There’s already a million identikit reviews floating around in internet land so Worship Metal simply cuts to the chase and answers the questions on everyones lips.
No bullshit, no fannying around, just straight up answers to the burning questions.
Is this a Sepultura album worth caring about?
Absolutely. This is arguably the best Sepultura album since Dante XII and fully solidifies Sepultura’s position of elder statesman who are still capable of delivering the goods.
Can Andreas Kisser still deliver the riffs?
Fuck yes! Just check out that ball-crusher of a riff that ushers in “Phantom Self”. The quick-fire rapidity of the hardcore punk-esque “I Am The Enemy” is also particularly bullish and proves that age has nothing to diminish Andreas Kisser’s fire and passion!
Is Machine Messiah a thrash album?
Not really, it does have thrash elements but Sepultura (minus Max Cavalera) have always embraced everything from thrash to punk to groove metal and Machine Messiah is no exception. Such diversity is proven by the self-titled opening track alone. Borderline classic metal in nature, “Machine Messiah” is highly melodic and mid-paced, with 90% of Derrick Green’s vocals sung instead of growled/screamed. Incidentally, as opening tracks go, “Machine Messiah” is probably the most mature, impressive and considered opener in Sepultura history.
Ok, does it sound like Roots then?
Of course it fuckin’ doesn’t. It sounds like nothing Sepultura have ever delivered before and fully showcases a band unshackled from the past. There’s tracks here that will stun and surprise in their originality and there’s also the kind of full-throated attack established since Against announced the Derrick Green era all those years ago.
There’s some typical Sepultura style tribal drumming though right?
The opening of “Phantom Self” is pretty much the best you’re going to get on the ‘tribal’ rhythms….and it’s more Middle Eastern in flavour than anything else. “Resistant Parastites” throws in a few moments for good measure as well!
Can Derrick still deliver his expected unholy roar?
Of course, the iron lungs of Mr Green are as formidable as ever! Powerful but with clear enunciation.
Any 70’s style keyboards?
What! Well, now you ask, “Iceberg Dances” is as mad as the name implies and could well be the first true progressive metal track Sepultura have penned. No lyrics, schizophrenic time signatures, whip-crack rhythms and Jon Lord-esque keyboards abound. Bewilderingly brilliant and totally unexpected!
Any flamenco guitar?
Yep. See above!
Have Sepultura gone soft then?
Not a chance, this is Sepultura fired up but what’s stoking those flames seems to have taken on a different form. When we mentioned progressive metal earlier we meant it, tracks such as “Sworn Oath” are completely left-field (still metal, so don’t panic) and awash with references to the kind of epic grandeur conjured by Zeppelin and Purple in the 70’s.
So, they do still thrash the fuck out then?
One spin of the ultra thrashy and decidedly vicious “Silent Violence” and “Vandals Nest” should counteract any fear the ‘Seps’ have abandoned their roots (sic) entirely. Punishing modern thrash at its finest!
Sepultura are 30 years into a career that has seen two distinct paths forged but their relevance remains undiminished and Machine Messiah could go down as their bravest record yet. Anyone expecting a ‘playing it safe’ retread of past glories will be blown away by the sheer diversity displayed here. 8/10
Of course, none of the above is a substitute for listening to Machine Messiah yourself and forming your own damn opinion. This shit is subjective! Any other questions you require answering? Stick ’em in the comments below, we’ll have a crack at them….the more obscure the better!