Sepultura - Against

Before we start, this was one I bought ok! I know cos, well I remember handing over the money, and it comes in one of those pointless godforsaken “limited edition cardboard slipcases”. Like wow.

Well, I stated it when I reviewed the Soulfly album, so I’ll do it again now. Sepultura ain’t gods. Roots was overly long and boring. In my opinion of course. Soulfly followed the same route, though not quite to the same extreme. My opinion of course. So now it’s up to the new look Seps to see what they can do.

Well, popping the old CD in and seeing a play time of only 48 minutes was a good start. Maybe there’s not going to be so much wastage on here. And after first listen, that seems to be generally confirmed. But one listen isn’t enough to judge anything.

Things start off positively, with the opening trio of Against, Choke and Rumours. Against seems to marry a Motorheadesque riff with new bloke Green’s vocals. It’s short and viscious, and sounds less clinical and precise than some of the material that was on both Chaos AD and Roots. And it works. Choke is next up, seemingly a simple track lyrically, though the instrumental portions spread the track out. Something that seems to occur a lot throughout the album. Rumours though is the real eye-opener. It showcases Green Vs Kisser on the vocals, but then gets to the spoken, almost whispered section, and you realise it’s something you’d probably never have heard had the M reg Cavalera remained. It’s different, it’s good, and it defines the new Sepultura. For these ears, it also defines the new Sepultura as something to listen out for. A few magazines have marked out that Green’s contribution is, understandably, minimal on this album. But once he’s settled in, and the fans have had a chance to accustomise themselves to him, if this is an indication of the subtlety that he can bring the band, then it should be a good thing.

The first of the (in)famous tribal percussion elements the Seps have become famous for rears it’s head on Floaters In Mud before giving way to a ChaosAD like track, which again features some of the subtleties from Green. And the fucker had me thinking my CD player was shagged. Bastards.

Boycott on the chorus sounds like Roots, but musically in the verse it’s more spartan. Similar but different. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just like they would’ve produced if there’d been no change in personnel. And then would there be complaints? Tribus, well the name gives it away doesn’t it? Guess what style it takes. It rears it’s head again on Kamaitachi, which features those Japanese drummer people. I could tell you about how cool and tribal and authentic it sounds. But I don’t listen to that sort of stuff normally, so if I was to say that, well it would be an utter lie on my behalf just to make myself look cultured. It sounds ok, but that’s it. Ok. Common Bonds is new school Vs hard school, with the group vocals taking you totally by surprise first time round. Drowned Out sees Green take on his Lemmy side again vocally. Hatred Aside sees the band collaborating with Jason Newstead, who shares his best Sepultura like backing vocals to things, and features Kisser having a bit of a widdle on his ole fretboard at one point.

At the end of the day, you decide. It’s not old Sepultura with Max, cos OLD Sepultura was Beneath The Remains, and that sounded nothing like Roots. Some people seem to forget that, so before opining that it’s not the same without Max, remember that Sepultura with Max was not the same as when they started out. And if you were able to accustomise yourself to the change that occurred there, then there shouldn’t really be much of a problem adjusting to this. If you’re prepared to let yourself.