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Sepultura – Machine Messiah Review

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!

Line Up:

Derrick Green | Lead Vocals
Andreas Kisser | Guitars
Paulo Jr. | Bass
Eloy Casagrande | Drums  

 

Tracklist:

1. Machine Messiah 5:54
2. I Am The Enemy 2:27
3. Phantom Self 5:30
4. Alethea 4:31
5. Iceberg Dances 4:41
6. Sworn Oath 6:09
7. Resistant Parasites 4:58
8. Silent Violence 3:46
9. Vandals Nest 2:47
10. Cyber God 5:22

 

Let’s face it, our present day relies on machines. The computers and cell phones we glare into space for hours on end are machines. Many lost the ability of social interaction, making simple meeting places such as coffee shops, music stores, and arcades, a memory of the past. Everything is turning into a controlled digital monopoly, pulling our human strings into a handful of directions that we end up having short attention spans or enter frustrated confusion. With that said, to me, this is what Sepultura’s Machine Messiah is all about. It has been roughly four years since these Brazilian metallers released The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart and it seems like they tightened things up with album number 14, Machine Messiah via Nuclear Blast.

The band phrased it as:
“The main inspiration around Machine Messiah is the robotization of our society nowadays. The concept of a God Machine who created humanity and now it seems that this cycle is closing itself, returning to the starting point. We came from machines and we are going back to where we came from. The messiah, when he returns, will be a robot, or an humanoid, our biomechanical savior.”

The album begins with the title track Machine Messiah, which happens to be my personal favorite song. The alluring opening sucks you into a dark abyss that sums up the album’s concept. While hearing it for the first time, you will think to yourself, “this album is going to kick ass.” It is not your typical Sepultura flavor, as it captures a melodic undertone, setting the landscape as though a person is searching through the turmoil that our current world is facing. Picking up the aggression we move back to Sepultura’s thrash/groove roots with “I Am The Enemy.” It is about not placing blame on your mistakes onto others; the straightforward statement of, “I am my own worst enemy.” I’m sure many of us have had moments of facing that it wasn’t someone else that caused certain issues, it was by our own choices and mistakes. The song builds this with killer riffs and would be a great song to mosh to if heard live.

“Phantom Self” introduces their Brazilian style with the addition of strings. I think this is their strongest track in terms of production and composition. The song discusses the transformation of oneself after experiencing a traumatic event. You hear this behind the following lyrics: “Lost! I’ve been looking for myself, it haunts me every day,” “Transform I’m someone else, must face my phantom self,” and “trapped inside this tragedy, can’t see the road in front of me.” Musically wise, there’s a heap amount of movements between the orchestrated sound mixing in with an intensified guitar solo. The tempo slows down with the groovier style of “Alethea” and the instrumental “Iceberg Dances,” completing the first half of the album. Both tracks represent experimentations of melodic trial and error, making the album stylistically unpredictable.

“Sworn Oath” kicks off the second half with a lengthy mystified introduction, building into a ruthless return of death metal. As the speed returned, “Resistant Parasites” comes in next with a traditional Sepultura sound. While the first half emphasized different techniques and arrangements, the second half executes traditional thrash and death metal grooves with “Silent Violence” and Vandals Next.” The album closes with an experimental jam of “Cyber God.” The song describes cyberbullying which you can depict in the lyrics with, “tried to make sense of what you’re saying. Meaningless lies with no emotion.” Is it a bold way to conclude an album? Not at all, however, it is a fun tune.

I was excited for Sepultura’s Machine Messiah, I think it is overall one of their stronger albums but a few songs didn’t fully standout as much as I hoped for. Is it worth adding to your musical collection? Definitely. It draws out what is happening in the world and modern society, bringing the mixed styles as examples for our contemporary attention deficiencies.

 

Written By,
Zenae Zukowski

Rating 8/10

 

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