Sepultura - Quadra: Review
If there was ever any doubt about Sepultura's ability to still make concise and cutting metal then Quadra may just be the album that finally puts those feelings to rest. Many feel that the departure of Max Cavalera after 1996's Roots was the death knell for the band. Despite the murky reasons behind Max's decision to depart the band, Sepultura has proceeded on with numerous releases but none except maybe 2017's Machine Messiah have caused many waves and the once titanic band have found themselves slip further down festival listings and playing smaller shows or support slots.
All that could change this year though with the release of Quadra, the band's fifteenth studio album. Sepultura's sound has always been an evolutionary process, for their early days of death metal, to the tribal fury of the '90s to the more thrash based Derrick Green era. This record continues that evolution, with a crisp and fresh new tone and some extremely heavy tracks.
There is still some of the Brazil soul scattered throughout Quadra mixed in with some orchestral production but it's the metal that we should focus on. There isn't anything too complex at work here which is what makes this album work, it's a true return to form for Sepultura, just good old fashioned heavy fucking metal. Green's vocals sound top-notch and he drags us through each track, other than The Pentagram which is the album's only full length instrumental and to which feels a bit cut short. Just as the track begins to progress it fades out, a choice made in post-production for time I'm sure but it felt a little premature.
A true return to form for Sepultura, just good old fashioned heavy fucking metal
Isolation, the opening track hits hard after a synth and string-laden, evil sounding intro and is one of the records most impressive tracks, a nice way to open things up with some frantic thrash based guitar work on display before Eloy Casagrande's drum assault begins at lighting speed, this is exactly the way this album should have opened.
Means To An End follows the opener and keeps up the pace with yet more of the same and great call for 'Embrace all-out war' from Green. Guardians Of Earth is another highlight, with its drawn-out Spanish guitar intro that leads into a choir chorus that eventually gives way to the wall of sound that makes up the body of the song, a pure headbanging anthem.
Quadra is an incredibly solid record, a testament to Sepultura's legacy
Autem is another standout track, swirling builds, tempo shifts and full-throttle riffs combine to create one of the records brightest moments. Instrumental title track Quadra which is more of an interlude than anything else is only around forty-six seconds long and features towards the end of the record but none the less works well in its spot, helping to underpin the overall feel of the album with some more South American flair. Agony Of Defeat which immediately follows is a change of pace but retains the heaviness despite the slower tempo featuring a combination of guitar work and strings that compliment each other nicely.
Overall, Quadra is an incredibly solid record, a testament to Sepultura's legacy and talent as well as their continued evolution in the face of adversity. The shadows of the past are well and truly shred here and for the first time in a while, it feels like the band have really nailed down their sound making this release a standout amongst a large discography.