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4.34 | 100 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1991

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Arise (3:18)
2. Dead Embryonic Cells (4:52)
3. Desperate Cry (6:41)
4. Murder (3:26)
5. Subtraction (4:48)
6. Altered State (6:33)
7. Under Siege (Regnum Irae) (4:53)
8. Meaningless Movements (4:40)
9. Infected Voice (3:19)
10. Orgasmatron * (4:15)
11. Intro * (1:32)
12. C.I.U. (Criminals in Uniform)* (4:17)
13. Desperate Cry * (Scott Burns Mix) (6:43)

* bonus track

Total Time: 52:20


- Max Cavalera / vocals, rhythm guitar
- Andreas Kisser / lead guitar
- Paulo Jr. / bass
- Igor Cavalera / drums

About this release

Release date: March 20, 1991
Label: Roadrunner Records

Remastered in 1997 with 4 bonus tracks.

Thanks to Stooge, Time Signature, Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Sepultura follow up the brilliant Beneath the Remains with another masterpiece of thrash metal. Many bands in their position would have been tempted to simply make "Beneath the Remains 2: This Time We Have a Major Studio Budget", but instead Sepultura slow things down a little, slip in a little groove here and there, and generally continue to refine and experiment with their sound, creating a companion piece which builds on the success of Beneath the Remains rather than meekly trying to replicate it. Slipping samples and world music influences atypical in metal at the time into the mix not only keeps things fresh but also gives Sepultura a legitimate claim to be one of the progenitors of 1990s alt-metal.
Before I start this review, I want to you take a good look at the cover art for Arise. Normally, I don’t put a lot of stock into the artwork of an album (after all, it’s the MUSIC that matters, right?), but just look at it. It’s freaking wonderful! Hell, I don’t even know what it is. I see a steaming brain in there. There are a couple of lobster claws, some tribal statue thingamajigs, and the massive eyeball in the middle, staring you right in the face. It’s like it’s saying, “I’m gonna kick your ass and there’s nothing you can do about it”. Oh, and it will. This cover art perfectly represents the Brazilian jungle-born chaos that is Arise.

Arise picks up where Beneath the Remains left off, and that’s RIFFAGE! Oh, early Sepultura riffs. How I love them. I love each and every one of them like they are my children…which, regrettably, is not the case. The title track is a Sepultura classic, as is Dead Embryonic Cells, with its amazing breakdown and traditional Kisser shredding. And the riff at 2:47? That’s just one of the many on this album that will be slaying pretty much everything. You don’t even have to headbang to this. The music will just pop out of your headphones and do it for you. Remember the eyeball…pure ass-kicking, my friends.

The album continues in this fashion for roughly 42 minutes (52 if you got the remastered version with bonus tracks); Subtraction? Yes. Altered State? Yes please. Infected Voice? YES YES OH MY GOD YES. Again, there really isn’t any filler here, with every track offering something special. The personnel deliver another great, cohesive performance; Max is Max, his growling vocals front and center, adding the dark and aggressive tinge that most thrash bands around this time period were lacking. Andreas Kisser’s solos are as wild and out of control as his leads are tasteful, once again forming the perfect combination with Max’s rhythm guitar. Igor’s drumming is, again, mind-blowingly precise, being the engine that powers this furious thrash attack. And Paulo, well…he’s audible this time. As a thrash bassist, you shouldn’t really expect much more than that.

About now, this might sound like a carbon copy of Beneath the Remains. This is not so. As much of a classic as Arise is, it’s also somewhat of a transition album for Sepultura, as several subtle yet noticeable changes creep into the Brazilians’ sound. First of all, Arise was recorded in the United States, and Roadrunner shelled out a considerable amount of dough to have this beast sound like it should. As awesome as Beneath the Remains was, it would be absolutely immortal if the guitars sounded like this. The riffs are meatier and just plain sound better. This brings me to my next point: the overall tempo on Arise is a bit slower compared to previous Sepultura efforts. They had begun incorporating more groove into their sound, and as a result, there are slightly fewer neckbreaking thrash riffs than before (although this is negligible). Industrial and tribal effects are also introduced for the first time, although they are mostly used as introductions in the tracks and are not a nuisance, like they become later on in Sepultura’s career. Basically, with the improved production and slight dash of groove and tribal elements, Arise takes the best of early Sepultura and mixes it with a safe dose of their later efforts. As such, it’s considered to be the peak of the band’s discography by many people, both accessible and METAL at the same time.

If you can, get your hands on the remastered version of Arise. Usually, the extra money spent for one extra track isn’t worth it, but here I believe it is. For one, the remaster makes the already excellent production sound even better, but it’s the Motorhead cover that’s the real catch. Sepultura have always done great covers regardless of what they were playing at the time, and Orgasmatron is probably the best example of that. It has become a staple in live Sepultura shows, as Max’s vocals and the guitar tone add the special touch that the original just didn’t have.

Arise is probably the last great Sepultura album (although you can make a case for Chaos A.D. if you’re fine with groove), and is one of the most influential albums in extreme metal, fueling the future of several subgenres while remaining fresh and innovative. While I think that the band held back too much in the speed department, this is still an essential piece of music for fans of thrash and death metal alike. It’s certainly the most “complete” Sepultura album, and is a timeless piece of history that every metalhead should own.
Before Max Cavalera was sending out a bunch of heavy alternative albums and Roadrunner decided that accessible straightforward metal was their main product, Sepultura released Arise. Still burning with the passion from the previous milestone release Beneath The Remains, Arise is a highly recommended and slightly groovy thrashfest nearly as good as it's predecessor.

Thrash fans should know what they are getting into. This is the stuff that influenced the heavier thrash bands from the nineties onward. However, as noted, the band has slowed down their insane speed metal a bit and thrown in a bit more groovy riffs. This creates a crunchy mixture of mosh-friendly speed with the occasional half-time riff or even (gasp) a breakdown.

Many should be familiar with the opening title track, which starts the album in the best way possible, with quick paced riffs and menacing vocals. The next two tracks are excellent as well. "Dead Embryonic Cells", while fast and heavy enough in its own right, brings in one of the first breakdowns in all of metal, setting the template and standard for bands to come. "Desperate Cry" is almost what one could call the most melodic track on the album, with some driving riffs and the most notable face-melting guitar solos on the album.

The rest of the album is not quite as consistent in quality, though still definitely a contributing factor to the album's classic status. Among the best are "Altered State" which give some somewhat experimental thrash riffs after a fiery tribal drum intro. Also notable is "Under Siege (Regnum Irae)" which, again, sets the bar for future thrash bands starting with slow grooving riffs and eventually exploding into a thrashfest.

Overall, this album is a must have for thrash fans, Sepultura fans, and those looking for some of the roots (no pun intended) of metal. Along with Beneath the Remains, Arise contains some of the earliest examples of elements that are standard in thrash today. While not always a consistent album, it's definitely worth having in your collection.
"Arise" was the first Sepultura album that was recorded in the USA and surprisingly certified gold for the very first time in Indonesia, thanks to the 25.000 pieces sold to the local thrash-freaks here. Taking off from their previous album, "Beneath The Remains", Sepultura explored further with samples, ethnic sound, and tribal drumming. Songs like "Arise", "Dead Embryonic Cells", and "Desperate Cry" are classics that have stand the test of time, but there are still a lot of other interesting tracks such as "Altered State" and "Under Siege" with explosive drummings and fierceful rhythm.

The remastered version included a Motorhead cover version and several unreleased tracks which is worth having for. In my opinion, the height of their success was on this album and no other newer releases could top it off. "Arise" was the album that epitomized Sepultura as the great contender to the Big Four and belongs to the list of "Album you should hear before you die".

Members reviews

As far as I’m concerned, this is Sepultura’s magnum opus. They still had the energy, aggression, and razor-sharp riffs, and here it met with fully competent musicianship and perfect production.

The album opens with what is probably Sepultura’s best song to date, with that unmistakably intense lick that sounds like it’s about to shred the strings right off the guitar. In an interesting move, Sepultura start and finish the album with the two fastest and shortest songs on it. Some of the tracks in between are much longer and quite a few almost delve into Groove Metal territory, hinting at their future. However, there is never a lack of riffs, and the rhythm section especially keeps the energy high and the pace interesting even when things slow down.

Sepultura kind of lost me after this album. Most people love Chaos A.D., but for me they lost their magic when they slowed down. This record and all preceding it are just so angry, so effectively evoking that manic rage. After they slowed down, they stopped conveying their core emotion so well. You can hear the rage in these riffs… that’s what is important. The music has feeling. Here, that feeling finally culminates into the album they’ve been trying to write for years, and it’s a masterpiece.

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