Sepultura are one of the powerhouses of Metal and hopefully they won’t need an introduction. What the Brazilian masters have achieved for Metal can be felt across many bands. A lot has changed since 1984 and the band will release their 14th album January 13th, an album they were taking some careful consideration making since their last: ‘The Mediator Between Head and Hands must be the Heart’. A band to touch all reaches of extreme Metal with utter strength; ‘Machine Messiah’ could be a great way to start the year.
Starting with a title track, the guitar lead rings out over an atmosphere of darkness boasting some slow but well developed riffs. From here we plummet into a quick bash of Metal in ‘I am the Enemy’ a comparatively much shorter song. ‘Phantom Self’ actually has the makings of a very unique and groovey song, taking an interesting percussion and synth to underlay a strong beat. We come to a sudden silence and atmosphere takes over into something a little like a siren before steadily the powerful guitars are back to slowly get faster and faster with ‘Alethea’. ‘Iceberg Dances’ is a song that shows just how much they like to play around with riffs and wage war with each other in a fierce fire – it’s purely instrumental.
A brief gap to give a big thud into a more atmospheric build until we get some more groovy riffs with ‘Sworn Oath’ – a very catch song. A slow grind of a headbanger, ‘Resistant Parasites’ takes over. There are some hints in the vocals of Dez Farara of Devildriver/Coal Chamber throughout the album and this actually is matched in some of the riffs. ‘Silent Violence’ is a thundering roar back to some power as guitars and drums pick it up for a deep visceral tear. ‘Vandals Nest’ actually drops it down to something a bit more traditional and fast but ‘Cyber God’, in a slow creep up, takes over with strength. It offers a more dynamic range both in vocals and music as it takes a riff and applies more and more anger to it; making it one of the strongest tracks of the album.
Powerful throughout, ‘Machine Messiah’, offers why Sepultura have been such a strong band for so long. There are many tracks of pure, raw Metal but with an experimental edge, there is a lot more strength in songs like ‘Phantom Self’, ‘Iceberg Dances’ and ‘Cyber God’.