Just one spin of this album will reveal just how far the Brazilians have fallen over the years. I’ll admit to being more accepting of SEPULTURA’s latter day albums than most out there (hell, I even gave “Dante XXI” an 85% which, in hindsight, might have been pushing it a bit…), but there’s no denying that the meek and mild SEPULTURA of today is NO match for the crazed Thrash-tastic unit that recorded this album and others like “Beneath The Remains” and “Arise”.
To me this is the absolute pinnacle of SEPULTURA’s career. Yes, “Beneath…” was a bit more structured and “Arise” showcased more variety (while still retaining the requisite heaviness), but this one trumps them all in terms of sheer ferocity. If you want an unadulterated riff-fest then look no further than “Schizophrenia”. After the short instrumental intro that is kind of reminiscent of the Psycho score, the killer “From The Past Comes The Storms” kicks in and all hell breaks loose – a gazillion riffs, shredding vocals, subtle time changes, you name it, this one has it all in spades. “To The Wall” is slightly groovier (in a good way), while “Escape To The Void” is another speed monster. Man, Thrash reigns supreme on this motherfucker!!! Even the instrumental (“Inquisition Symphony”) is a real delight that shows that even in their young age this band already had a firm grasp on melodic dynamics.
I’m not even going to discuss the other songs – they are all killer in one way or another. But most of you should already know that. The production is a little on the thin side but it only serves to highlight the live energy of the songs even more. The band plays like their cab is waiting outside the studio with the meter running. Normally that would imply a rushed recording but not here – every note is delivered with sheer passion and fire.
My copy is the 1997 reissue with “The Past Reborns The Storms” (basically the demo version of “From The Past…” minus the class and correct grammar… but it sounds hella cool though!), as well as rough mixes (i.e. without vocals, bass, solos) of “Septic Schizo” and “To The Wall” as bonus tracks.
All fans of true Thrash should have this in their collection. It is a vital and truly inspired piece of work and its likes will never be seen (ehrm, heard) again. At least not from the current incarnation of this band.
(Online March 6, 2007)