Label: Nuclear Blast
J’s Verdict – ☆☆☆☆☆
Sepultura’s latest, QUADRA, is an absolute beast of an album – massive in sound, progressive, experimental, brutal and often emotional.
A concept album based on Quadrivium, the 12-track album was designed by the band to fit into four passages of three tracks, each with their own distinct sound and groove. The sound and groove being one from not only the past albums with vocalist Derrick Green but also from before. Think the tribal flourish of Roots and Chaos AD.
The opening track Isolation is an epic album opener, starting with a foreboding orchestral opening and leading into some crunchy thrash that see the band at their most technical. It’s hard hitting, it goes down like a fine drink, it’s brutal as hell.
From there on, the musical journey feels like a celebration of what Sepultura have done together as musicians. There’s brutal thrash, technical death metal, their refreshing tribal influences and then some surprising departures into new territory, musically and, in the case of Derrick Green, vocally.
Tracks like Guardians of Earth, Agony of Defeat or Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering caught me off guard. They’re heavy but surprisingly melodic, tender. Suddenly Derrick is doing something different vocally, this is another side of himself as a singer, the edge is there in his voice but faint. It feels like an evolution of what they were exploring in Ostia on DANTE XXI.
With this side of the concept, it’s welcomed surprise because there’s still that ferocity and crunch to this song but it’s a sign of a band stretching out and exploring and that’s exciting.
The overall production of this album is phenomenal and no member gets lost in the mix. From Eloy Casagrande’s hard hitting drumming and Paulo Jr.’s meaty bass to Andreas’ heavy, gargantuan riffs and Derrick’s guttural growls.
The end result of this album is the feeling that this is lightning in a bottle – a band at the top of their game, firing off on all cylinders in each of their own departments with high energy and purpose.