LA CRUZ INVERTIDA
At the border between Texas and Hell
We invoke the spirit of both Laredos in this exclusive with Wayo, drummer for international black metal regime–Throne Ov Blood
by Ryan A Vasquez
In 2006, three musicians with ties to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico formed and organized to musically attack the Holy Trinity by creating a sound as dark, unforgiving and relentlessly aggressive as the streets from whence it came–
The border town ranked on the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting Program – a compilation of crimes reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies across the nation – with the highest murder rate than all other towns along the Texas / Mexico border..
…the territory in Webb County with a paranormally restless history..
and known as the “Gateway City,”
this is Laredo.
And that sound is Throne Ov Blood.
Before this trio rose up in musical arms against all Christianity as ToB in Texas, the original project started back at their other home, drummer Wayo explained.
“Originally we had a band called Dark Cross [in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico] with our current vocalist Yenko,” Wayo said. “After two years the band split and ToB was born [but in Laredo, Texas.]”
The inaugural album for ToB, “Salvation,” was written in 2007 and helped ToB become familiar in both the Mexico and Texas circuits.
It wasn’t until the late 2017 sophomore release “Corrupted By Darkness” when this evil uprising truly developed their signature sound and became more widely recognized in the black metal community.
“…it was recorded by producer Gorsh [of the Mexican underground label American Line Productions – Nuevo Laredo] and the writing process was done in almost two months before we got into the studio,” Wayo said.
“Yenko is the evil master behind the lyrics of most of the songs on this album. Fabian and myself were the ones who created the music for this album.”
[The following display of flyers are examples of ToB’s tour history from Texas to Mexico]
For years the Texas / Mexico floodgates for the exhibition of metal bands have been open and steadily growing a healthy touring circuit relationship. As far as some of the other names in the black metal movement inside the Laredo / Mexico circuit, Wayo gave RoM his picks of the most brutally evil out there.
“The border of Texas and Mexico has amazing black metal bands…we have Luciferian Rites who signed with Moribund Records and Venereal Baptism of Osmose Productions.”
Yet, as beneficial as it is to any band to add another country to their tour circuit, this is after all Mexico–a land where ethics, decency and compassion take a back seat to survival. The breathtaking landscape, authentic cuisine and intellectually stimulating culture, unfortunately, goes hand-in-hand with the illegal drug trade, lethal territory factions and desperation from a struggling economy.
“As a Mexican American black metal band, red tape is what we’ve encountered over the years.”
Just over four miles away from “The Gateway City” is the town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where life can be much more difficult and things are handled differently. Generations of illegal drug trade and turf war begin here, and for many, they also end here slowly and viciously.
“Unfortunately, the violence that is happening in Mexico has forced many rock / metal venues to close,” Wayo said. “As for today, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico doesn’t have any venues for metal shows.”
[WARNING: The following graphic images are from recent cartel – related homicides in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and may be too disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.]
“We don’t get discouraged with the violence. We have very loyal fans that we’ve made from over the many years and we all have grown to adapt to it. ToB turns the violence that surrounds them as inspiration…making it a dark night to remember.”
When bad people do bad things and a life was taken, is there something dark left behind? Perhaps the aura of negative energy, manifested by the evil which drove the hand that gave the final blow, is cursed to linger still in this world endlessly like a horrid stain because a life was taken unnaturally? And that something that has not yet crossed over, does it want us to know its there?
In a land with a history of human life taken abruptly and savagely at the hands of evil-doers, I believe there are some things unworldy about Laredo that cannot fully be explained.
What can be understood, though, is all of the elements that give Laredo it’s darkened subculture and sense of unmerciful danger, with the help of it’s international neighbor in reaching distance, help define the force behind ToB.
But to describe this music with more clarity for those that have yet to experience this band live, Wayo offered this explanation: