SEPULTURA — Chaos A.D. (review)

SEPULTURA — Chaos A.D. album cover Album · 1993 · Groove Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
The Angry Scotsman
Sepultura have great timing.

They manage to jump onto new genre's just early enough to become important figures, (if not pioneers) of it. They did this with death and thrash metal, and with this album they did it yet again. This time they crafted one of the pioneering "groove metal" albums. By this point they were already huge in the metal world, (and as we know their most popular album was still yet to come, soon to jump on the burgeoning alternative metal scene).

With fame what did they do? Mix it up. "Chaos A.D." abandons much of the thrash metal flavor. This is a largely mid tempo album, (with traces of thrash) and emphasis placed on groove rather than technicality in the riffing. The groove element is pushed by the drumming. These are all staples of the groove metal scene. Also, the guitar solos on the album are much more melodic and unusual then their previous shred style.

This album is also when Sepultura, ironically, started to forge their own identity. Their Brazilian heritage was influential on the album, evident in Igor's more tribal drumming style, the very awesome and intriguing "Kaiowas" and more politically charged lyrics, as well as some that hit close to the band personally.

"Refuse/Resist" deals with protest, "Territory" about war over land, "Slave New World" is a bellowing cry against censorship, and also seems to imply Brazil's slave heritage. "Nomad" deals with tribes being forced from their homelands, while "Biotech is Godzilla" deals with biotechnology being used to test diseases on native people, and that the technology is in the wrong hands, (evil money hungry corporations naturally!).

So, the band was striving to be a little more personal. Besides lyrically, they tried to incorporate this in the music as well. Igor's drumming, which is quite fantastic, is a little more "groovy" and tribal influenced and really drives the album. There is some punk influence, (not to mention "The Hunt" a punk cover) to convey the bands energy.

One of the best, and most intriguing songs on the album, is "Kaiowas" an entirely acoustic song, with Igor and Paulo playing percussion. A very awesome song.

Other standouts are "Refuse/Resist", "Territory", "Biotech is Godzilla" which is also the album's most intense song, "Manifest" and "We Who Are Not As Others" which has just slight traces of acoustic guitar in there. However, the rest of the album is a bit dull.

Overall, this is a groove metal album. Mid tempo, groovy riffing and powerful drumming. There is not much thrash, less "metal" solos and a bit of experimentation. Think of this as less intense Pantera. A lot of it awesome, but a good amount drags.

Uninspired? Didn't quite pull "it" together? A bit of both? Regardless, this is a good album, but not a great one. Kudos to Sepultura for wanting to create something distinctly theirs, and get in touch with their roots, but musically this album is just nothing spectacular, overall. Good album, but not great.

Three Stars
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