SEPULTURA – Quadra

SEPULTURA certainly needs no introduction, but to this day, Max Cavalera-fanboys still slam this lineup as a “cover band” and continue to bash every album released after Roots.  While there were indeed a few lackluster albums after Max’s split, Machine Messiah showed some real potential for the band to finally crawl out of his shadow.  Quadra, however, finally allows this band to break free and show some real grit and passion that was previously missing.

After a melodic start that is somewhat reminiscent of “Inquisition Symphony,” upon the first few notes you quickly realize that Quadra is different from the other Derrick Green-fronted albums.  Could it be?  Some brutality?  Pissed off aggression?  “Isolation” immediately punches you in the face with catchy, thrashy riffs the band was once known for.

Right away it’s apparent that drummer Eloy Casagrande is allowed to breathe artistically and fully showcase his talents.  Casagrande is not confined as the last few albums he played on, and his freedom to go apeshit (pun intended) is finally unleashed.   Igor Cavalera’s style is captured with Casagrande on “Means to an End” and he pays homage quite well.

Last Time” provides the aggressiveness that was lacking in a lot of the recent albums, but the progression is quite clear with choirs, melodic solos, and all-around excellent songwriting.   Shockingly, you’re still taken aback at how much firepower is on this album as the band takes no prisoners with the aural assault.

A lot of throwback ideas are on display, such as the tribal Roots-era influences on tracks like “Capital Enslavement.”   The revitalization of the band is apparent and the refreshing thrash goodness is continued on “Ali.” 

Guardians of Earth” starts off with a well-placed acoustic guitar intro before leading into some choirs, killer solos by Andreas Kisser, before transitioning to the equally epic next track.  “The Pentagram” is a track that absolutely could have been released in the Arise-era with Igor Cavalera-drum worship, flawless ripping and shredding and more and more riffs!  The almost jam-like session has an abundance of brutal, almost death metal inspired riffs, and Quadra reaches its apex at this point. 

The album drops off a bit towards the end, but this effort is most definitely the best material since Roots.  Jens Bogren once again shines in the producer seat, as the guitar crunch and heaviness of the drums are mixed perfectly without being buried in the mix of the constant barrage of Green’s vocals.

While the days of an all out thrash attack like Beneath the Remains are gone, the band as a whole has, dare we say progressed, and ultimately delivered a crushing album that rivals the ones at the pinnacle of their career in the early and mid-90’s.

Who needs a SEPULTURA reunion with Max when this album crushes anything SOULFLY has done in recent years?  Huge respect goes out to Andreas, Derrick, Paulo, and Eloy, as Quadra has already set the precedence for album of the year. (Nuclear Blast Records)

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