Hailing from Lima, Peru, TUNJUM began in 2007 as an all-female project playing pagan-themed death metal. Their first promo tape arrived in 2011, to be followed by another promo in 2014, and later that year the Sagrado tiempo de caos EP and the Muerte ancestral demo. Though the lineup changed during these years, TUNJUM remained committed to their primary influences - Death, Massacre, Autopsy, Treblinka, Nocturnus, VON, Nihilist, Insulter, Grotesque, Asphyx, Expulser, and Genocidio among others - but always endeavored to etch their own uniqueness within such exquisite rawness and darkness. And while that lineup has since ceased to be an all-female one, founding drummer (and now also vocalist) Kultarr continues to guide the band, and her vocals lend a particularly diabolic aspect to TUNJUM's proudly traditional attack.
Since the beginning, TUNJUM's themes have largely revolved around the ancient Moche culture, which reigned over eastern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD. Through TUNJUM's music, the listener is drawn into the Moche mythology, which is strongly based on blood: sacrificing the blood of a beheaded enemy to the gods strengthened their reign over the world. Also, there were many voluntary sacrifices, because the bloodshed was seen as a cleansing of the soul that linked the victim to the ancestors and thus made him holy. The name TUNJUM itself is also rooted in the Moche language, and is taken from the combined verb for killing and dying. This hallows the ritual of blood and death, which was the only way of communicating with the gods, in times when the gods only lusted for blood and war.
Indeed, across the 42 minutes comprising Deidades del inframundo, the listener is dragged deeply down into TUNJUM's deadly vortex of blood, sacrifice, and total DEATH METAL. TUNJUM's attack is at once unapologetically primitive and expertly nuanced, which is not surprising considering their current lineup is completed by members of such respected cults as Grave Desecration and Putrid. The hammering surge strips everything down to its barbaric basics, but within that almost-hypnotizing rush of crude 'n' rude Metal of Death lays a keen understanding of what makes this artform so enduring - songwriting that literally possesses the listener immediately, and proceeds to guide each listener into the darkest bowels of the imagination (and beyond...). And it's a totality that TUNJUM pound and punish and pound and punish across each of these eight tracks, with Kultarr's world-eating vocals, in particular, acting like an instrument unto itself; simply, there is no escape.
Completed by suitably ominous artwork courtesy of Alan Corpse, TUNJUM make a grand, garish entry onto the world stage with Deidades del inframundo. The question remains, then: will you return from their thrall?