for a band called EKHYMOSIS (later fronted by Colombian pop-star Juanes)…but above all, he believed in his music and himself. When he formed death metal band MASACRE with Mauricio “Bull Metal” Montoya, Juancho Gomez and Antonio Guerrero in 1988, that unshakable belief became reality, and one of the greatest bands in Colombian history was born.


“Colombia…Imperio Del Terror”, “Ola De Violencia”, “Requiem”, “Sacro” – these were just a few of the legendary releases this uncompromising group had to offer and from them came an international reputation previously unattainable to Colombian metalheads. Through perseverance and clever networking, “Bull Metal” gained the ear of Mayhem’s Euronymous and Hervé Herbaut of Osmose Records, to whom the band would sign for the release of “Requiem” in 1991. Shortly after a split release with USBM legends PROFANATICA in 1992, “Bull Metal” left MASACRE to form TYPHON, a musical outlet for his own Satanic ideologies. There are many rumours and stories around the death of “Bull Metal” in 2002, suffice to say – most of the tales you’ll read on the internet are false. The facts were revealed to us by the band and their inner circle – and as ever, the net is not the proper place to discuss them: all will be revealed in our coming feature-length documentary.



Meanwhile, we return to the story of Alex. As he charged through the 80s and 90s with MASACRE, he never forgot his passion – art. After developing his talent by copying logos and and record covers, he took on the ultimate artistic medium – human flesh. The ’80s and ’90s made tattoos popular in Medellin with headbangers, gangsters and playboys alike, and early into the third millenium, Alex founded his own tattoo parlour, “Tattoo Alex”, now one of the top establishments in the city. People have come from far and wide to be inked by Alex Oquendo…including ZT photographer Jack Latimer. We filmed Alex hard at work and much to our delight…our photographer winced.




Medellin is long behind us now, and writing from the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, we open the next chapter of our journey with ENTE, GRIMORIUM VERUM and the infamous LAPIDA. To all of those in Colombia who helped us along the way – we salute you!







Special thanks to Alex Oquendo, Nelson Varela, Roman Gonzalez, Sebastian Krusher (and Senora Krusher), Crazy Jonathan(!!), Victor Raul “Piolin” Jaramillo, Ramon Restrepo, Hugo Uribe and all others who showed us an amazing time in one of the greatest cities in South America.




Keep in touch with the team by emailing


Film by Ro Cohen

Photos © Jack Latimer

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