By Sweet Sound of Sunrise
This week’s WMW post comes to me thanks to my friend Sonya, who introduced me to this band. It piqued my interest, because when I think of metal, I think of Iron Maiden, Scandinavia and the eastern half of the United States. Even the niche of folk metal is firmly planted in northern Europe in my mind. Nevertheless, Peruvian folk metal does exist, and – for all you metal fans – it’s good.
Chaska was formed in Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city, in 2002. The following year they released a self-titled demo that secured them gigs in Lima, the capital. In 2005, Chaska began performing outside the country, beginning with Chile, and even opened for Sepultura in Bolivia. In 2009, they released their debut album Pururauca.
According to their Myspace page, the word “Ch’aska” is a Quechua word for the brightest star in the sky, as it was called by the Incas and still is in certain areas of Peru where they still speak the language. Like all folk music, Chaska’s songs are heavily laden with traditional instruments, such as the pan pipes, played by Marcelo Huapce. The rest of the lineup is formed by Carlo Alonso Raffo, Carlos Llosa, Alan Rubina, and Tito Malaga, who are responsible for the heavy, guitar-laden and gravel voice-driven, metal part.