Monday 16 January 2017

Album Review: SEPULTURA - Machine Messiah

Sepultura - Machine Messiah

01.  Machine Messiah
02.  I Am The Enemy
03.  Phantom Self
04.  Alethea
05.  Iceberg Dances
06.  Sworn Oath
07.  Resistant Parasites
08.  Silent Violence
09.  Vandals Nest
10.  Cyber God
11. Chosen Skin (Bonus track)
12. Ultraseven No Uta (Bonus track)

I've been a huge Sepultura fan since Chaos A.D came out. I still have my Limited Edition version in the metal tin with the flag! I've followed the band through the subsequent drama and line-up changes over the years, and have seen them live many times with various line-ups. Over recent years, it's as though the press have constantly tried to stir controversy between the current and former members of the band, while relentlessly asking about the possibility of the 'classic line-up-' re-uniting. As a fan, I feel all of this has often overshadowed Sepultura's post-Roots output. It's been nearly twenty years since Max Cavalera left. People get divorced. If you can't get over this, you have missed out on some truly brilliant albums and great live shows. I'm very pleased that the Sepultura camp are continuing to look forwards, not backwards.

Machine Messiah is the fourteenth studio album. It's the eighth with Derrick Green on vocals, and the second to feature drummer Elóy Casagrande. Alongside them are the classic era members: Bassist Paulo Jr. and main songwriter, guitarist and driving force of the band, Andreas Kisser. This is arguably the strongest line-up the band has ever had. Elóy Casagrande has proved to be one of the best drummers in Metal, and his vibrant playing style plays a huge part in the sound of this album. He's easily as good as Igor Cavalera and is a perfect fit for Sepultura.

The opening track is slow and dark and features some impressive clean vocals from Derrick Green. He sounds a little like Faith No More's Mike Patton which was a surprise. It builds into a heavier, angrier powerhouse of a Metal song, and the vocals develop into a more savage delivery. It's epic and sets the tone for this multilayered beast of an album.

It's followed up by the fast and thrashing I Am The Enemy, which really hits the spot with its relentless riffing interlaces with some impressive solo work. Other highlights are the Arabian tinged Phantom Self, which is one of the best Sepultura songs in many years, and the 'Slayer-meets-Fear Factory' Silent Violence which gives a creative lick of paint to a familiar sound. Lyrically, the album follows the socio-political theme of our relationship with technology, with the concept of humanity being created by a God Machine, and our journey back to our starting point.

Sepultura have always been consistent. Some albums may be better than others, but the quality is always there. Machine Messiah is another triumph and a welcome addition to the band's legacy.


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