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One listen to this album and its immediately shown some kind of diabolical change has occurred in the past couple years. Arise was a bit of step down from Beneath the Remains but it was still fucking fast and had some nice riffs packed in every song. You wouldn’t expect both elements be gone with this release but alas. Now the production is really good on this album which is one good thing. Igor is on top of his game now that the music is so slow it gives him room to be really creative. Max’s voice sure kind of took a little spill though not to mention the absence of all good riffs. I guess they used so many good riffs in the last three albums they got drained. At best this album is slightly thrashy and when it’s bad it’s horrible. Like Amen with its boring as fuck slow plodding riffs and the industrial touches they’ve thrown in. But it’s still better than some give it credit for. Manifest is still a nice fast addition. The first three songs are pretty good as well.
It starts with a usual ‘noise’ type opener but wait instead of a beautiful thrash riff there comes in this alien industrial garbage. Surely after that maybe a decent thrash riff should come in. Not really just a mid-tempo forgettable riff. Now this song would be a lot fuckin better by itself but no this is Sepultura this should be a whole lot more. Well it speeds up with a great section for a good solo which definitely saves it, but slows itself back down again and ends with the same effects it began with. Holy shit Territory starts out impressive. Or I should say Igor Calavera does. Nice tribal drums and the guitar comes in, this seems like its going to be quite enjoyable. Goddamnit it slows down again. But its still is a nice brutal riff complemented with equal drums. Slave New World starts out with an ok mid tempo riff and well stays that way throughout the song. Again nice drumming. Ouch, Amen is just shit. Very slow, uninteresting music with some weird tribal voice sections thrown in. Kaiowas is well… interesting. Nothing to wrong with experimenting but this is supposed to be a thrash album. It’s done with acoustic guitars and Brazilian percussion. They pull it off well live though. Propaganda is an all right song though I’m dying to thrash though it never quite makes it. Once it starts it sounds promising enough (except Max’s lyrics, I mean come on “Why don’t you realize that your fucked up!!”) but becomes boring after a few listens. Biotech is Godzilla is a super fast song but is kinda silly and doesn’t quite sound like Lobotomy or anything. Nomad is another plodding slow song that would be boring but somehow remains interesting with the riffs. Manifest is one of faster songs on the album is probably the highlight but could’ve been better without the industrial crap. The Hunt is a forgettable cover. Clenched Fist starts off horribly and doesn’t get any better until about 1:39 where it gets really nice and thrashy. Really stupid lyrics; every time Max says “Soul! Mind!” I get a sinking feeling in my gut how close that is to his “Soul Fly!” yelling.
The reason this album seems so bad at first is because it followed some of the best thrash albums around. But after listening to Roorback you’ll think this was Beneath the Remain.
Highlights: Territory, Manifest, and well those are the only essential tracks from this one.
If you like Roots you’ll probably like this, otherwise you will be disappointed.