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Dawn of the Sepultura - 82%

Brainded Binky, December 21st, 2013

Long ago, it was a time of peace, happiness, and prosperity. Little did everybody know that their time of peace was to end. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the ground shook, creating a mighty rumbling sound, and the people shook with terror. Then it came. Bursting out of the earth, coming from the very depths of Hell (Brazil, actually), the Sepultura rose. Its guitars growled with an ever burning hatred for mankind. This was the dawning of the Sepultura, a mighty beast which would destroy all with its wrath..... Yeah, I know, I went overboard a little with this, but Sepultura was actually a group of young teenage musicians, influenced by many bands, namely Slayer. They were still very young when they released their first full-length effort "Morbid Visions", and their lack of experience, along with the tight budget of the albums production, shows.

Everybody knows that the production that was used to make this album was low-fi and primitive. The sound may be pleasing to some black metal fans, but to others, it's kind of crappy. The snare drums sound like Igor Cavalera was hitting a plastic bucket rather than an actual snare drum, and the guitars have this sort of buzzing sound, kind of like that of swarm of angry bees. Both of them seem to drown out the bass guitar, which is barely even heard, if at all. I can't blame them for this poor-quality production, cos when they made it, they were young, and barely had any money to make an album using top-notch production. What's more is that Brazil, and especially Belo Horizonte, was very poor. Do you expect to hear an album coming from Brazil at that time sounding like it had been produced by a label such as Metal Blade or Megaforce? I didn't think so. I'm giving Sepultura a free pass on the production, though, cos hey, who can blame them? They didn't have a lot of money!

Now to the music itself. Even with the crude production, there are some things that the band needed to work on before actually shelling out an album. Some of their songs have the same chord patterns as others, making them sound almost like the exact same song. For example the intro to "Funeral Rites" sounds A LOT like the intro to the all-time classic "Troops of Doom". The speeding riffs on both songs also bear an uncanny resemblance to each other. The e-note rhythm is used quite a bit on the album too. All of the songs, not almost all of them, but ALL of the songs on this album feature the e-note rhythm. They are relatively easy to play on the guitar I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm just saying that it shows the band's inexperience when they made this. It's sort of like Warbringer when they released "War without End", except with shoddy production. However, unlike Warbringer, their choice of time signatures did vary, though they were speedy. There was one to two different time signatures in each song (three if you count the intros to some of them). It's kind of hard to tell them apart, but who cares? At least they've got something going! Despite its lack of riffing skills, "Morbid Visions" has all of the energy and intensity it needs to start mosh pits.

The band not only lacked musicianship when they first started out, they also lacked lyrical creativity. Have you ever noticed that pretty much all of the songs on here had lyrics that had to do with everybody's favorite Lord of Darkness? That's right, that's all they talk about. Look, I'm not a Christian prude or anything (I'm just as disillusioned with the corruption going on in the church as a lot of other people), I'm saying that Sepultura really didn't think too much about writing songs that were about things other than Satan. They could have written songs about how they were fed up with all of the poverty, the corruption, and the violence that was going on in Brazil. They could have at least written songs about wicca, or anything that isn't related to the church, but nope! It's all about the Father of Lies, here. Though, to be fair, singing about the Devil was all that the band needed to get attention. That's how Slayer got successful, and made them one of the biggest bands in the world. Sepultura, on the other hand, would eventually shove Satan out of the way in favor of writing songs about stuff not Satan-related in "Schizophrenia" and later releases.

What could you expect from a band of newbies on a small, unknown label? Not much, I suppose, but do I enjoy this album, despite all of the things that a young Sepultura could have improved on? I say I actually kind of do. It might not have been an excellent start, but it did get the band noticed, so that they could eventually get signed to a bigger label to produce "Schizophrenia", and eventually leave Brazil to tour the world. Max Cavalera himself admits that "Morbid Visions" wasn't Sepultura's best effort. He said that it was the product of a very young band with very little experience, and I can believe him. It's easy to acknowledge the band's lack of creativity when the album came out, but then again, Sepultura really didn't need much when it started its high-powered attack.