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Okay. What actually happened here? Sepultura were really at their peak on the tour following the 'Arise' album. But how could that be leading to this? Did they feel they didn't have enough midpaced and slow songs in their set and decided to write a bunch and then had an album full of it? We could have seen it coming though. The songs ‘Under Siege’ and ‘Altered State’ from the ‘Arise’ album were actually an indication of a slower style and afterwards turned out to have been an omen for the basis of this ‘Chaos A.D.’ record.
'Refuse/Resist' is the best song here. The only song that remains powerful from start to finish. The heartbeat-intro progressing into Brazilian drums was a good find and it sounds great. Riffs, vocals and solo are solid here and so are Igors drums. Great song. A bit different stylewise from earlier works, but no problems so far....
'Territory' has a lot of groovy doom metal elements and the rhythmical Brazilian drums are quite enjoyable yet they should have been more present throughout the entire song. The extremely slow sections of the song just go on for far too long. It should have been followed by a fast track to keep the album interesting. Although on 'Slave new World' the pace was somewhat increased, one could not speak of an uptempo song. It isn’t until ‘Kaiowas’ that something different finally happens. This accoustic intermezzo with nice rhythms gives the album an extra edge and is the first really interesting thing happening since the opening track. The song however is a bit too long for my taste and at times feels like a jam session instead of a song.
‘Propaganda’ continues the Slave New World and Amen style but is slightly better due to the fact that the pace is somewhat higher and the vocals have a catchy edge. The only truly uptempo song comes next. 'Biotech Is Godzilla' is one of the best songs on the album but isn't Sepultura. It’s a punkrocksong co-written with Jello Biafra (also on guest vocals). Due to the different style and short length it is the kind of song you would normally expect as a bonus track or B-side to a single. It is, however, one of my favorite tracks on the album. ‘Nomad’ and ‘Manifest’ are once again mostly midtempo groovers but on ‘Manifest’ I rather like the whole intro. ‘We Who Are Not as Others’ is really the low point on the album. A doomy and monomtome track on which the title is repeated a lot of times. ‘Clenched Fist’ has a sparce fast moment and therefor actually becomes rather enjoyable. The New Model Army cover ‘The Hunt’ is adequate although I’m missing some guitardetails from the original.
As a whole ‘Chaos A.D.’ was quite a disappointment. The production is good as were a few songs. But not enough to make this a memorable Sepultura release. There are too many Pantera-immitations presented here and not enough thrash nor Brazilian-rhythm moments to make up for the lack of speed. Also Max’ vocals were getting too monotome at certain points here. The album wasn’t exactly bad and I don’t mind owning it and playing it from time to time. If it had been a new band and this would have been their debut, It might have gotten more points. But knowing the quality and intensity their previous four albums…. Ouch…only 60 points