Album: Machine Messiah
Release Date: Jan 13th, 2017
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
I have to be truthful, it has been some time since I last listened to Sepultura. I grew up with their classics like so many other metalheads did. Those classics like Chaos A.D. or Beneath the Remains. Now, we have to show respect to Derrick Green whose tenure with the band is longer than Max Cavalera’s yet we are still talking about Arise or Roots. Blah. Machine Messiah has a lot to offer!
The first thing one notices about Machine Messiah is the experimentation done by the band. There are old-school songs resembling the classic Sepultura, there are progressive metal tryouts here and there and some crossovers mixing ethnic sounds from the oriental part of the sonic realm. Phantom Self is a great example with its hysteric, up-tempo string section and it is a definite highlight of the album.
I am thinking Sepultura is still looking for that modernized break even point between their roots and age take on metal. Kreator did a great job with their latest release, Gods of Violence and it is a good example of this “search” for older bands. Metallica has been trying for the last 15 years, sadly.
Sepultura’s search of that modernized “niche” shows through the disc. Each song has a solid value on its own but when put together feel disconnected. This doesn’t mean the album is bad. On the contrary, it is quite a good release. Songs like Iceberg Dances and Phantom Self show that the band is “almost there”. Of course, these songs differ quite a lot from, say, Refuse / Resist and it would be unfair to expect the repetition of an almost 30 year old song from the band. However, some songs show this “disconnection” through their course. Sworn Oath, for example, has some great orchestration and progression but then it morphs into an old-school Sepultura song without that “modern touch” and those changes can be tiresome – one cannot help but think that this “morph” into something new is not quite done yet.
I have to say the progressive Sepultura appeals to me more than the “new” old-school tunes and if the thrash giants can see through this early stage without hindering their current ideas, we are in for a treat. A side note: Andreas Kisser is one serious guitar wizard.
Derrick Green − lead vocals
Andreas Kisser − guitars
Paulo Jr. − bass
Eloy Casagrande − drums, percussion