“The word ‘interesting’ hardly describes Acrania’s material, which is actually rather unorthodox and challenging, not only because of the Latin rhythms the band has incorporated into their songs, but also due to complex song structures and the heavy use of horns. Acrania’s experiment with jazz-tinged (Death) Metal surely takes guts.“
-THE METAL CRYPT-
Mexico City-based act, ACRANIA has firmly established that the band’s mission is to integrate Latin instruments and rhythms into traditional Thrash/Death in such a way that they constitute a major element of the songs rather than just acting as a curio used for intros, as well as to pay homage to their musical heritage.
ACRANIA meshes the technical sounds of legendary thrash metallers ATHEIST and CYNIC with a unique environment created by ACRANIA that integrates elements of Jazz, Samba, Bossa, Salsa and other identifiable Latin American sounds. The band’s standard lineup includes vocals, guitars, bass, drums as well as percussion (congas, timbales, etc.), tenor saxophone and trumpet to give ACRANIA their distinctive sound referred to as “Latin Metal”.
ACRANIA’s most recent release, “Fearless” is a definite statement of intent from the band and is once again a challenge to metal conventions and a testament to creativity and indifference to metals purist rules. “Fearless” was produced, recorded and mixed at Archway Studios in Mexico City by J.C. Chavez and Luis Oropeza, drummer and vocalist/guitarist respectively and was mastered in Tower Studio by Brett Caldas-Lima (CYNIC, MEGADETH). The cover artwork was again in charge of Berlin-based artist Eliran Kantor, well known for his work with bands like TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM and more. “Fearless” was released thanks to the support of Mexico’s National Council for Culture and Arts (CONACULTA) and the National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA) who found it worthy to support ACRANIA and their finest offering to date.
The band was formed in Mexico City in 2006, the newly formed ACRANIA sought the perfect balance between Latin Jazz and Metal which came to fruition with the band’s first studio EP, “In Peaceful Chaos”, which was released in 2007. ACRANIA is also a band that does not hide their political, religious and anthropological vision of the world in which we live in, I.E., in “People of the Blaze“, the first single off of “Fearless“, vocalist Luis Oropeza states that the track refers us to the “crushing of Mexican culture at the time of the conquest, its sacrifices, its pyramidal vision of society and its hegemony“.
In November of 2010 ACRANIA released their first full-length album titled “Unbreakable Fury“. To promote this release, ACRANIA went to tour in Europe with the support of The Wacken Foundation (Berlin, Soest, Dresden, Helsinki, Zurich). ACRANIA received tremendous positivity from fans, affirming the success of the album and live performances with European audiences.
Their second studio album entitled “An Uncertain Collision“, was released in October 2012 with support from the National Council for Culture and Arts (CONACULTA) of Mexico, this album has been named as Best Album of The Year by several magazines in Mexico including Search N Destroy and Rolling Stone. Furthermore, ACRANIA received an award for Best Album of The Year from Kalani Metal Awards, it has also been listed in the Best Albums of 2012 by Sweden’s Global Domination along-side Candlemass‘ “Psalms For The Dead“, Diablo Swing Orchestra‘s “Pandora’s Piñata“, Kreator‘s “Phantom Antichrist” and has been highly praised by specialized media such as Metal Underground, Bravewords, About.com (Heavy Metal), The Metal Crypt, etc.
The positive feedback on the releases has positioned ACRANIA to extensively tour around Mexico and Europe, sharing the stage with bands such as DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA, DEATH TO ALL, EXODUS, THE AGONIST, THE FACELESS, LEGION OF THE DAMNED, HAVOK and more.
In 2017, ACRANIA caught the attention of New York based, EXTREME MANAGEMENT GROUP which lead to a worldwide management deal. This put the band on a roster alongside heavy hitters such as SUFFOCATION, CATTLE DECAPITATION, CRYPTOPSY, ORIGIN, RINGS OF SATURN, INTERNAL BLEEDING and many others. ACRANIA is poised to do great things and set new expectations within the realm of heavy metal.
Luis Oropeza – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals & Trumpet
Johnny Chavez – Drums
Alberto Morales – Bass Guitar
César Gallegos – Lead Guitar
Dani Montiel – Percussion
“Simply put, Fearless is a tour de force of nearly everything I love in music. It has the intensity and intelligence of Death and Cynic, the rhythmic tomfoolery of Meshuggah, the adventurousness of The Mars Volta, incisive lyrics of Gaza or Gojira, and heaps of Latin flavor that I grew up playing in so many school jazz bands. It’s so fresh it makes Genghis Tron look like Bloodbath and so fun it makes Revocation look like the National Society of Accountants.”Kronos - Angry Metal Guy
“Mexico’s Acrania is a true Prog/Extreme Metal beast. Theirs is a unique combination of manic rhythmical patterns, Afro Cuban sounds, twisted riffing, Jazz-like ambiances, and an unparalleled use of brass instrumentation. Bearing all this in mind, it becomes obvious why they chose to name of their latest album Fearless. Acrania clearly wants to make a point with this album. This quintet is not afraid to showcase their commanding musical virtuosity, highly-skilled songwriting, and overall creativity. Now the world needs to take notice and embrace them. They could be on the brink of becoming the next Cynic or Atheist, but on steroids… Seriously.” Ramon Martos Garcia - Pure Grain Audio
“Now this is some seriously weird, batshit crazy stuff with a most fitting album title. The Mexican homies comprising Acrania should be too far leftfield to appeal to the average metalhead, but somehow their crazed fusion of Latin flavours, prog, death, thrash, and everything bar the kitchen sink somehow works. Fearless is simply heaps of fun, an unconventional blast of feel-good festival flair, loose jam band groove, seriously impressive technical chops and innovative, catchy songwriting. Out of this world and a must hear for the more adventurous listener.” Luke Sanders - Teeth Of The Divine
“Our fearless leader Spear described Acrania as death samba, and that’s about as good a descriptor as you’re going to get for this unique death metal band. On People of the Blaze, Acrania have taken a traditional death metal tortilla and stuffed it full of spicy horns, sizzling tabla rhythms, and hearty Latin guitar work to create quite the appetizing burrito. This is zesty stuff sure to appeal to those looking for something beyond the norm.” Spear - Toilet Ov Hell
“A number of you have certainly heard Elements, the final album by Atheist before they broke up in the ’90s. It was a record on which the band tapped more strongly into their fusion, Latin, and jazz influences. I’m as much a fan of it as the other Atheist releases, but even if you aren’t, imagine that sound Atheist went after on Elements mixed with a mid-’90s to early-2000’s death/thrash alongside a ripping melodic death metal influence. The band certainly draw from the native sounds of their home base in Mexico City, which translates into the prominent funk and Latin jazz elements in Fearless that really give the record its head-scratching yet smile-inducing sound. If you’re looking for something exotic yet somehow familiar, this record fills a niche I never even knew I was looking for. Maybe you’ll feel the same way? It’s at least worth a listen in any case!” Austin Weber - No Clean Singing
“Never in my life have I heard a mix of death metal and traditional Mexican folk music meld together as well as Acrania does it here. It may not be heavy enough for some, but that’s alright, because to me this record feels like a party in my ears and I wouldn’t mind listening to it a couple more times. It’s just the kind of thing that you don’t forget easy, and you’ll look forward to hearing more of it, if you’ve got a taste for the sounds of other cultures, like myself. With every record Acrania just kept getting better and Fearless definitely shows them at their arguable best. If you’re looking for something more than just plain old death metal, definitely pick up a copy of the record and without saying, we highly recommend it. This isn’t just death metal, it’s an all-out death metal fiesta. Now all I need is some Tequila.” Eric May - The Grim Tower
“Now here we have some flavorful music. Progressive, Jazzy and Metal to name a few of the the emotions being projected on the album. Indeed, something for everyone. If you only stick to a certain genre then this may not be for you. However, if you like you Metal like a mixed salad, then this will delight your ears. Songs like “Poverty is in The Soul” encapsulate the variety of styles happening from moment to moment. Catchy guitar riffs, trumpets and a vast array of drum fills to keep the listener engaged and attentive as to what’s coming next. Overall the music moves the spirit while texturing the aggressive parts with metal.” Arte Mortifica – Metal Album Reviews Arte Mortifica - Metal Album Reviews
“You would imagine it hard to be thrown off kilter and truly surprised within the broad landscape of metal nowadays, even in the avant-garde and experimental realms which blossom and scintillate from the unique creative minds of bands like Trepalium, 6:33, Pryapisme, and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen to name a few. One band which has and continues to through new album Fearless is Mexican death metallers Acrania. The release is a psychotic fusion of extreme metal and lyrical confrontation with virulent Latin rhythms, celebratory melodic revelry, and schizophrenic imagination. You could call it death jazz or funk core to make up tags, we call it one of the most exhilarating encounters you will hear this year. Acrania should definitely be a recognised world-wide presence after this.” Ring Master - The Ring Master
“Imagine, if you can, if Atheist were from Mexico and went all-in on the Latin Jazz flavours that made Elements such a controversy. What you have is something very close to Mexican group Acrania” Goat - Metal Reviews
“Acrania’s music is an excellent example of pride in one’s cultural heritage and should be not be treated as mere novelty music. Fearless demands to be heard and to be included into the heavy metal lexicon. After all, four well known metal-heads did a similar metal melding with Brazillian music almost twenty years ago. Now, it’s time for Acrania to be just as ‘fearless’ as Sepultura once were.” Chris Jennings - Worship Metal
“This album would get an automatic 8 for the very fact that it mixed two outrageously different genres together and didn’t suck. It gets even higher when it mixes those two genres and excels way beyond any of my expectations. On the opposite spectrum of metal that’s based on the cold northern winters of the Scandinavia, this metal is based on the hot, blazing temperatures of Mexico. The guitars sound hot, and the tempo is lively and hot, with the actual latin jazz percussion section and beats. But despite the heat themed metal, what actually makes this album so amazing is how cool and relaxed it is. Yeah the beats can be rapid and scorching, but when this album really gets great is when it sits back and chills. At times it feels like it’s not even metal at all, and not in a bad way. It’s sort of like putting the AC on on a hot day. That always feels refreshing. This album is a breath of fresh air, and if you want someone not only really different, but really good, check this out” The Lizard In Black
“Death Metal trifft Latin – definitiv keine Mixtur, die jedem schmecken wird, aber jeder der sich traut seinen Horizont zu erweitern, wird ganz klar belohnt. Ich kann nur jedem raten, aufgeschlossen in die Musik von ACRANIA hinein zuhören. Metal wie er nur in Mexiko geschaffen werden kann! ” Björn Breidenbach - Metal.de
“Non mi dilungherò ulteriormente, gli Acrania per il sottoscritto sono stati una piacevole sorpresa e il minimo che posso fare è consigliare l’ascolto di questo album. Lasciate fuori dalla vostra testa i pregiudizi e godetevi la musica.” Mourning – Aristocracia WebzineMourning - Aristocracia Webzine
“Se siete amanti del death metal più puro ed incontaminato, gli Acrania potrebbero non fare al caso vostro. Ma se non avete paura di ascoltare growl, chitarre trash/death miscelate a fiati, percussioni ed a ritmi che richiamano la samba ed il cha cha cha, allora potreste rimanere impressionati dall’originalità e dalla bravura di questa band fuori dal coro.” For All Anguish - Stereo Invaders
“Lo mejor que ha salido de Mexico desde The Chasm y Denial. Death Progresivo con percusiones divertidas y saxo, imaginar un “Elements” de Atheist pero con más onda Santana.” Virulo - Zann Music
“Original. Así se describe a esta banda en una palabra. Acrania toma elementos de todas partes para formar una mezcla que da como resultado ese, que es su sonido tan distintivo y tan especial.” Manuel Rojas - Search & Destroy
“Al met al levert Acrania met An Uncertain Collision een opvallend album af. Een leuke en interessante mix van metal met Latijnse muzieksoorten. Het werkt, het past allemaal, al is het wel even wennen. Muziektechnisch en productioneel in orde; geschikt voor metalfans met een open mind.” Chris - Wings Of Death
“Truly the weirdest thing I’ve listened to in a long long time. Pretty amazing.” Mike Fabio - Rdio
“There are plenty of people out there who will hate every single thing about this album. I think that is an inevitable by-product of how different Acrania have chosen to be. There will also be a tiny few who hail this as a cult classic.”Peter Loftus - Imhotep
“Today there is so much over saturation of metal bands it is truly rare when something original crosses my desk. Mexico’s Acrania are a breath of fresh air and on their sophomore release An Uncertain Collision they have created a record that is very unique in nature. Combining progressive death metal, jazz and Latin music is no easy task, but they accomplish it seamlessly.”Dan Drago - About.com (Heavy Metal)
“Con An Uncertain Collision, ACRANIA se posiciona como la mejor banda del Metal Mexicano, y como una de las mejores bandas de propuesta en toda Latinoamérica y el Mundo. Escúchenlo, valórenlo, disfrútenlo, siéntanlo. Porque realmente vale la pena.” Damian Bender - Subterráneo Heavy
“There are a lot of death metal bands out there who throw one or two jazzy breaks into their music and then try to call themselves progressive or experimental. But Mexico’s Acrania are one of the few acts that deserve that tag…” Chris Dahlberg - Cosmos Gaming
“Death Metal meets Latin – definitely not a mixture that will appeal to everyone, but anyone who dares to broaden his horizon is clearly rewarded. I can only advise to anyone who’s open minded into listening to the music of Acrania. Metal as it can be only created in Mexico!” Björn Breidenbach - Metal.de
“Acrania is my discovery of 2012 and some truly inventive and unique music. The songs are memorable, the musicianship is of high quality and this is death metal you can dance to. Give it a shot.”GK - Global Domination
“Sort of a more extreme version of what Diablo Swing Orchestra has been doing so far and bearing a tasty Eliran Kantor cover artwork like on their debut, An Uncertain Collision is a fine addition to the international avant-garde/progressive metal palette and a strong contender for the Best Mexican Metal Album of the Year title.”Xyrth - Metal Archives
“We talk lots about how metal bands are different and experimental, but this just makes all that stuff look by the books. I mean, how often do you see “vocals, rhythm guitar & trumpet” next to some dude making a grimacing face in an album’s liner notes? This is the real deal. ” Greg Pratt - Bravewords & Bloody Knuckles