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I've only recently gotten into the real Sepultura. And when I say real, I mean the old-school Sep when they released Schizophrenia and the like. When I was about thirteen or so, I was one of those idiotic JUMPDAFUCKUP types who dug Roots.
That was when I was stupid.
I soon grew out of that phase and started to listen to thrash and later death metal, both genres in which Sepultura used to rip. So along comes an announcement that they're to make a new album. According to everyone on the Archives, Derrick Green sucks balls, so I've avoided anything Sepultura's released since Max's departure like the plague. However, when I saw the cover, I have to say, it kicked ass; it looked like Beneath the Remains, but cooler. I happen to follow the policy "try before you buy," and holy shit, am I better off because of it.
Since I hadn't experienced Green's vocals until this point, I went into this album with no idea what it would sound like. A-Lex I starts things off nicely, setting an excellent atmosphere with its combo of synths and guitars. Then comes the shit-storm; Moloko Mesto comes in with a thrash riff, which is apparently unheard of from Sepultura these days. I didn't know since is the first Sepultura album I've listened to since Roots. The problem is that the few thrash riffs are shit and the lyrics are idiotic and sound like someone in grade school wrote them.
And the vocals. Oh the vocals.
I've heard enough horror stories about this guy fill a book, but this blew me away in the worst way possible. I don't even know how to categorize the shit this guy spews forth and I'm sure as hell hard-pressed to call them vocals. Then it gets worse. Then comes the full-on groove. Next to nu metal, groove metal is one of my most hated forms of music, no thanks to shit like Roots and Vulgar Display of Power. You get the same riff played over and over again for twelve songs while Green unleashes his maelstrom of ear-sodomizing tuff-stuff shouts. Also, the vox are mixed in way too high in the mix; the shouts drown out most the other instruments.
The only songs that actually have any semblance of good are Ludwig Van and the rest of the A-Lex suite. I listen to some power metal these days, so I wasn't too horrified by Ludwig Van, but it just doesn't sound right. Still, it feels like it's over quicker than the other shorter songs and doesn't have any damnable vocals. The A-Lex movements are actually quite good though; They're short and set the mood well, sound fairly good and best of all, have no vox either. However, synths aren't exactly familiar territory for them, so all of them still sound out of place as well.
Sepultura's nadir came about when they were releasing things like Against and Nation with a couple attempted recoveries afterwards. Looks like those attempts were quashed when this turd came out; five DECENT songs out of eighteen. That's a problem. It's a shame to see a band once so good reduced to this state, it really is.