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With the arrival of the 90’s, thrash reached peaks, musically and technically. The subgenre had evolved considerably since the good old mid-80’s when it was just noisy, simplistic music. Sepultura’s second record Schizophrenia came out in a transitory period when sophistication and rudimentary brutality were still balanced elements in the subgenre, yet melody and greater technique would be soon revealed. The following album Beneath The Remains already determined a huge improvement for these Brazilians, on which they seemed to obtain their trademark identity and philosophy, disposing of the clichés and fragility of previous attempts – but their sound kept evolving, becoming even more refined and complex. Although it would be incorrect to consider their third work Arise as the group’s culmination, because certain weak spots are difficult to ignore – starting with the lack of grace and inspiration, in contrast with its predecessor.
The Cavalera’s & co. haven’t pushed away their predilection for lethal thrash as the opening title-track and “Infected Voice” confirm – truly dynamic tempos, untouched in general during the songs, which accompany those cutthroat riffs of absolute power and rage (which ain’t adding many variations to their original configuration, actually flat and uniform at times) are the elements that manage to build a cohesive wall of sound with effective simplicity. Those straight-forward cuts in the vein of “Primitive Future” are however the exception in the pack. Yes, speed is still present, an essential principle of Sepultura’s methodology and actually “Murder” and “Altered State” include some frenetic sections defined by Igor’s intense double-bass drum kicks and vigorous, vital lines – yet riffs of greater weight are soon incorporated. Exponentially, slower structures are emphasized, becoming an important characteristic of these guys’ policy. Those 2 tunes in fact are a prelude to more mid-paced instrumental passages, which are quite lengthy and substantially intricate on “Desperate Cry” and “Subtraction” that initially present a quite similar composition, staring with those accessible rhythms and numerous vocals to add diverse mid-sections next that push away words to concentrate on instrumental progression, extensive pickin’ parts and difficulty of arrangements of stunning detail. It seems definitely Sepultura are displaying their entire potential as performers and composers, some of those instrumental parts are splendidly-designed, challenging and executed with admirable skill and taste – reaching a superior level in terms of difficulty than previous attempts. Other times, the pretention and cadence of music becomes repetitive and exhausting, on “Under Siege (Regnum Irae)” particularly, the group lacks direction, delivering uninspired, inexpressive riffs and empty vocals – so you see there’s tediousness and brilliance in similar percentages on this album.
This was never intended to be Beneath The Remains - Part 2, Sepultura still deliver some crude thrash artillery like the title-track but the predominant pattern focus on bigger complication and slower riffs and tempos. Compositions like “Meaningless Voice” demonstrate these guys can perfectly mix total velocity with quiet sequences, adding sudden rhythm shifts without affecting the continuity of the music – in general making it richer and more versatile, unpredictable. But the formulas ain’t that efficient when their intentions become too pretentious, trying to make instrumental sequences as extended and advanced as possible with overlong solos and so much arrangements (which have become cleaner and more polished, in contrast with the previous record), combined with acoustic accompaniments and sound effects as well, elements that contribute to create a vivid atmosphere on some numbers which musically on other hand soon get stagnant, repetitive and unfocused. Now that tempos don’t go that fast, Sepultura can provide their music of more accurate details, greater precision, giving these Brazilians more possibilities in technical terms to develop instrumental passages of notable meticulousness and rigor, better arranged than ever before – the weight and lower-tuning of riffs discover a darker climax too. Yet eluding velocity and dynamism wasn’t such a good idea on certain songs, which lack punch and pulse, becoming incoherent and boring. Although fortunately, speed reappears on many sequences without being however predominant, serving as complement but making some initially dull, slower parts fresh and loose anyway. And solos should be specially highlighted, this time not simply overfast and shredding insatiably without direction, as Kisser puts notable attention on their composition, performing some of the most lyrical and intricate of his career.
Instrumentally ambitious, more polished and technically immaculate, Arise is a musically weaker, less creative and energetic than Beneath The Remains though. Burns’ production is cleaner, dry – riffs sound more vulnerable, less powerful and destructive, deliberately it seems now that Cavalera’s & co. are taking into greater consideration complication and weight of the music (melody as well in smaller portion), not only trying to play as fast and raw as before. Here you will find some of these Brazilians most splendid instrumental passages, yet also some average, rather generic cuts deprived of the intensity and catharsis of the previous record. The group was somehow forced to reinvent and reverse their formulas, due to the trends and changes in the metal scene those days. However, this album is still a competent, enjoyable work.
After “Beneath the Remains”, Sepultura’s fame went massively growing all around the world. That album had a very strong impact on the whole thrash/death scene, and it was just the beginning of the band’s ascent toward the mainstream crowd, that would’ve culminated with the next three albums. After a long tour in Europe, the Brazilians entered, for the first time, in the well-known Morrisound Studio, where most death metal classics of that time were being recorded and produced by Scott Burns, and created a new, incredible extreme metal opus: “Arise”. Surely, overcoming that magnum opus of bone-crushing thrash metal called “Beneath the Remains” was impossible, but this album comes really fucking close to that result, placing itself just right under the previous chapter. “Arise” continues exactly where “Beneath the Remains” left, but expanding and enriching its “dry” and “merciless” approach, going in a slightly different direction: so, in some way, “Arise” could be considered as “the wiser brother” of “Beneath the Remains”, for its more expanded and complex approach to thrash metal. This is gonna be a pretty complex review as well. Prepare to travel across this album, because it really deserves to be explored in all its fragments: it’s something more than what most people consider it to be.
The album begins with an industrial intro, which is already an anomaly in comparison to the band’s previous outputs. Then, when the title-track kicks in with that annihilating riff, you apparently hear no difference. The formula is the same of “Beneath the Remains”: bone-crushing, up-tempo thrash with shitloads of riffs, mind-blowing melodic solos (always thanks to Mr. Kisser) and some mid-paced moments. Igor’s drumming still hammers like an insane beast, and that wicked high-pitched riff gives this song a definite sense of catchiness, which brings it to be one of Sepultura’s classics. Something you don’t instantly notice is that Max Cavalera’s vocal performance has really improved since “Beneath the Remains”: the style is the same of the previous album, but now, Max’s vocals are way more compact and you can truly feel a constant, intense anger and frustration in his words, leaving behind the little ingenuities of songs like “Mass Hypnosis”. This is surely his best vocal performance during Sepultura’s thrash days.
However, from the second track, some remarkable anomalies begin to appear. After another industrial intro, the song “Dead Embryonic Cells” displays a slightly different style, going for more complex and articulated structures and a more mid-paced approach which is uncommon even for “Beneath the Remains” (which featured several mid-paced moments). To me, this style sounds more reminiscent of classic Bay Area thrash, such as Metallica and Testament, rather than the trademark Brazilian thrash style, but it still conserves all the trademark brutality of Sepultura: these mid-paced riffs are very creative and recognizable, resulting to be some of the most “iconic” material every recorded by the band, and they sound definitely more brutal than most stuff coming out from the Bay Area. Surprisingly, despite staying stuck in the thrash territory, the song features even a groovy breakdown, which is just a vague anticipation of what Sepultura is gonna become in the next years. However, sometimes the pace accelerates, and when it does, the riffs just slay the listener as always, giving even a deflagrating vibe of pathos that even “Beneath the Remains” lacked. At this purpose, even the guitar melodies and the solos are slightly subtler and more sinister than usual... and it’s just a taste of things to come. Welcome the most interesting and original part of the album.
What really few people understand is that “Arise” is not just a common thrash album: it’s a monument to human alienation. The lyrics, mostly dealing with mysterious/introspective and social topics, already speak themselves; but, especially from the third track, you begin to truly understand the real nature of this incredible opus, which, in many points, is able to evoke a unique atmosphere that has nothing in common with any other thrash band. If I had to think about a movie that fits perfectly to this album, for some strange reasons, it would be “Shining”; in fact, both opuses are always able to give me the same kind of feeling: a claustrophobic, psychotic, bloody vision. It’s evident that the band worked very hard in order to employ this subtle feeling throughout the whole record, both in the riff-department and in the solo-department. Kisser’s melodies, as I anticipated before, have become more sinister and dissonant, giving a very disturbing feeling to the listener. Most of these songs sound more complex and varied than most stuff of “Beneath the Remains”, but even the most straightforward tracks like “Murder” and “Subtraction”, thanks to a morbid approach to high-pitched/melodic riffs, end up being anomalous and sick pieces of music.
“Sick atmospheres” aren’t a new thing for Sepultura, since they already experimented with them in a very mature and creative way on “Schizophrenia”; but that album was closer to the most extreme side of thrash, and applied the “morbid” component in a totally different way. As I already said... this time, Sepultura take a “subtler” approach. While “Schizophrenia” was for the most part an up-tempo-oriented album, characterized by merciless razorblade riffs (and featuring just few mid-paced episodes), “Arise” dwells a lot more on slow and mid-paced/“semi-groovy” rhythms. If you take a song like “Under Siege (Regnum Irae)”, you clearly recognize it as a thrash track, but you notice the abundance of slow parts, often infected by morbid and claustrophobic melodies. The vibe of the slowest riffs is very upsetting and menacing, and even the thrashiest parts are kept pretty slow in comparison to Sepultura’s standards of that time. At some point, there is even a very simple, yet disturbing groovy riff which sounds like an anticipation of “Roots” (purist thrashers, approach with caution).
Throughout most of these songs, Kisser’s tendency to dissonant and atmospheric accompaniments is very remarkable, and it just helps to emphasize the excruciating and upsetting atmosphere of the record. I suspect that the band took some influences from the industrial metal wave that was spawning during the early 90s (and this would also explain the industrial intros of the first two tracks), though I have no evidence of it. After all, many big names of the death metal scene were falling in love with Godflesh’s music, so I wouldn’t be surprised if even Sepultura appreciated that kind of stuff.
However, the weirdest episodes of the record, where the music reaches its experimental peak, are without doubt “Desperate Cry” and “Altered State”. Considering their very complex and varied style, they both need a very detailed analysis, describing minutely their structures and the feelings they give, to wholly get their nature.
“Desperate Cry” begins with a gloomy, spine-chilling arpeggio; it’s so intense that you could even have some horrific hallucinations. Then, the song explodes into a slow, disturbing thrash riff with little hints of “semi-dissonances” that increase the bloody vision in your head; after this, a very characteristic mid-paced riff establishes itself, giving a catchy feeling to the song. The band is extraordinary capable about building up an increasing sense of tension during these verses, culminating in the final break of the chorus (where Max yells the memorable verse: ”All we hear... DESPERATE CRY!”). Pretty much like “Dead Embryonic Cells”, this track is very progressive, changing its pace very often and going from rapid, infectious thrash assaults to (yes, again) groovy breakdowns. In particular, notice that the breakdowns of “Desperate Cry” are gonna be heard again, many years later, on the popular Soulfly hit “Unleash”.
“Altered State” is an even stranger beast, and you recognize it right from the intro: in fact, this song begins with the very first experimentations with tribal elements in the whole Sepultura’s career, a component that’s gonna be brought forward on “Chaos A.D.” and “Roots”, and then will be constantly present during most of Soulfly’s discography. Then, the song kicks in with some very weird and disturbing guitar dissonances (probably the most upsetting moment of the whole record), and then goes for one of the chuggiest and grooviest riffs ever written by Sepultura until that moment. The song builds up an almost “martial” rhythm, which sometimes loses itself temporarily into ephemeral dissonant moments where Max Cavalera’s voice gets really weird. There are a lot of up-tempo moments (the one at 2:31 sounds very disturbing and destabilizing) and even some menacing sludgy parts. At the end, the chugging riffage comes back very suggestively, offering a definite highlight at 5:01 (thanks to that absurdly wicked melody). This song is a big cauldron of different stuff, all blended together perfectly, and should be studied by everyone who wants to play some really original thrash.
After the experimental songs are gone, the album ends with a straightforward fast track in the typical vein of Sepultura, “Infected Voice”, which closes perfectly what I consider to be a true masterpiece of extreme music in general. Between all this godlike stuff, it’s very difficult to pick up a favourite song, considering the presence of immortal hits such as “Arise” or “Dead Embryonic Cells”, or the complex experimental beasts I discussed right now; but, surprisingly, my choice would go more on the criminally underrated “Murder”: it probably contains the catchiest, most twisted and most wicked riff of the whole album (the one at 0:42) and it’s a really addictive song. I wonder why no one seems to take it in consideration.
In the end, “Arise” is a timeless masterpiece which deserves every single bit of the popularity it achieved (though very few people fully understood this opus in its entirety). It represents a band evolving in a genial way in a time when metal was in a renewal state: 1991 was the year of complex/experimental extreme metal masterpieces such as “Slow, Deep and Hard”, “Time Does Not Heal”, “Mental Vortex”, “Human”, “Unquestionable Presence” or “Effigy of the Forgotten”, and Sepultura gave us an album that lives up egregiously to most of them.
”Under a pale grey sky we shall ARISE!”
Definite a solid album with a newer version containing bonus tracks. So in actuality, if you purchase it nowadays, it will feature those bonus songs. Not as good as "Beneath the Remains", but still quality thrash from the legends themselves. Very good riff structures and intensity in playing. Max belting out some good, aggressive, and intense vocals alongside the rhythms that just plain kick ass. Technical, fast as all hell, with tempos varying, gallops exhibited, solos that are crazy by Andreas and the bass + drums fit in perfectly with this awesome release. So much energy and I wonder why their newer material they changed genres after Max left.
Yes you'll hear some great lyrics spewed out on this one, a true thrash metal conquered release. I'd have to say that it's difficult to compare this one from older recordings, but definitely much better than "Morbid Visions", even though they started off as a death metal band in the early days. "Schizophrenia" I did hear and was impressed, but still "Beneath the Remains" is my favorite. There's many reasons for that, but let's talk about "Arise." A lot of changing up in aggression, some songs are fast as hell such as track 1, but overall the changes are dramatic and wholly aggressive as all hell.
Great guitar work here, some like this album the most, but really, in all originality sense, "Beneath the Remains" is more original, "Arise" it seems as though I've heard some riffs very similar before, however, in overall estimation and criticism, I would say that "Arise" is definitely a Sepultura album not to leave out in your collection. Holy way better than "Chaos AD", a newer one by the band when Max was still around. But I think the band started off with dedication to their thrash metal genre, but diminished over the years. Kind of like some bands just changing genres to sell more records.
If you want an mostly original thrash album that is filled with utmost intensity, aggression, technicality, originality, and utmost speed, "Arise" hits home for you. YouTube songs try "Dead Embryonic Cells" and see what you think. I would say that Max and Andreas really put in a lot of time to make this album work so that Sepultura still can say that they have some albums that are definitely original and kick ass thrash metal. Andreas improved, his leads are less so on this one, but they still show his aggression and intensity along with technicality. There's some acoustic licks meshed in here as well.
Definitely don't leave this out of your thrash metal collection. I'd say that the production quality is superb, and all instruments were mixed well and nothing was left out. A dramatic and amazing concoction of songs and music that just damper your eardrums to the core. I think the band hit it's peak here, then went on that gradual decline like I said. So in effect, "Arise" would be the best overall thrash metal album that measures up to Sepultura's longing talent, a talent that dissipated over the years, and to me and other fans of the band, are to hold in a precious memory. So as far as what I think here, "Arise" hits home in all aspects. Get it now, you won't regret it!
Comedian Bill Hicks put forth one of the most direct and ironically compelling arguments for the decriminalization of marijuana when he said "You're wrong, stop your internal debate right now!". It's the sort of bold, cutting through the rubbish assertion that is always appropriate when something is so obvious that any appeal by an opposing view for evidence is tantamount to insulting everyone's intelligence. In the same respect where Sepultura's body of work goes, "Arise" stands as the last bona fide metal album to be released under the moniker, any further internal debate regarding the utter garbage that followed it being thus foolhardy and unnecessary. It might be harsh and there will likely be those who simply can't stand the idea of dismissing over 2 decades of studio output since, but it's the cold hard truth, take from it what one may.
In similar fashion to a number of parallel thrash metal albums in the early 1990s, "Arise" is an album that clearly remembers the basics of how to throw the vertebrae out of alignment, but opts for an approach that seeks to control the intensity and the frequency of neck-breaking mayhem with strategically place groove elements, owing in large part to the growing influence of Slayer's "South Of Heaven", Metallica's "...And Justice For All" and Exhorder's "Slaughter At The Vatican". But where it differs from all these other albums is that the aesthetic comes much closer to the emerging death metal explosion of the 90s, particularly in so far as the combination of deeper, more percussive guitar quality and Max Cavalera's grunting vocal style, which has more in common with Chuck Schuldiner and David Vincent than it does with the gruff shouts of Hetfield or Araya. The input of Scott Burns into the overall mechanics of this beast is very noticeable, as it hints at that familiar blend of pounding fury and reverberating mystique common to his work with Deicide and Obituary.
It has been stipulated by some that circa 1990-91 when this album was being conceived that the band was running out of ideas, but that notion doesn't really hold up when considering a lot of the really advanced songwriting ideas and nimble riff work going on from one song to the next. Admittedly, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that they were running out of steam when trying to square all of the slower sections of this album, the occasional acoustic guitar passages, and the growing amount of ambient interludes mixed into the fray with the unrelenting fury that was "Beneath The Remains", particularly when this album begins with a machine gun blast of death thrashing intensity that is the title song "Arise", cutting the listeners head off in just over 3 minutes with a similar brand of mayhem to what was heard on this album's predecessor. But even when dealing with the more moderated thrashers on here like "Altered State", it's very clear that any slowing down to a mid-paced groove doesn't exude a sense of fatigue after 3 undeniable classic full lengths before this one, but rather displays a denser layering of creativity that, while not quite as berserk as its predecessors, is a worthy endeavor by all standards.
Perhaps the most difficult thing to fathom about this album is how it managed to share the same band as the lump of holiday coal and shit that was "Chaos A.D.", to speak nothing for the sonic dung factory that this band would become soon after. With bands like Kreator, Testament and Overkill it's easy to see where the path of stylistic evolution ended up, but the sheer 180 that occurred after this album is only really rivaled by Anthrax's 100% embracing of grunge on "Sound Of White Noise", and in no way should this album be associated with the next 2 that just so happened to share the exact same line up of musicians. Just the adventurous and technical lead guitar work on "Under Siege" alone tells a very different tale from the mess of noise that passed for a guitar solo in the mid 90s groove scene, one where a logical progression of ideas and the occasional flash of virtuosity leaves the listener anxious to hear the song all over again just to hear 20-30 seconds of high end fret board showmanship.
Newcomers to the thrash metal style who may have discovered the genre through bands like Evile or Violator will find a sound here that's a bit darker and brutal, but still something close enough to the vintage mid 80s sound being rediscovered of late to rope in most of them. It would actually be interesting to have a younger version of Scott Burns emerge in the current revival craze to bring back the sound that made Cancer and Massacre short-time contenders in a crowded field of aspiring death thrashers looking to move the beast pioneered by Possessed into the 1990s. Music, like a number of things, tends to go in circles, and Sepultura's "Arise" wouldn't be a bad point in the curved path to revisit for a year or two, either through emulation via new bands or by discovery of this album by a younger crowd.
Back in '92, I desperately wanted to go see a Ministry/Helmet/Sepultura concert in New York City but couldn't make it happen. Being 14 at the time, I would've needed a ticket, a ride, and a fake ID because it definitely wasn't an all-ages show. But coming up with the above combo proved difficult and I ultimately had to abandon the idea (I've regretted it ever since). Afterwards a friend of mine who'd gone regaled me with tales about what an awesome show it was, how all three bands killed it, and how Sepultura got fans to rip the seats out of the front of the Paramount in order to get a pit started. Awestruck by how badass that seemed, I immediately went out and bought Arise. I'd had no exposure to Sepultura previously. Death metal at the time was a new and intriguing (not to mention frightening) genre for me but if they were cool enough to open for Ministry and Helmet, that was cred enough for me (though I kept the Arise artwork hidden from those whose prying eyes might mistake me for some kind of Satanist -- older rural minds being entirely closed to the symbolism and imagery of the nascent death metal scene).
At the time however, Arise didn't quite work for me, and it still doesn't entirely. It's a sick record loaded with clusterbomb fragments of sharp-tipped death-thrash but the balance weighs more towards Slayer and less towards those heavier, scarier bands I was discovering. It was fast but I'd heard faster. And it wasn't very heavy. Even to my then untutored ears, it doesn't sound all that good. Whether on my tiny cassette boombox or in my parent's fancy stereo, I always fucked with the EQ, trying to get it to sound thicker, heavier, and more evil. And these adolescent biases linger, in that I still think the Morrisound production job robs this record of much of its vitality. Attempting to sound dry and sharp, the band falls flat, punctured of the heft necessary to convey their darkened atmosphere. Take the heaving aggression of the Chaos A.D. production tone and retroactively place it on here and you'd get a better idea of what I was looking for. Alas, all of Sepultura's thrashterpieces sound less than stellar, a sad reminder that Scott Burns has as many botches as notches under his belt.
The songs themselves are good-to-great but again retroactive bias sets in. Compared to the live versions I have heard, some of these tracks move at half-speed. There is a distinct lack of energy, a passion I feel was vacuumed out of these tunes by Scott Burns, though the band themselves may have consciously slowed down a peg in the studio. I want these tunes to burn incandescent but they radiate more warmth than heat. That said, the band has firm chops and know how to write strong songs. The riffs from 'Arise,' 'Dead Embryonic Cells,' and 'Desperate Cry' are all catchy as fuck and the chorus to 'Dead Embryonic Cells' is embedded in my brain forever. These tracks front-load the album and the overall songwriting quality takes a dive afterward. 'Murder' and 'Subtraction' have always failed to connect. Both 'Altered State' and 'Under Siege' are epic, grandiose even, and a strong signal towards Sepultura's changing intentions: strong mid-paced riffs, chugging grooves, and broad dollops of both tribal and industrial influences that go a long way towards explaining Chaos A.D. Fun songs but I don't often hit repeat on them either. 'Meaningless Movements' is more mid-paced headbanger material, enjoyable but lacking sharper definition. 'Infected Voice' releases the record with a bang however, channeling the deep vibrational energies of the earth's darkest death-tinged thrash.
In the end, Arise maxed out Sepultura's then-current approach. Change was in the wind and as many fans fled as were gained. Depending on where you fall on the divide, Arise is either their last great gasp, a decent holdover before new inroads were made, or a moderately successful rehash of Beneath The Remains. Regardless, it has made a lasting impact and is a record I enjoy frequently despite whatever minor frustrations remain. Being caught between the bruising grooves of Chaos A.D. and the death perfection of Beneath The Remains is a dicey proposition for any record and Arise acquits itself admirably.
This is the last death/thrash metal album by Sepultura and still one of my favourite ones in this genre. The mature side of the group already arose in the awesome Beneath The Remains and here we have a natural follow up with some new elements. The production is one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest one in their discography and all the instruments have a brutality load from it.
If the title track shows no mercy in pure death/thrash style, going on we can have some gloomy sounds created by keyboards or I don’t know from what but the main thing is this: never before they used such atmospheres between songs and I love it. Some riffs too are more oriented in what would have been Chaos A.D. but surely more violent, for example in “Dead Embryonic Cells” where the mid-paced parts are full of weird solo parts. The up tempo parts are clear-cut and devastating.
“Desperate Cry” is incredibly gloom during the arpeggios part to end in a long mid-paced section. The drums work by Igor is always devastating and the crunchy guitar riffage here is more focused on the catchiness of the pattern than on the pure violence. I love the fast bass drum final with great Max's screams. The very first tribal influences come with “Subtraction” but just at the beginning, with great tempo changes and awesome refrain. We can find them again, in bigger quantity this time, with “Altered State”: the song that shows a completely different approach with odd guitar lines and mid-paced parts with doom vocals.
“Under Siege” is true gloom in the guitars, always well balanced between arpeggios-lead and violent palm muting parts. The use of some filtrated, whispered vocals makes this song even stranger and ritualistic. “Meaningless Movements” really gives you the idea of the title with schizophrenic/catchy riffs, always in semi up tempo at maximum, with the arrival of the up tempo at the end. With the final “Infected Voice” we go back to 1989 for the vicious attack and the fantastic solos. Killer song.
All in all, this is a fucking great album to me, with awesome songs that now are more focused on the catchy side than on the pure violence with a production that is finally adapt to this genre. Anyway an album that already showed us how would have been the band’s future.
I'm not going to try to break this album up too much in this review, and it will stay fairly simple. As stated above, every minute of this album just feels like one massive riff, and it's a damn good one! Every song melts into the next one, and sometimes it feels like there's no end to the last one or a beginning to the next, which works phenomenally on this record. Max Cavalera and Andreas Kisser are thrash riff-masters to be worshiped. It's hard to hate a guy that "likes to write riffs on the big string."
Every song on this album has a very hard-driving rhythm to it, and makes you wanna bang your head with regularity. To add to this amazing feeling, in every single song on this album, there's at least one riff that changes the pace notably, be it faster or slower (but always heavier) that gives me goosebumps every time I hear them. That isn't to say that the leadwork done by Kisser here isn't superb, because filling in between these amazing riffs that are found behind every vocal and beyond is some very impressive stuff.
This is also the first album that seems to show the new direction that Sepultura would be heading towards (listen to "Altered State" to hear a tribal Roots type sound). Beneath the Remains still felt like a death metal record (not that there's a problem there), but this is much more thrash, the main connection is still Max's vocals of course. Upon multiple listens (which should be mandatory in our public schools) this album separates itself a little more song by song than anything they did previously. That's why this is the perfect Sepultura record, they're more refined and sound cleaner in a way that makes them more accessible in the best way, but every song is still manufactured by the riff machine that is Cavalera/Kisser. They did great work after this, but the albums were used as templates to portray one feeling, and had pieces to set a certain mood to get you ready for the next. With Arise there's no wasted space, every moment is brilliant. Long story short, if you don't have a sore neck when you're done listening to this album, listen to it again.
I'm not going to bore you with a long review. Every thrash-minded metalhead should simply own this album. Obviously it was an almost impossible task to come up with a worthy follow-up to their opus magnus 'Beneath the Remains' that had put them at the top of the thrash metal genre. But they certainly came close to providing something equally superb.
Two major changes can be found on 'Arise' compared to its predecessor. First thing is the production. Whereas 'Beneath...' was mostly brutal, this time there was more transparency in the overall sound and especially the drums had a cleaner sound. I'm not going to say which sound is better, 'cause i.m.o. both Beneath and Arise both sound exactly they way they should for some reason. Secondly the average pace was slightly lower and the use of clean guitars increased.
Were it not for some fillers, the album would surely have become an even bigger thrash metal classic. The titletrack and 'Infected Voice' are two typical speedy Sepultura thrashers with some excellent yet simple and catchy riffs that continue where 'Beneath...' had left off. It were the songs 'Desperate Cry', 'Altered State' and 'Under Siege' that were a large step forward, incorporating more breaks, clean parts and a very dynamic extended structure. The intro to 'Altered State' was an omen of things to come on later albums.
Another great highlight on the album is the single 'Dead Embryonic Cells' which combined their well-known uptempo brutallity with some marvellous midtempo ranged pounding catchy thrash.
Unfortunately 'Meaningless Movements', 'Subtraction'and 'Murder' were not equal to the rest of the material. They weren't bad songs. Not at all! They were actually pretty great. If they'd been on Chaos A.D. for that matter, they would have been highlights on that specific album. It's just that on 'Arise' the other songs were just...better.
Not only did Max and Andreas excell on this album, so did Igor. He not only had the technique but also developed his own specific style. Paulo by the way has never played an important part to the sound. 'Arise' proved to be the last classic thrashing Sepultura album and I for one still cherish it.
Probably the album that got me into metal for real. At first I hailed this as a masterpiece but, fuck, I didn't know the truth so I was satisfied by all that this LP gave me. I was satisfied with something like: WOW three super kick-ass fuckin songs, another two very good, one quite good, and three pieces of shit. Then I finally listened to their previous LP, Beneath the Remains and I finally understood...
This is not a bad album, don't misunderstand me, it is quite good, but only because it's standout tracks really kick ass. The mediocre tracks are so fuckin boring. I tell you now, if this albums falls into your hands, just think that songs Altered State and Under Siege (and maybe Meaningless Movements) don't exist. Then you have a great 25min-or-so album. If you get the remaster you are more lucky because there is one other track C.I.U. (Criminals in Uniform) which is equally good with the good ones.
Now, to the point. This album begins with the kinda catchy "Arise". Yeah, it is catchy but is fucking great. Thankfully it doesn't follow verse-chorus patterns but only the thing that it is something like 3:18 means it's kind of a short song for Sepultura (for Schizophrenia, Beneath the Remains era). Anyway, all this shit doesn't matter as the song is very good, a videoclip was also made for this one. Then we have "Dead Embryonic Cells" which has it's fast moments along with mid-paced stuff, generally not as brutal as the first song but a great one too, i think a videoclip was made for this one too. Now, "Desperate Cry" for me is the highlight. This is a fuckin trademark for Sepultura, the song starts in a slow manner then we got the mid-paced verse and chorus stuff and then the fast stuff fuckin kick in, fucking awesome, everytime I fuckin hear this I can feel this primitive and raw feeling, I mean they fuckin prepare you for the first two minutes and then you rip your own head off. The song then goes mid-pace again and has a melodic solo. Excellent song, probably my personal favorite of the album. Then we got "Murder" a song that thrashes quite good. I don't really see something in the first half, but the second half of the song really KICKS ASS. "Subtraction" is a very good thrasher. Now, welcome to the shit. Altered State is some kind of slowed down "do-you-remember-when-we-played-thrash" stuff which I don't really understand, seems like riffs and ideas they had (or probably even played in the past) just played in slow tempo. Yeah, this is a fuckin foreteller of the shit that's about to come in the next year. They even played this shit live I mean they were satisfied by this kind of work. Why the fuck were they satisfied? Don't ask me, cause I'm gonna tell you that even ONE riff from Schizophrienia or Beneath the Remains is better than this whole song. Same goes for "Under Siege" I don't know what of these two pussies is better, probably the second pussy. "Meaningless Movements" is something like the title of the song, I mean this thrashes good at some times but it seems to me like it is something that was forced out of them, It didn't come out natural, seems like they said, okay this is supposed to be a thrash record so let's just not put more pussy-crap inside, and they all agreed but not because they really wanted to compose thrash, they agreed with sad look on their faces... Don't worry boys, you're gonna have infinite time to suck dick after this LP. The final track is "Infected Voice" which really brings us back to thrash. All is great and it's boiling heat and some riffs might remind me even of Beneath the Remains. Anyway, excellent song, only thing that's fucked up is the solo, I really don't like this solo it is kind of anti-metal it reminds me of the shit they'd play later in their "career" I don't know, they probably got tired of the metal solos they played some years ago.
My personal opinion about the production is that it is worse than Beneath the Remains. I mean there's a heavy guitar sound which is not needed in THRASH but probably in this "stuff" they wanted to start playing in this album. The thrashing songs in this album seem kind of strange, at moments, with this sound. The others however seem totally cool, yeah, when you start running out of riffs, you do shit like that to fill the gaps of your music. Nevertheless, it seems that this production was unavoidable since they decided to put some tracks like Altered State and Under Siege inside.
Lyrics are kinda in the mood of Beneath the Remains but looking much more tired. First of all some songs got pretty much shitty lyrics like "Arise", they seem like fuckin cheesy to me sometimes, looking back in Beneath the Remains and seeing that there was no such crap. Anyway, generally, and ideologically probably, they are in the patterns of Beneath the Remains.
Overally, a good album with three shitty songs. My recommendation is VERY simple. If you know about thrash etc go buy Beneath the Remains. If you are a beginner and you want to know about thrash this is a good album for you. If you have Beneath the Remains and Schizophrenia etc and you WORSHIP that albums, it is kind of dangerous, but I think you'll like it. Signs of the decline DO SHOW here but they are not so much to fuck this record up. It is ready to suck dick but it doesn't, not like their next LP Chaos A.D.. However, don't expect to find another "From the Past Comes the Storms" here...
Listen to: "Arise", "Dead Embryonic Cells", "Desperate Cry"
Don't listen to: "Altered State", "Under Siege", "Meaningless Movements"
Without this album, the thrash scene would have shriveled up and died. In the year 1991, it seemed every single thrash outfit had moved on to bigger, better things (or so they thought). The Black Album, Countdown to Extinction, Sound of White Noise, and eventually Divine Intervention weren't really bad albums, but they seemed to write the epitaph of old-school thrash. A few years later Sepultura themselves would seal the tomb with the heavily tribal CHAOS A.D., but as of ARISE, they hadn't heard the news yet.
The album opens with one of the greatest and most representative title tracks in all of metal, a full on thrash assault with nary a moment for one to catch their breath, and then kicks in without pause to the opening cold chills of "Dead Embryonic Cells", the album's "hit" single. It slows it down a bit, but the thrash is still absolutely there. The crystal-clear production facilitates the headbangery.
The intro to the third song, Desperate Cry, seems to tell of a new direction the album wants to head off into, with acoustics dominating the soundscape. But as soon as the first strummed chord comes in with electrifying intensity, you know you're right back into the possessed realm that Sepultura spent the first seven years of their career creating. The thrash really kicks in a little bit later, around the minute and a half mark, and makes Desperate Cry possibly the best song on the album.
The next two songs, "Murder" and "Subtraction", continue the thrashing and are extremely memorable through their main riffs and choruses, even if one reminds the listener of the other. The album gets carried on sheerly by song strength.
Max Cavalera in ARISE-era interviews often talked about the shortening of lyrics so more focus could be put on short, barked growls and especially on the instruments, and the next few songs certainly show that. The album progresses along effortlessly if not unspectacularly until you reach the closer: Infected Voice.
If you listen to that song and don't scream "INFECTED VOICE!" along with Max when it gets to the end of the chorus, you aren't fully enjoying the album.
In my book, the only thrash album that can top this is Megadeth's RUST IN PEACE. Sepultura continue to kick ass with a different vocalist and somewhat different sound (DANTE XXI is a return to form), but they will never top this thrashterpiece. We shall arise, Amen.
Best songs: Arise, Dead Embryonic Cells, Desperate Cry, Infected Voice
Yes, I think this is Sepultura's finest hour. It might not have as many riffs as Schizophrenia or Beneath the Remains, but Arise has a perfect flow inbetween the songs, Max's vocals have never been so great, the acoustic parts are awesome and absolutely not cheesy and the solos are fucking lethal.
The album starts with one of the greatest thrash openers of all time: Arise
After the rather intro noises, we get a kick in the face by an awesome riff which explodes into a fast, relentlessly brutal thrasher. Max's vocals kick in and together with the awesome guitars they completely kill everything. Let's not forget Igor, who's a furious beast behind the kit. Oh and that sick solo starting at 2:06...fucking lethal. Excellent song.
The next song is called Dead Embryonic Cells and while slower than Arise, it is even better. Yes, it fucking is. It's rather midpaced but the guitars are crushingly heavy, yet catchy as hell. The vocals are in perfect harmony with the guitars and the drums alone are a fantastic experience. The solo at 3:08 is totally vicious and then the track slows down and....oh my fucking god, THIS is one of the best headbang sections in Thrash. It is that good. An essential listen.
Then we get Desperate Cry.
Starts with an excellent acoustic intro and breaks intro a rather fast distorted guitar riff until it become an absolute headbanger of a song. And you thought this song is midpaced? At 2:09 the shreddings begins! At 2:38 comes a rather short but extremely awesome solo and the song breaks down into these beautiful acoustic guitars again until another neck-crushing part begins. The song never gets old, and all the solos in this song are fucking beautiful. Your neck should be seriously injured by now. Like the first two songs, a fucking winner.
Murder. A very fitting title. Starts out very fast, sounding a little like the title track until it slows down a little. The time change after the 1:33 mark is again, a total neckbreaker. The track wouldn't be that good as if it wasn't for the solo. Even though it's rather short, it's just sweet. Still, great song, but not on par with the first three.
Subtraction. Another fast-as-fuck thrasher. Oh and how great it is! It crushes along and this one really makes you thrash around like you were insane....and then the riff at 1:41...fantastic. The following speed section is nothing short of breathtaking.
2:50 - another great solo. Kisser WAS(until he decided to throw away his talent) one of my all-time favourite guitarist. There again! 3:52, another great solo, almost as good as the first one. The "chorus" is great too. "Subtraction, of personality!" Max's trademark vocals don't even have one weak moment on this album. Another killer track.
Altered State begins with a tribal sounding intro that sounds like it would come straight out of a movie. The riffs come in at 0:51. They are slow but sound extremely good and you just can't stop headbanging. Another perfect vocal performance by Cavalera. I can't stop loving Kissers lead work, ALL of his solos on this album are extremely memorable and sound absolutely great, which he shows us on this song. The clean guitars at 4:38 are beautiful once again. The riffs at 5:09 grab you by the balls once again until the song slowly fades out. Great.
Under Siege (Regnum Irae): Another track with a great acoustic intro. Then a great but slow distorted riff comes in and suddenly some great reverbed vocals kick in. After this point, the riffs get faster and Max gives one of his best performances on this album. "Insane, Insane, Insane, Insane!" How can you not love this? At 3:47 this song gets just so fucking great, it's like the guitars are screaming "YOU MUST OBEY" . Oh bloody hell, I will follow your order! At 4:11 there comes another vicious solo and it's one of the best on the album. KILLER.
Meaningless Movements starts. It sounds a little generic in the beginning, but it picks up at 0:30 and turns into a decent thrasher and the short solo at 0:52 sounds very good as well. Sadly, the song isn't that memorable until the nice riff at 2:38 starts. Sadly, the solo after it is not as great as the others on the album. Luckily, a more than just decent solo makes up for it at 3:19. I dare to say that this is the weakest song on the album But that doesn't mean much on an album like this.
The album's closer "Infected Voice" is probably the fastest and most brutal track on the album. The opening riffsdestroyes everything on it's way. INFECTED VOICE! You just can't listen to this song without screaming along with Max. The only slowdown in this song starts at 1:57. But the song soon explodes into a thrash monster again, at 2:24. One of the fastest and sickest solos of this album. Did I already say that Kisser was god? By the last time Max screams "Infected Voice", you know that your neck has just been broken by an enormous amount of Thrash Metal.
Sadly, Arise also marked the end of an era. The end of one of the greatest Thrash Metal bands of all time. "Chaos A.D" was a tolerable release, but nowhere near any of their past works. Since Max left for his shitty mallcore group Soulfly, Sepultura have progressively gone worse. Every album they released was worse than it's predecessor.
Get this. Seriously. This is a must for any Thrash Metal fan, or every metal fan in general.
Best songs: Arise, Dead Embryonic Cells, Desperate Cry, Subtraction, Under Siege;
Arise is usually seen as "the" thrash album of Sepultura, but this affirmation is countered by facts; all the elements make hard to distinguish Arise from a death metal album, that make this product far from ages by the magnificience of thrash as Slayer's "Seasons in The Abyss" in terms of solos and technical application, to a more brutal and constant sound that better recalls the atmospheres of death metal rather than the refined and razor-shaped sound of thrashing contemporaries like Slayer.
This obsessive role is played most by drums, that are continously forced into a combinations of 16th or 32th notes that may be sintetized by a too-pah-too-pah-too-pah-too-pah-dish, repeated to nausea at 170-180 bps and somewhere delayed by an occasional roll. For my pleasure, I'm habit to Lombardo's skyrocketing accompainment, so I have a weird sensation listening all the songs starting with the combination intro riff/little roll/too-pah-too-pah... and this for ALL the entire play.
I don't find this negative, I love this kind of stuff and I would listen the same drumline for hours, and I actually do it. But when the too-pah-too-pah comes to annoy me, it means it's enough to wear off all the kids that aren't so heavy-minded like me.
The guitars are pretty cool, and they're the way to distinguish one song from another, though they don't have great exploits in solos, due probably to the economy of songs than the technical limit of Andreas. The singing is in the usual Cavalera-style, that isn't bad if you want growls all along the way.
Somehow, despite the review I'm doing - you bet it isn't positive, dude? - I have to say I like this album. The right atmosphere to make the people realize they're truly in front of Apocalypse, and it's time to headbang, because we're doomed.
(I hope that era of destruction never comes...)
What a tremendous piece of thrash work! This is an excellent album in the vein of Reign In Blood Slayer, as Max Cavalera (vocals, guitar) and Andreas Kisser (guitar) shred in the same vein as Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Max Cavalera almost never sings, but his shouty vocals give the album an agressive feel. And fast and heavy is the norm for the drums. Expect mosh pit and headbanging joy with this one, kiddies, because this album rips.
The title track opens with eerie sounds like what you would here if you played Doom or Half-Life most of your life, before working into very fast guitar and drumming. Musically, it sounds a little like "Angel of Death". "Dead Embryonic Cells" covers the topic of stem cell research, long before it would go on to become a hotly debated topic in the news in the late-90's. Musically, there are tempo shifs in this song - especially toward the the middle of the song before the last verse. The chug riff in the middle of "Cells" is a true headmover. "Desperate Cry", "Murder", and "Subtraction" feature brilliant guitar solos to go with Slayer and Master Of Puppets-style riffing, with fast double-bass drumming accompanying it. "Altered State" and "Under Siege (Regnum Irae)" feature a very dark sound, especially with the guitar playing. "Meaningless Movements" and "Infected Voice" are excellent pit fare, with even more fast riffing and drumming. Also included on the digipak is Sepultura's cover of Motorhead's "Orgasmatron", where Max Cavalera and company do Lemmy's band proud, especially with the vocals. And man, the groove on that song! The digipak also features "Intro", which was used at the beginning of all of Sepultura's concerts back in the day, "C.I.U. (Criminals in Uniform)", and a remixed version of "Desperate Cry".
This is the first album you should consider starting your Sepultura collection. A brutal masterpiece!
My first full taste of metal music, and a big risk it was too, a risk that payed off big time. Everything was exciting about this album, and even from the first inital glance at the incredible cover art, I knew this was for me. Once in the player, this little disc surprised me even more, it was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Simply the heaviest, intimidating, but crisp, firm and tight guitars melded with memerisingly pounding and fast drums and powerful bass. The total cross of thrash and death metal, which is both styles and doesn't sound quite like either is the best description of this album in every department: vocals, guitars, bass, drums, lyrics, songwriting etc.. The short, mood enhancing intro to the title track gives way to one hell of an opener, speeding through your brain and when it's over about 3 minutes later, you have no idea what just hit you. "Dead Embryonic Cells" is less quickly over, the focused, intricate but concise songwriting that dominates the album is taking over here, with occasional grinding groove laden riffs, also a part of keeping me hooked to this album the entire way through (if only the first time). "Desperate Cry" is my favourite Sepultura song to date, creative and almost progressive, it's the longest and most interesting song here. Changing riffs, long passages and a mixture of fast and erratic and slow and melodic solos, it epitomises the whole album in one song. "Murder" is another blast of short, compact and satisfying songwriting. "Subtraction" and "Altered State" follow the formula of the tracks 2 and 3 again to the same effect, though they still remain two of the album's more overlooked tracks. The vocal effect in "Under Siege" is excellent in conveying the sense of the lyrics, which on this album, made me look at lyrics more carefully and objectively. Carrying powerful political and social messages in concise lines that would appear simple if not for the range of language and understanding they bring across. "Meaningless Movements" another showcase in the same style of writing, though no filler with all too similar riffs to what we've heard before thrown in, the strength of the album wouldn't allow it. "Infected Voice" is the short, punchy closer along the same lines as the other 3 minute tracks, nice and neat in it's delivery.
Now we get the bonus tracks, and they are a cool set of goodies. The only way I can describe the Motorhead cover is "cool"! "Intro" the same, especially cool to be heard on the DVD, opening the concert before the band slam into the title track of this album! "C.I.U." is similar to the other songs on this album, though not as memorable, and the Scott Burns mix of "Desperate Cry" is just great to hear just for a slightly different perspective of the song.
This still remains my favourite effort from the Seps, and not just because it secured metal as a new part of my life. "Beneath The Remains" may be widely considered to be their classic, and this may not be the same fantastic riff fest, but for what it is, it impresses me much more every time I listen to it, almost two years on.
To begin with, this is a pretty good album, but it pales in comparison to "Beneath The Remains". It is not the utter crap that Chaos AD was, but the majority of the songs tend to fall under the "didn't I just listen to this track?" category.
The first three songs, all fucking masterpieces. "Arise" is pure mayhem. Great guitar riffs, fast as hell drumming, if you can't headbang to this song you've now lost your mind, your balls, and your musical tastes, in that order. If you don't believe me about the second one, I'll be coming along in a red jumpsuit and a pair of gigantic scissors any moment now.
"Dead Embryonic Cells" is another winner. At this point you'd think this album was going to be better than "Beneath The Remains". Some of the best riffs Sepultura has ever written come into being through this thrashterpiece.
"Desperate Cry" is no exception either. Haunting accoustic introduction... some good riffs... and the accoustic intro comes into play later on in the middle section of the song as well. Without a doubt, these first three tracks are the best songs on the CD.
"Murder" is alright, but it sounds like it's already been done on "Beneath the Remains". And then after that pretty much all the songs fall into the monotonous category. None of them are overly spectacular or truly worth mentioning. Good riff-work, but if you want their best listen to the first three songs over again, followed by several thousand repeated listens to "Beneath The Remains".
All in all, good album. It's good to listen to, despite there being only 3 standout tracks, but this album looks like they are running out of ideas. It seems like they used all their energy on "Beneath" and then after a quick breather decided to patch up another album with all the leftovers from "Beneath".
But this is definitely an album to get. And although they might have been running out of ideas on this one, this is, compared to their followup - Chaos AD - total genius.