The first BIG metal release of 2017 comes from Sepultura. A band that still seem to polarize opinion within the metal community. Personally, I am a fan of the earlier stuff with Max, but I dig the more recent stuff a lot too. So, how does ‘Machine Messiah’ hold up?…
Things get off to a good start with the title track: a slow building, brooding track featuring some spoken word vocals from Green before the track explodes later on. I liked the idea of starting the album with this. It lulls you into a false sense of security for the blistering metal assault of ‘I Am The Enemy’ (track 2), which is a ferocious and punishing tune, clocking in at a little under two and a half minutes. This is a great track, hard-hitting, great vocals and pile-driving guitars. Track three is ‘Phantom Self’, a track that has been doing the rounds on YouTube and social media for a few weeks. It’s catchy as hell, great chorus, the perfect single and it’s pretty close to being the perfect metal track. So far, so good, right?!
‘Alethea’ starts off with a great drum pattern before Kisser’s guitar comes into a song that gets better with each listen. ‘Iceberg Dances’ explodes with a superb riff. In fact the guitar work in this song is immense as are the drums and bass but particularly the drums which really shine. Some great acoustic work here too. It’s an instrumental that doesn’t feel out-of-place and doesn’t halt momentum. ‘Sworn Oath’ and ‘Resistance Parasites’ are both strong tracks. ‘Sworn Oath’ starts out with a haunting guitar intro before finding its groove with a Chimera-style riff. Green sounds excellent on this track, it really sticks out for me, crushingly heavy and a good chorus. There is a lot of orchestration on this track as well, adding further depth to the Sepultura sound. ‘Resistance Parasites’ allows Paulo Jr to flex his muscles a little more. He runs riot on this track which also features some nice tribal drums fills as well as more orchestration. This track builds into a chaotic passage where all the instruments battle to be heard, great stuff! ‘Silent Violence’ is violent! A faster track with Green on top form and one of my favourite songs on the album. ‘Vandal’s Nest’ is like an uppercut that lifts you off your feet. A monster track that sounds like it would’ve come from ‘Beneath the Remains’ – fast, in your face, two and a half minutes in length, some clean vocals on this one, too, which is cool. Bang! thank you!
Final track ‘Cyber God’ is similar in a way to the opening track, in that it’s a slower, more brooding song. It is supremely heavy and features some great vocals again from Green. He really does seen to stretch himself on this final track with his voice. A great way to end the album.
My final verdict is that this is an excellent metal album. This Sepultura line-up has been together for a length of time now, they sound tight, focussed and full of energy and inspiration. ‘Machine Messiah’ is a must-buy!
Pick up a copy from here.