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Very good songs with some filler - 90%

mikey22, June 2nd, 2016

Ah yes one of Sepultura's albums that divided some fans, albeit not as many as Chaos AD did, but a decent amount. This album has the first signs of Sepultura incorporating groove elements into their music. It fits very well into the music and the people who hate this album seem to only like the most underground of underground metal. Yes, correct this album is slower than Beneath the Remains and Schizophrenia but it's very crushing and powerful. Beneath the Remains was extremely fast and consistent but the bigger budget in the production of Arise helped them get a more crushing sound (BTR was made for $8000 U.S dollars) as this album was made for $40,000; a budget five times larger. The album starts off with haunting tribal sounds in the opener "Arise," the tribal sounds gradually keep building and keep building for 25 seconds and then boom the hammer smash of "Arise" starts off with very fast, frantic riffing, and assault rifle like drumming. No remorse or mercy is shown to the listener as this song consistently slays everything in its path. The next couple of tracks like “Dead Embryonic Cells,” “Desperate Cry,” and “Altered State” feature slower passages with less emphasis on brutality and violence but more emphasis on groove and the feel of the song. It is groove but in a good way not in a bad way (Lamb of God, Hellyeah).

The production heavily reminds me of Metallica's And Justice for All album in the way that it's the band's fourth album and it has this very dry, scooped out mid sound to it. The band was on the verge of changing their sound and the production while suffocating is also pleasurable unlike AJFA which has a very thin sound to it and it is presented in a very unwelcoming approach in its production. This album features a heavier low end then their previous albums. Schizophrenia had a very strong low end but the production was very muddy and unstable, and BTR was more about frantic, high speed intensity then groove. The drumming displayed by Igor Cavalera incorporates tribal sounds, industrial sounds, heavy use of double bass, and very hard hitting snare drum attacks. On this album there is heavier use of experimentation than their previous albums and it incorporates far more use of different elements (industrial, tribal) which Sepultura would even further display in their later albums. The bass playing by Paulo is buried under Andreas' and Max's heavy guitar playing but he has some stand out moments (for example the solo in Subtraction). Max and Andreas made a great guitar duo with Andreas throwing in beautifully composed solos while Max would hold down the rhythms under the great soloing by Andreas. The riffing they made on this album and back in their early days was magical. They always performed to the best of their ability and they worked together like peanut butter and jelly. Unfortunately all good things come to an end and Max left the band for Soulfly. Sepultura to this day continues on in a very weak and lifeless direction.

The negatives about the album though are the filler songs. The first three tracks are some of the greatest Sepultura songs ever written being a turkey (bowling term for three strikes in a row), but then the weaknesses started showing. The song “Murder” is just a typical thrash song with nothing interesting going on and “Under Siege” is just a boring song with very annoying vocal effects placed on Max's vocals. “Meaningless Movements” displays yet another generic thrash song. Other than that the standouts are the first three tracks, “Subtraction,” and “Altered State” with its tribal effects and great grooves. This album was featured in the book 1001 albums you must hear before you die (2006) so I insist as well as the book to hear this great album.