Sepultura: 'Machine Messiah' - Album Review

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’.

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