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For who, like me, personally lived the enormous shining success of Sepultura, the "Cavalera bros band", in the middle nineties, it's very hard to review this "A-Lex", first album without any of the mentioned Cavalera bros.
Indeed the common voice wants the true Sepultura to be Cavalera Conspiracy, whose shows are filled up with Sepultura songs. The quarrel will last for long, since as it seems Andreas Kisser and Paulo Jr. don't seem too willing to reunite, but what really matters is music; and on "A-Lex" there's a lot of music, and very good too.
Actually the post split Sepultura have always released nice albums (all in all even "Against"), with the single exception of "Roorback", while Soulfly spent half their career in the total flatness; but we must admit that, maybe after "Nation", this new work is the best outfit they've ever written. Once again we're talking of a concept, better managed if compared to "Dante XXI", maybe because the background theme is more fitting their sensibility: indeed the album is inspired by the famous "A Clockwork Orange" book, from which Kubrick realized a huge cinematographic masterpiece, and that gives the album its title ("alex" is the name of the protagonist, but also means "without law").
And so the 18 tracks of the album are as many bullets with a short length, no matter what their rhythms are (only "Sadistic Values", very articulated, and "Ludwig Van", an atypical symphonic metallic collage, are over 5 minutes), and we're not surprised to know it's the result of 3 months of jamming.
It's one of the most various albums in their whole career, including fast thrash core attacks ("Moloko Mesto", "The Treatment", "Forceful Behaviour", "Enough Sai", "Paradox"), typical grooves ("What I Do!", "Metamorphosis", "The Experiment"), and some atypical solutions ("Filthy Rot" is a successful Meshuggah syncope, "Ludwig Van", as said, a symphonic track, "Sadistic Values" in its first half a melodic slow lullaby).
At times something does not roar at full throttle, but undoubtedly the album is very nice, under every point of view, and grows a lot with the listens going by. No matter who's playing the drums or guitars.
Originally written for Silent Scream http://www.silentscreamzine.com/Home.asp?Lang=ENG