CD review SEPULTURA ‘Quadra’

In more than 3 decades Thrash Metal veterans Sepultura celebrated many victories but had to go through some periods of renewal also. The first big cut happened in 1986 when Max Cavalera left the band and it was twenty years later when his brother Igor parted ways with Sepultura too. 

The band had no other chance than to deal with these issues and with a lot of willpower they just kept on going. The quartet always stayed true to their Thrash Metal roots throughout although once in a while other styles, like Hardcore, gained more momentum in Sepultura sound construct. What was and are the continuous trademarks is the Brazilian heritage of the four-piece powerhouse and the unleashed energy that enriches every album.

In this context the new longplayer ‘Quadra’ isn’t an exception. Both trademarks are present in each of the 12 songs, forming the well-created tracklist of the album. A benefit of Sepultura in 2020 is the stable line-up. Now changes happened since a few years, a time, which brought the four musicians closer together. This resonates back in the dense sound of the album and songs that are as aggressive as they surprise with variations and twists.

Parts of ‘Quadra’ builds on the early roots of Sepultura, a time when records like ‘Arise’ made them to a rising star in the second wave of Thrash Metal bands. It’s mainly the energy and the aggressiveness that reflects a time when the guys just went wild. The opener ‘Isolation’ reflects this direction very well and what also becomes obvious right away that the Thrash Metal foundation gets a lot of attention on ‘Quadra’. Furious and equipped with a lot of speed the song is a musical scull crusher with breaks as an amplifier. ‘Ali’ is another song, representing the Trash roots. Already the opening riff is an open invitation for headbanging and ‘The Pentagram’ will challenge your neck-muscles too. 

‘Autem’ instead stands for a more modern sound with some interesting melody lines that interact with extreme outburst, including some hoarse screams of Derrick Green. ‘Quadra’, the title track, isn an interlude and a moment of peace before ‘Agony of Defeat’ takes over. An atmospheric beginning shows a different aspect of Sepultura. Kept in a moderate pace and supported by musical nuances like a choir that sets new standards. This song is for sure a great moment on an album that’s full of highlight. When I listened to the song the first time I had to think of Devon Townsend, which shows the musical diversity that comes with it. 

The quartet from Brazil never stands still and ‚Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering’ underlines it. The clean female vocals are a something you don’t expect from the Thrash Metal pioneers but fits very well into the context of the album. In general it’s the bottom part of the tracklist being a bit more experimental and acoustic while the first songs are the ‘right-in-the-face’ smashers with ‘Capital Enslavement’ including the tribal rhythmic the band’s known for. So rhythm and Thrash-roots form the framework there. All this together shows the ‘four faces’ of Sepultura, real ‘Quadra’.

It feels like the last years were just cornerstones on a journey towards ‘Quadra’. Sepultura’s 15th longplayer is for sure one of the strongest ones the band ever released and the best one they unveiled in the current century.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Isolation
  2. Means to an End
  3. Last Time
  4. Capital Enslavement
  5. Ali
  6. Raging Void
  7. Guardians of Earth
  8. The Pentagram
  9. Autem
  10. Quadra
  11. Agony of Defeat
  12. Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: February 7th, 2020

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