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I couldn't resist refusing this album. - 32%

hells_unicorn, April 27th, 2007

This album pretty much embodies the principle reason why I hate the vast majority of groove metal albums. We have random vocal grunts and barks that are supposed to articulate masculinity and aggression, repetitive and over simplified riffs often consisting of two or three notes, way too much emphasis on the drums, nonsensical lyrics that would make the staunchest of anarchists embarrassed of his ideology, and a sheer lack of speed. You could sum this album up as being a half-assed rehash of Pantera’s “Vulgar Display of Power” with a heavy Brazilian accent, even less standout songs, and a complete lack of coherence in the arrangement.

Although the vast majority of the riffs on here are over-simplified groove drones that induce testicle shrinkage in the listener, the few leads found on here succeed in achieving the opposite extreme. While Dimebag Darrel was a sort of saving grace within the fatal mediocrity of Pantera’s sound, Andreas Kisser succeeds only in making random noises due to overuse of the whammy bar and effects pedals, sounding more like random computer generated sounds than guitar solos. The worst offender is the lead break found on “Territory”, although similarly forgettable collections of half cocked improvised nonsense can be found on several other songs (Biotech is Godzilla anyone?), to speak nothing for the occasional high ends drones that probably inspired Korn like the one found at the intro of “Propaganda”.

Some of the songs on here might pass for decent punk rock songs if the vocals weren’t so damned terrible and the words so ridiculous. “Biotech is Godzilla” (what a stupid name) could almost pass for an SOD song if the singing wasn’t so poorly done. “Slave New World” has a couple of solid riffs that come and go, but Max Cavalera’s voice track completely buries them. The same thing could also be said about “Propaganda” and “Amen”, both of which would sound like decent Pantera songs if the mix was more even and the guitars could be heard clearly.

The remaining stuff on here is forgettable, disappointing, or just flat out annoying. “Refuse, Resist” takes my pick for the worst song on the album, featuring a sleep inducing principle riff consisting of two notes, and a plodding beat that makes Machine Head sound like MegaDeth circa 1986. The cover of “The Hunt” would be decent, but is utterly destroyed by the vocals, despite not being as ridiculously high in the mix as with the other songs. “Kaiowas” is a rather annoying acoustic jam session guising as some kind of protest song, featuring ideas that sound akin to hillbilly folk music. Actor Christopher Lee once quoted a person as saying “You should try everything except incest and folk dancing”, but it seems that the boys in Sepultura felt differently.

To put it plainly, if you like metal in any of its variants, avoid this album. Even if you like groove metal (why you would I’ll never know), there is better stuff out there carrying that label. I bought this album thinking I was picking up the latest release by a band credited as influential in the thrash/death genre, and boy was I in for a rude awakening. If you are overcome with a desire to own it nonetheless, take the advice of the first song, REFUSE!