August 17, 2021

Sepultura - Quadra (2020) ☠

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Genre: Groove Metal
Label Number: 5333-2
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile

☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2020 Nuclear Blast
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
Sepultura has "enjoyed" a very spotty reputation among fans since the late 1990s when founding vocalist Max Cavalera left and was replaced by Derrick Green. After all, their first six albums -- especially the trilogy that began with Schizophrenia and ended with 1991's Chaos A.D. -- are universally regarded as definitive thrash metal offerings. Later outings were saturated in groove metal or so experimental listeners had a tough time hanging on. But Sepultura issued some fine records during the Green era including The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must be the Heart (2013) and Machine Messiah (2017), which are both fine records in their own rights.

Quadra is a concept album that, like its 2017 predecessor, expresses the delineated nature of society and the power of money. The album is so titled because its 12 songs are divided into four groups of three songs each. Each grouping showcases a different aspect of the band's musical persona. Exquisitely produced by Jens Bogren, its first section offers the band at its most aggressive in a short set of thrash metal. The main riff in "Isolation" is derived from the pervasive influence of their song "Arise." "Means to an End" is even heavier with its louder-than-god mix and stop-start bass and guitar vamps, urged into ever more furious terrain thanks to the force of drummer Eloy Casagrande. "Last Time," with its spiky guitar intros and slamming punch and roll rhythms, is almost an anthem. The second quarter of Quadra hearkens back to more rhythmic, groove-metal-oriented albums such as 1996's Roots. Check the rumbling, Brazilian percussion that introduces the roaring "Capital Enslavement," and the chugging grooves of "Raging Void"; they are both excellent examples. Andreas Kisser's nylon-string guitar playing introduces “Guardians of the Earth," before a layered choir begins chanting in the backdrop as a precursor to the first verse. This is Sepultura at their most experimental and progressive, born out by the knotty scalar inventions on "The Pentagram" and the detuned roil and burn power riffs on "Autem." Introduced by the brief interlude of a title track, the final section pursues more melodic, less aggressive prog metal. It features gorgeously layered acoustic and electric guitars, ghostly female vocals, and even elements of symphonic metal. Check the interplay between Kisser and Casagrande up front with Green -- who sings clean -- on "Agony of Defeat." Choirs, synth strings, and jazz syncopation all follow him in. Closer "Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering" offers a richly atmospheric finale, including wonderful vocal assistance from Emmily Barreto, from Brazil's Far from Alaska. Quadra is Sepultura's first album to actually stand on equal qualitative footing with their classic trilogy. It offers a series of tough, meaty, adventurous songs, that abundantly indulge raw power and emotion. Bogren's production and Sepultura's execution are in perfect balance. Further, Green delivers a career-defining performance here. It is the first Sepultura album in decades to measure favorably alongside the band’s classic output.

tags: sepultura, quadra, 2020, flac,

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