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Sepultura - Arise
Review: Sepultura was a relatively unknown quantity until the 1989 release of the groundbreaking "Beneath the Remains," which brought almost instant worldwide recognition to the Brazilian quartet. The band favors a heavy sound much like that of Slayer and is often referred to as a successor to the rulers of American industrial rock. However, Sepultura mixes a tribal rhythms and intriguing guitar work with a solid metal core, and it is this that differentiates them from their colleagues who apply different paint to the same entity and declare themselves "open-minded." The energy of previous albums is still here, on a more populist effort that brings into its core the worldwide appeal of simple motion rhythm alongside pounding speed metal/death metal hybrid riffs.
"Arise" is a crucial album for the band. A first listen to this CD proves that the same drive to music with weight behind the order of its impact that, mixed with innovation that characterized Sepultura's earlier work, dominates this disk in a similar way to to its foundational genesis of other albums. Cross-cut power chord riffs pulse between varied textures of lyrical structure laid out to simple almost pop tempos with an inner life of percussive complexity. As always lead guitar is both strikingly outside and gratifyingly direct in its assonance to the music.
Lyrically this albums stands defiant, viciously dissecting society and the human condition and setting it to a stirring selection of speed metal with an overemphasis on politics but an enduring honesty of anger. The musical style is more akin to classical than to classic metal; Sepultura handily avoids the trap of trying to "sound like a metal band" at the expense of originality, creating instead an musical smorgasbord of industrial-tribal art.
This CD stands impressively despite increased populist touches. Sepultura have again produced a potent punch of ideas in an industrial thunder music sound that innovates again and stands out in a metal lineup. Although some may find the aesthetics excessive or the vocals incomprehensible, the bare sound and structure of this release is worth exploring at least. In this instance, creative metal with a perceptive edge triumphs over the indistinguishable morass of undirected anger.