To say that “Chaos A.D.” was a shock to hear when it came out is understating the reaction it brought out of fans. Taking one of the most drastic and unusual twists of experimentation in the band’s career, “Chaos A.D.” resembles very little anything the band has previously done. Moving away from their Thrash Metal sound on the previous few albums, SEPULTURA turn the tables quite a bit by simplifying a lot of their music on this album and focusing instead on rhythm and groove. And as much as I love their earlier work, this album still works on almost every level, which is a clue into the talent that this band has.
“Chaos A.D.” is full of little experimental elements and new song structures and writing. Focused, driven, and sucker punch are all ways to describe this new approach as the band pulls back from the aggressiveness and chaotic nature of their earlier work. Taking lots of hints from the upcoming Post Thrash movement (or Groove Metal to some) that was happening in the United States, “Chaos A.D.” has lots of moments to love on it without losing the energy from some of their earlier work.
Simplified guitar riffs that make use of ‘space’ in interesting ways and interesting drum work center the core of this album. Leads and solos are sparse and used only when the song calls for them and the bass work had become quite a prominent force. Not to mention that Max Cavalera has begun to use his vocal work in new ways, creating new groove with how he spaces his wording and using a distortion on his vocals to counterbalance his barking style that he is uses more often.
“Chaos A.D.” is still a great album with lots of unusual and interesting ideas in it. There are some classic tracks with anthem style tempos and focuses like “Refuse/Resist” and “Nomad”. And the punk style of “Biotech Is Godzilla” may seem a tad out of place on the album but it does break up that mid tempo groove the band gets into. The album is almost nothing like any thing the band has done before, so beware of that when going into it. It’s a unique offering and the band’s talent makes this album a great purchase. It’s a big change for the band but it does pay off in the end.
Songs to check out: “Refuse/Resist”, “Nomad”, “Territory”.
(Online November 5, 2008)