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One gigantic riff! - 80%

judasismyguide, December 7th, 2007

I'm not going to try to break this album up too much in this review, and it will stay fairly simple. As stated above, every minute of this album just feels like one massive riff, and it's a damn good one. Every song melts into the next one, and sometimes it feels like there's no end to the last one or a beginning to the next, which works very well on this record. Max Cavalera and Andreas Kisser are Thrash riff-masters to be revered. It's hard to hate a guy that "likes to write riffs on the big string."

Every song on this album has a very hard-driving rhythm to it, and makes you wanna bang your head with regularity. To add to this, in every single song on this album, there's at least one riff that changes the pace notably, be it faster or slower (but always heavier) that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. That isn't to say that the lead work done by Kisser here isn't superb, because filling in between these amazing riffs that are found behind every vocal and beyond is some very impressive stuff.

The downside is that this is the first album showing the new direction that Sepultura would be heading towards (listen to "Altered State" to hear a tribal Roots type sound). Upon multiple listens (which should be mandatory in our public schools) this album separates itself a little more song by song than anything they did previously. The variations suit it nicely, which I would say nominates it for best Sepultura record. The more refined and cleaner sound in a way makes them more accessible, but every song is still manufactured by the riff machine that is Cavalera/Kisser. They would never reach these heights again unfortunately, as the experimentation from here on out was never to the advantage of the music in my opinion. With Arise there's no wasted space, there's a reason for everything.