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Infectious Thrash - 100%

DethMaiden, July 17th, 2006

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.

Ho-ly shit.

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