Saturday, August 15, 2009


Sepultura's "Beneath the Remains" (1989) and "Arise" (1991). Back in my teen years I was huge fan of thrash and death metal. Two of the bands from this genre that have really stuck with me over the years are Slayer and Sepultura. Sepultura may seem like they shouldn't be metioned in the same sentence with Slayer, but let me tell you they are just as good or better than than Slayer was in their prime. Sepultura on their first two releases "Beneath the Remains" and "Arise" crank out some seriously infectious, blistering, downright evil metal packed with anger, foreboding and apocalyptic lyrics, and plenty of addictive sinister grooves. Both of these albums I had on tape way back in the day. I lost all my tapes in a fire, and Sepultura fell by the way side. For some reason I never repurchased them. That is, until today. I just purchased them this morning. Both of these albums absolutely blew me away when I re-listened to them after almost fifteen years. They are more powerful today that they were back when they were first released, in my opinion.

Around the time my interest in really heavy metal was waining I began to get into Ministry. Their apocalyptic industrial thrash/metal in my opinion could not be beat. Well, let me tell you something. Sepultura's music from these first two releases is just as heavy and intense as anything Ministry has ever put out. Also they heavily draw on Slayer's best two releases "Reign In Blood" and "South of Heaven" without sounding derivative in any way. They crank out the high octane aggression that would make Al Jourgensen jealous and load it with the most evil riffs and grooves this side of hell.

Ok, let's get down to business here. 'Beneath the Remains" is Sepultura's first release from 1989. These guys were really young back then, most in their late teens. Man, is this a heavy album. Loaded with blinding tempos, speed and aggression that borders on hardcore, and always an ear for the apocalyptic, crushing riff. Nothing to complain about here. Vocalist Max Cavalera's Brazilian accent really comes through on here. In my opinion, one of the heaviest and enjoyable thrash/hardcore/death metal releases of all time.

Next there is what I consider to be Sepultura's masterpiece: 1991's "Arise". The perfect metal album. Just as heavy as "Beneath the Remains", but slowed down a little. The all mighty evil riff takes control here, but the aggression never lets up either. The songwriting has improved immensely, with complex texturing and dizzying winding riffs throughout. Everything on this CD flows seamlessly. The lyrics are very prophetic...they sound like something straight from a Ministry album.
If you're into metal, you need to pick up both of these. They are a must have for your collection. Here's "Inner Self" from "Beneath the Reamins" and "Dead Embryonic Cells" from "Arise".

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