The halls of hard rock are lined with a litany of bands from the UK and UK, Japan and Germany get a fair amount of credit, but it seems that in the past few decades the real mining on the South American scenes has begun. Not that the talent wasn’t there, but scrounging originals and documenting the rise has been slower going than the more obvious spots. Brazil gets its credit for hippie psych, and Chile has had some spotlight thrown from its current crop of psych bands, but Peru can sometimes get lost in the mix. This proper reissue of Pax’ sole album has found a new home at Munster and its a welcome rise from the mists of time. The band evolved out of the dissolution of songwriter Pico Ego-Aguirre’s former beat group Los Shains. Pegged more to the garage rock / Anglophile influence, the band lasted until 1968, when sounds in Peru, as with abroad, began to grow heavier and more disillusioned.
Coming to fruition under the backdrop of the Peruvian revolution, with state censorship of psychedelic messages, the band fused their unrest with the growling tension of British Blues bands that were coming in on 45 into the import bins locally. The band originally culled from the ranks of former Shains members, but discord would fracture the lineups until Ego-Aguirre would remain alongside much younger members and an American expat who would go on to record the bones of Pax (May God And Your Will Land You And Your Soul Miles Away From Evil). There’s always a looming shadow of Zeppelin, but the band finds nimbleness of Vanilla Fudge, or Blind Faith and welds it to the crunch of Sabbath. The record is considered a cornerstone of Peruvian metal’s rise and its easy to see how this might have shuttled a few youths towards heavier hollows. It still feels like a burner after all these years, and it’s good to see it returned to an official vinyl release.
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