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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;