...and so the first South American country to be honored a Corroseum Special is... Peru!
It all started with this forum thread, where Andres "MetalizeR" Vargas bombarded us with great clips of old Peruvian Metal bands, one more obscure than the other. This gave us the idea for a proper subsite on old Heavy Metal from Peru, and who would be better suited for this exciting project than Mr. MetalizeR himself?

Talking about Peru is talking about its culture, history, landscapes etc, but it's very unknown for its Heavy Metal. The Peruvian Steel for me is one of the greatest in Latin America, only not very popular because of the very few official releases. Here I've tried to name the more relevant as well as obscure bands from Peru from the 80s and early 90s. Maybe you can help discover some jewels from the past? Lets start this ride on the Inka's road!

Socio-Political Context

This year (2021) the peruvian republic celebrates 200 years of independence (28th of July). To understand the Peruvian Metal scene in the 80s and 90s we have to learn something of the socio-political context...

 

Rock music came to Peru in 1955 with the soundtrack of the movie "Blackboard Jungle", with a song called "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Halley & his Comets (coming to Peru in 1960). By 1963 the first pure Rock band, Los Incas Modernos, recorded their self-titled album and started one of the biggest movements in Southamerica. In the first government of Fernando Belaúnde, Rock exploded in Peru with bands like Los Saicos (Proto Punk), Los Shains, Los Yorks, Los Belkings making a lot of shows called 'matinees'. In the mid 60s the Psychedelic Rock arrived with bands like Traffic Sound, The Holys and The Mads, putting Peru on the map.


In 1968 Juan Velasco Alvarado made a coup d'etat on Fernando Belaunde, starting the first revolutionary government of the armed forces, making a lot of radical changes like expropriation of foreign industries and the impulse of the national market, which meant no importations (instruments, records, etc). Other important changes was the prohibition of Rock music on the radio for being "alienating" (music in english), so the matinees were cancelled. In 1971 the first big strike to the rock scene was the cancelation of the Santana show in Lima by the military government, but lots of bands wouldn't let the Rock die like Pax, Tarkus (Heavy Rock), Telegraph Avenue, Laghonia, We All Together, Gerardo Manuel y el Humo etc... In 1975 Francisco Morales Bermudez started the second revolutionary government of the armed forces, lasting until 1980. By this time all the bands from the golden era were gone and people listen to other genres like salsa or disco, but two importants events took place in this period: A TV program called Disco Club with Gerardo Manuel (Los Shains, Pax, el Humo, etc) got on air in 1978 playing videoclips of rock bands (way before MTV), and in 1979 Manuel Sanguineti (Traffic Sound) founded Doble Nueve radio, the only pure Rock station until now.

 

In 1980 Peru returned to democracy with the second government of Fernando Belaunde. That same year a terrorist group called Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) based in Ayacucho city with a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology started a popular war with the state. The government didn't take action. In 1981 the Rock scene returned with the release of the band Fragil called "Avenida Larco". Along with Fragil comes other bands like Hielo, Dr. No, Up Lapsus etc, but the younger Metal bands have problems with instruments, gear, recordings, etc. In 1985 Alan Garcia became president and had to fight Sendero Luminoso. This was a chaotic time with massacres and bombs, now from another terrorist group called MRTA (Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru). The Rock movement gets more popular with bands like Rio, JAS, Trama, Arena Has and the 'Rock subterraneo' or Underground Rock scene like Leusemia, Narcosis, Voz Propia, Eutanasia - more in the punk, post punk and hardcore way. Metal gets popular too with bands like Masacre, Orgus, Sacra, Mazo etc.

 

By 1988 things are getting worse with an economical crisis and corruption. Garcia made a "Paquetazo", which affected the money devaluation and this is the moment when multinationals started to leave Peru. This in turn was the reason Masacre and other younger bands couldn't release their records in the 80s. Extreme Metal was born with bands like Mortem, Hadez, Kranium, Curriculum Mortis etc.

 

In 1990 Alberto Fujimori was elected president as a hope for Peru. His first action was a neoliberal reform known as "Fujishock" against the hyperinflation of the Garcia government and restored the economy in Peru. In 1992 Fujimori made his own coup d'etat, closing the congress. In 1993 he made a new constitution and started an authoritarian period, lasting until 2000, with corruption and human rights abuse. In the 90s the terrorist war got worse and Fujimori responded with the army and "committees of self defense" (locals with arms) in the emergency zones. He also creates the "Colina group" with the intelligence service and committed massacres against innocent people like La Cantuta, Santa and Barrios Altos. Sendero Luminoso made one of their deadliest attacks in 1992, detonating a bomb on Tarata Street in Miraflores, Lima. Finally that same year the GEIN (Grupo Especial de Inteligencia) captured Abimael Guzman, the ideological leader of SL. Thats makes the fall of SL and terrorism in Peru.

 

Metal was very popular in this era with TV Shows like Viernes de Metal and Hard Head with Gerardo Manuel Jr. (Sepulcro, Situacion Hostil, etc) and international shows with bands like Torturer, Sadism, Masacre (col), Sarcofago, Immolation, Monstrosity etc. The bands started to make releases like Sentencia, Armagedon, Trauma, Mazo, Necropsya, Mortala, Desarme, Mortem, Hadez, Kranium, etc.

 

In 2000 Valentin Panigua became president after Fujimori renounced. In 2001 Alejandro Toledo was elected until 2006 followed by the second government of Alan Garcia, followed by Ollanta Humala, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Martin Vizcarra, Francisco Sagasti and finally Pedro Castillo this year (2021). The economy is getting better but corruption is still one of our favorites sports sadly...

~ The Pioneers ~


~ The FWOPHM ~
   Apocalipsis       Arion       Grael       Headwork       Letal       Nexo       Niebla       Overkill       Praxis       Silex       Temporal       Tortura       Up Lapsus   


~ The Extremes ~


- MORE COMING SOON! -


(All text & research by Andres "MetalizeR" Vargas. Editing & design by DaN Edman.)
BACK TO FEATURES
TO THE TOP