February 3, 2020 Sepultura – Quadra (Album Review)
The Brazilian Groove/Thrash Metal masters known as Sepultura have sold over three million albums in the U.S. alone and more than twenty million albums across the globe all with no radio play and a rabid cult following. For the better part of thirty-five years, Sepultura has taken their rattling concoction of Heavy Metal dominance to the highest level under the musical influence of their own heroes, a list which includes everyone from KISS to Slayer to Black Flag. On the other side, Sepultura’s influence on Heavy Metal has inspired many current acts like Slipknot, Code Orange, and Hatebreed.
Feeding Hungry Metal fans more, Sepultura are thrilled to announce the release of their fifteenth studio album, Quadra, dropping on Friday, February 7th, 2020 thanks to Nuclear Blast Records. Needless to say, Sepultura are one band who has stood the test of time. At their core, a great pack of wolves make up this Brazilian powerhouse. On vocals since 1998, Derrick Green is a tremendous frontman whose pipes play well alongside the cunning riffs of Guitarist Andreas Kisser, the head pounding bass of Paulo Jr., and the massive percussion of Eloy Casagrande on drums.
Produced by Jens Bogren (Arch Enemy, Devin Townsend), Quadra follows up Sepultura’s 2017 release Machine Messiah. An intriguing back story, Quadra is a conceptual release all about the symbolism of the world in which we live. To give Sepultura’s take on the psychology of Quadra, Kisser explains: “Quadra, among other meanings, is the Portuguese word for ‘sport court,’ that by definition is a ‘limited area of land, with regulatory demarcations, where according to a set of rules the game takes place.’ We all come from different Quadras. The countries, all nations with their borders and traditions; culture, religions, laws, education and a set of rules where life takes place. Our personalities, what we believe, how we live, how we build societies and relationships, all depends on these set of rules that we grew up with. Concepts of creation, gods, death and ethics. Money, we are enslaved by this concept. Who’s poor and who’s rich, that’s how we measure people and material goods. Regardless of your Quadra you need money to survive, the prime rule to play this game called life.“
In short order, Sepultura launch Quadra with the debut single “Isolation.” Not holding back, this track of insane speed is a tale of the darker side of the American prison system. Self-descriptive, the second track uses Metal as a “Means To An End” followed up by the nuclear assault of “Last Time” dishing out the explosive gift of finality. Out of the jungle, the tribal introduction of “Capital Enlistment” is a nice start to a Groove Metal bashing of classic riffs and then “Ali” comes after you with rattling redemption.
A stand out, listeners will love the passion behind “Raging Void” and the itch to crack the outer shell that leads to finding a meaningful purpose and self-acceptance. Pious yet unholy, the story telling by “Guardians Of Earth” gives the portrayal of things breaking down and the beginning of war based on the album concept. An instrumental, “The Pentagram” is a happy little Thrash number of the highest caliber which should please fans of classic Metal. Moving forward, Quadra continues to impress with the destructive “Autem,” the Spanish Guitar interlude “Quadra,” and the divinely heavy “Agony Of Defeat.” Closing out Quadra, the dim atmosphere behind “Fear;Pain;Chaos;Suffering” brings cataclysmic terror to this fictional Quadra.
Though dark, Sepultura’s latest offering of Quadra is a fun album to listen to as the bleak story paired with blistering winds of guitar, raucous vocals, and hammering rhythms really lend to the imaginative quality of the new material. Starting off 2020 in a big way, Sepultura have yet again released an arresting Heavy Metal album for fans to sink their teeth into. A hot new release, Cryptic Rock awards Quadra 5 out of 5 stars.
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