The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be The Heart
Sepultura, post the departure of original lead vocalist Max Cavalera, has never released a cd I "had" to run out and listen too. Their newest album came across my desk several weeks ago and I tossed it in the "will get to it when I have nothing else to listen to" pile. So this morning after perusing the vast wasteland aka current itunes playlist on my desktop and finding less than savory options, I decided to throw this album a bone. As a Cavalera loyalist it has always been difficult for me to listen to Derrick Green's vocals on any album branded SEPULTURA. I believe since my first listen to CHAOS AD, the lyrics "Biotech is Godzirra" have been permanently cemented into my cerebral cortex and that lineup will always be held to highest regards in this fan's heart. As a reviewer, it is often difficult to wipe the slate clean of a band's best effort in order to listen to the current offering with new ears.
Since this is actually my first foray into the new lineup after a fifteen year absence as a listener, consider this a fresh start. I'll admit that it helps that my favorite metal drummer appears on one of these tracks. Dave Lombardo, recently exiled from Slayer, lends some of his signature percussion on the brutal track "Obsessed". Surprisingly this isn't the only track I enjoy on this cd. For the most part this whole cd echoes some of the best moments of Chaos AD without completely sounding like a band rehashing old riffs. The vocals are what I expected, with Green sometimes sounding like he's having a hard time keeping up with the pace of the band. "Trauma of War" is the opening track, it's heavy, fast, extreme and kind of what the band needed to respond with considering Max Cavalera has been going increasingly (with the exception of the latest soulfly cd) in that direction for several years now. It is clear that this band even if they will not admit it, notice what their former band mates have been up to. Is it convincing enough to keep this listener interested? Indeed. Cut to the second track, "The Vatican", that begins with a great transition from the solemn church bells to a Pantera-esqu shred fest. A much heavier direction for this band than I thought they were willing to pull off. The vocals are pretty epic on this and it appears Green has finally reached the potential that so many fans have been waiting for. New drummer, Eloy Casagrande, is a powerhouse and has a really upbeat tempo that fills out a lot of the songs on the album. "Impending Doom" is a straightforward track that reminds me very much of a slowed down version of Pantera's "strength beyond strength".
|Sepultura is Eloy, Derrick, Paulo Jr, Andreas|
As I commented before "Obsessed" is a great track for Lombardo to play on.
My overall conclusion is that this a good album for fans that dropped off like me to pick back up on. After the squabbles and attacks in the media it's difficult to not want to side with one band over the other. I'll always be loyal to Max and Igor's sound but I do realize as a fan to appreciate when a band rights the ship and gives into what we expect once in a while. All bullshit aside, Sepultura lives!
(p.s. Make sure to sit still for the hidden Drum solo track, they know a good drummer when they've got one.)
Sepultura official site: www.sepultura.com