There is something for even the most casual Sepultura fan on new album Machine Messiah, but it is far from a fan pandering checklist. I should say, there is something
for anyone who can deal with no Cavalera brothers. At this point, if you can’t get on board anything the band has done 8 albums post-Roots (and 9 if you count the super dope collab with Les Tambours Du Bronx), you are deaf, a poseur or
grandstanding. This record matches and surpasses several of their former greatest triumphs.
A lot of people think Dante XXI is the best Derrick Green-era Sep record, though I am actually VERY partial to the incredibly underrated Against record (I like it better
than Roots, honestly), his near twenty years old debut with the group. Under immense pressure, Green delivered on all fronts with one of the most intense (ie. “Choke”,
“Boycott”) and consistently confident cases of picking up a torch and saving a group since Dio joined Sabbath. The difference being that Green stuck around for 7
records since and has never gotten enough respect. Frankly, he is one of the best screamers and frontmen in metal by far. I honestly think Roorback and Nation would be looked at more fondly by some too cool for non-early days types if the band had simply used different, more old school logo fonts on the album art.
Now, I am torn between Against and this new absolute monster of an album as to which is my favorite Derrick record (in case you are wondering, Beneath The Remains is my favorite Max one at the moment).
I just watched the excellent Jodie Foster directed Money Monster on cable,starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The plight of common people in the face of
manipulatable markets and cloaks of secrecy and corruption from trusted institutions rings especially strong with Trump’s Goldman stacked cabinet facing us. Sepultura
have tackled some big populist issues during the Green-era, from the themes of vital decisions in life putting you at a crossroads that made up Kairos to the Clockwork
Orange/brainwashing themes of the triumph A-Lex to the urban dystopia Metropolis referencing The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart. The band even tackled a cover of Bad Brains “Gene Machine/Don’t Bother Me” once, perhaps the best parallel to the themes of Machine Messiah, where technology has become near predatory.
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Eloy Casagrande on drums really comes into his own as a next level player on Machine Messiah and negates any shrugs of indifference, as much as I loved Igor and also
Jean. The whole band put in some incredible performances that will blow many people away, but in particular this is a tremendous album for Andreas Kisser. You will not believe some of the stuff the guitarist managed to capture in his takes.
The title track will be a great and big live anthem for bigger rooms, whereas “I Am The Enemy” appeases fans of the fast but chunky moments of Nation or the epic OG
“Polícia” Titãs cover on Blood Rooted. Green’s cry of “You Are Human”!!! rings strong in this time of continued dismissal by the GOP as protests have erupted
everywhere and refugees are now being denied the promise of the Statue Of Liberty. Shit, the GOP want to make people have to pay police for protest costs, which is vile and another reason Tom from Slayer sadly saying people should accept Trump is the President is totally out of touch’Iceberg Dances’ is an epic and jaw dropping instrumental that will raise the
eyebrows of some Soulfly/Rizzo fans, but it feels less like a competition with Cavalera’s projects than Sep just buggin’ out. “Vandals Nest” is almost the “Dyer’s Eve”
of this record, an incredibly fast song by even classic Arise standards.
My only complaint with this record is I thought “Cyber God” was gonna be a Nausea cover!
Some of the biggest thrills come from the back to back “Sworn Oath” and “Resistant Parasites”, which have moments to arm wrestle the heaviest mid tempo classic stomp
parts of Chaos A.D.’s era plus some insane stuff that you might expect on a grandiose Septicflesh record. I don’t even want to spoil how epic it gets. Green also nails
one section particularly hard with a rapid fire cadence sure to be a fan favorite live moment to scream along with (the “Get Out! Fuck Off!” section). Hot damn!
While newer bands like Power Trip and Iron Reagan (who have the other best two thrash records of the early year due), reference the past while rejuvenating the scene
with younger blood it might be said that Sepultura carry the past and look back to it but are not allowing anyone to trap them in it. Machine Messiah honors their
legacy proudly while also completely showing they can tangle with any comers in 2017.
Perhaps my all time favorite thrash band feel pretty invincible again on this record.