Genre: Progressive Thrash
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Sepultura’s legacy in the metal world is undisputable, they are pioneers of extreme music and they have been a top thrash band for years. Since the departure of Max Cavalera in 1996 and his brother Igor in 2006 they became a different band, not so successful, but with a distinctive course. And since Andreas Kisser still remains the songwriting force, this is a guarantee to be always interested to see what this legend is up to each time they release a record.
Well, this time he got us by surprise. There is an obvious aura of change and progress throughout the album, save “I Am The Enemy” which is a typical fast Green-era song, not bad, but nothing special or new. “Machine Messiah” the song starts slow and with a dark atmosphere, very well crafted and with great solos, but the most important, totally fresh air. An air that continues to breeze through till the end with diverse riffing,song structuresout of the ordinary, and a great vocal performance by Derrick Green, who balances greatly between aggressiveness and enchantment. Sometypical breakdown riffing can be heard in “Phantom Self”, which was also chosen for the video clip of the album, but apart from that the album impressed me with each song and with a spectrum of sounds and elements so diverse that Dream Theater can coexist with AlukTodoloand Messhugah(I can’t believe I am writing those band names in a Sepultura review…), along with some classic Sepultura bridges, passages and melodies. And this new approach is excellent exactly because it totally breaks off of whatever the band has tried in the past. “Dante XXI” or “A-Lex” may have also been dark and a bit progressive, but this is a full on scale surprise and it is gladly appreciated. Riffs, solos, drum themes, classic parts, all work in favour of the complexity of an album that is a winner the more you listen to it.
Special mention should be made to Eloy Casagrande, who is a real asset for the band. The prodigy kid has grown up for good and leads the band with innovative and flawless playing and with his sheer force. On the other hand, Andreas Kisser has polished his talent even more delivering some great guitars on all aspects.Jens Borgen’s production is clean as it fits in those specific songs and arrangements without depriving the band of its dynamics. The cover is a colourful piece of art, a modernized version of “Arise” as it seems and successfully depicts the concept of our current automatized dystopia that the band expresses through its lyrics.
I am pretty sure I have listened to all post-CavaleraSepultura records carefully, but not a single one had the diversity and effectiveness of “Machine Messiah”, therefore I don’t hesitate to say it is their best records since 20 years. I am impressed and happy that the heroes of my youth can still rock, in a much different way than they used to, but so much better than just repeating or trying to revive the glorious days that are long gone.