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4.38 | 96 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Beneath the Remains (5:13)
2. Inner Self (5:09)
3. Stronger Than Hate (5:51)
4. Mass Hypnosis (4:25)
5. Sarcastic Existence (4:45)
6. Slaves of Pain (4:03)
7. Lobotomy (4:58)
8. Hungry (4:29)
9. Primitive Future (3:09)
10. A Hora e a Vez do Cabelo Nascer * (2:23)
11. Inner Self * (Drum tracks) (5:11)
12. Mass Hypnosis * (Drum tracks) (4:22)

* bonus track

Total Time: 54:12


- Max Cavalera / Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
- Andreas Kisser / Lead Guitar
- Paulo Jr. / Bass
- Igor Cavalera / Drums

About this release

Release date: April 7, 1989
Label: Roadracer Records

Recorded at Nas Nuvens Studio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 15 - 28 December 1988
Produced by Sepultura and Scott Burns
Executive producer: Monte Conner
Engineered by Scott Burns
Assistant engineer: Antoine Midani
Mixed by Scott Burns, Tom Morris and Max Cavalera at Morrisound Recording, Tampa, FL
Mastered by Mike Fuller at Fullersound, Miami, FL

All songs written by Sepultura
All lyrics written by Max Cavalera and Andreas Kisser except "Stronger Than Hate" by Kelly Shaefer
Synthesizers by Henrique

A video was made for "Inner Self".

Cover artwork painting by Michael Whelan.

Remastered version contains bonus tracks:
10. A Hora E A Vez Do Cabelo Nascer (Mutantes Cover) (02:21)
11. Inner Self (Drum Track) (05:10)
12. Mass Hypnosis (Drum Track) (04:22)

Background vocals on "Stronger Than Hate" by Kelly Shaefer (Atheist), John Tardy (Obituary), Scott Latour and Francis Howard (Death/Thrash band Incubus).

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR, diamondblack, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Beneath the Remains" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Brazilian thrash metal act Sepultura. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 1989. Sepultura was formed in 1984 and released an early death/thrash hybrid in "Morbid Visions (1986)" and followed it up by the more purely thrash metal oriented "Schizophrenia" from 1987. By that time very few outside Brazil had heard of Sepultura, but that would radically change when they were picked up by Roadrunner Records, who gave "Beneath the Remains" a worldwide release. An almost instant hit among thrash/death metal fans the world over, "Beneath the Remains" to this day remains one of the seminal thrash metal albums in the brutal end of the scale.

Stylistically the music is aggressive and energetic thrash metal with the raw barking vocals of Max Cavalera in front. While the music is thrash metal to the bone, Sepultura was often associated with the early 90s death metal scene, and there are indeed some death metal traits to be found on "Beneath the Remains". The death metal influence is predominantly a result of the Morrisound Recording sound production courtesy of Sepultura and Scott Burns. "Beneath the Remains" was recorded in Nas Nuvens Studio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in December 1988, but mixed at Morrisound Recording, Tampa, Florida. It´s one of the first thrash metal releases to be graced by such a meaty, brutal, and heavy sound production, and the sound made the album stand out upon release.

Of course that wouldn´t have been enough, if the songwriting didn´t follow suit. But the material on "Beneath the Remains" is generally very well written and memorable. Personally I´ve always felt that the first part of the album is slightly more memorable than the second part of the album, and especially tracks like "Inner Self", "Stronger Than Hate", "Mass Hypnosis", and the title track stand out. The quality and catchiness of the remaining tracks are really high too though. The greatest asset regarding the material is probably that it has a unique sound. Many artists can play and write moderately interesting material, but Sepultura wrote material for "Beneath the Remains", which sounds original. You know almost instantly that it´s them playing when you hear the music.

In addition to the fast-paced thrash metal riffing, and the mid-paced heavy grooves, the music also features a couple of atmospheric parts, and some blistering solo work. The latter is both fast-paced screaming chromatic solos and more melodic themes and solos. The musicianship is strong and although Max Cavalera is a pretty one-dimensional vocalist with greatly accented vocals, his voice and phrasing still suits the music well.

So upon conclusion "Beneath the Remains" is arguably what you´d call a thrash metal "classic". It´s not that there aren´t artists out there who hadn´t released more ferocious material before this album was released (Slayer, Possessed, Kreator/Sodom/Destruction, and Dark Angel, just to mention a few), but Sepultura still managed to put a more brutal twist on thrash metal that helped build a bridge to death metal without being death metal, and that was something pretty new at the time. At least in the perfected form as it´s heard on "Beneath the Remains". A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.
Vim Fuego
1989 was a landmark year for thrash metal. A generation of Metalli–clones was dominating the scene, and death metal was just starting to rear its pustulant head. Thrash was on the verge of being written off. Suddenly, a typhoon of immense proportions swept out of the overcrowded slums of Brazil. The impact "Beneath The Remains" made on the metal world is near on impossible to comprehend now, but it was like a force 12 hurricane on the Beaufort scale, a magnitude 10 earthquake on the Richter scale, a huge asteroid crashing into the Earth. OK, so it was only one album, and there were probably about five billion people in the world who had never heard of Sepultura, but in terms of metal, it was really big!

It may seem hard to believe, but this one album revitalised faith in thrash to still deliver killer albums. Harnessing the power of Slayer, the muscle of Metallica at their peak, the aggression of hardcore, and touches of many other influences from Black Sabbath to Celtic Frost to Dead Kennedys, Sepultura seemed to have hit upon the perfect recipe to take metal into the 1990s.

All still in their teens when the album was recorded, it was amazing to hear such maturity from such an unexpected source. Brazil had produced a grand total of zero metal bands of international note before Sepultura. While English was only a second language to a young Max Cavalera, he showed excellent mastery of dark themes, while keeping things relatively simple and to the point. The lyric sheet is not really good reading if you're looking for something to cheer you up. His rhythm guitar playing is also outstanding. Andreas Kisser's leads were original for a time when lead guitar players were either ripping off Kerry King or Kirk Hammett. Igor Cavalera's drumming is incredibly accurate and aggressive. Paolo's bass is not really audible for much of the album, but it provides a rock solid sub–sonic foundation for the whirlwind of noise created above.

Slipping on this album is like meeting an old friend after spending months surrounded by assholes you can't stand. Every track has its distinctive familiar character, instantly recognisable when you hear it. The acoustic introduction to the title track, the solos on "Sarcastic Existence", the opening riff on "Slaves Of Pain", Max shouting "Mass Hypnosis". All provide metallic nirvana, a veritable musical orgasm, a feast of sonic pleasure.

Yep, when the rest of the world has gone to shit, "Beneath The Remains" is still there, like a thrash metal security blanket.
On Beneath the Remains, Sepultura launch a devastating barrage from the extreme end of the 80s thrash metal spectrum, comparing favourably on the brutality scale to classic-era Slayer and at points approaching the proto-death metal territory of early Celtic Frost. They even have a delightfully pretty little introduction to the title track which proves that they can pull off the whole "tranquil opener to a crushingly heavy track" just as well as Master of Puppets-era Metallica could. Bringing this combination of musicianship, compositional excellence, and crushing heaviness to bear, the album bellows defiance at anyone who dares doubt that Sepultura deserve a place in the thrash metal hall of fame.
The Angry Scotsman
With this album Sepultura completed their journey from obscure Brazilians knocking off Venom to top of the metal world.

And rightfully so. This is a superb album and one of the gems of thrash metal. It has it all. Speed, technicality, intensity, great riffing, awesome solos, (and not all are entirely shred!) and a greatly improved production. Max's vocals are better as well, his signature howl has been perfected now.

The music is more than awesome and thrashy, it is also superbly composed. This is an amazingly well constructed album. There is no bad song, and there are no weak sections. Never does the album really drag or become stale, no points do you wish it would end or contemplate hitting next. Each section lasts just the right amount of time and each song flows well. There is great variation in every song, with some slower chuggy sections, some flat out pedal to the metal chops, you get a breather at the right time and are thrown around the room at the right time as well. Also, they mix it it up well with no song being too predictable, (at least as much as you can do with thrash) and a few surprising moments will keep you on your toes.

Kisser's guitar work and solos are amazing, and this album is really pushed by Igor's drumming. The album showcases his now famous blast beat thrash style. Thrown in as well are a good amount of double bass, but not too much thankfully (the walls of double bass get a bit dull and take away some of the intensity) and some bits of more tasteful and "feel" drumming. His drumming is intense, there is no other to put it.

A truly excellent album, crammed from start to finish with mindblowing riffs, no frills drumming, raw intensity, great solos and Max's unique vocals. More importantly, it's a perfectly constructed album with well composed songs. Suppose the only possible knock one could give is there are no real standout songs. Really though, there is nothing one can gripe about this.

Masterpiece Five Stars
Sepultura’s third official release, and final LP recorded in their native country of Brazil, is hands down one of the finest pieces of thrash metal ever made. For a band that would evolve much over their storied career, Beneath the Remains represents the thrash peak of Sepultura, as well as most of the 80’s in general.

First, let’s talk about the riffs. This album is chock full of them. Yeah, it’s thrash metal, so there should be lots of good riffs-but allow me to elaborate. If the riffs on Beneath the Remains represented units of food, say, pizzas or double decker sandwiches, then the entire country of China would go hungerless for two weeks. Or, if each of these riffs were American quarters, my financial worries would be over, since I own this album. Get the picture? Bottom line, these riffs absolutely slay, and if you’re a fan of good thrash riffs (who isn’t?), then stop reading this review and go buy this album right now. DO IT!

Ah, now on to the drumming. The Igor Cavalera that played drums on Sepultura’s earlier releases is gone and has been replaced by a robot on this album. I’m exaggerating of course, but Igor’s technique has improved so much since Morbid Visions, you might think that Sepultura went out and just got a new drummer. His style is relentless, full of energy, and punishing, not to mention executed with perfection. The drumming here complements the riff assault perfectly; you really couldn’t have asked for a better performance than this.

Working with producer Scott Burns on Beneath the Remains benefited Sepultura greatly. While I have a soft spot for the raw, 5 cent production job on Schizophrenia, the instruments are done more justice here. The production is clear as a bell; the guitars are sharp but not suffocating, and the drums no longer sound as if they are being hit with golf clubs. Max’s vocals are actually somewhat understandable this time around, and are more growl-oriented as opposed to shouts hidden behind the guitars. If I had to nitpick, I’d say that the only beef I have with the production is that the guitar tone is too thin. However, this would be fixed on Sepultura’s next album, and like I said, the production here is such a big improvement that the few flaws can be overlooked.

The overall sound on this album is aggressive and angry. Make no mistake about it, “goofy” thrash this is not. If you’re looking for friendly thrash, then go elsewhere. The harsh vocals, punishing drums, and dark lyrics all contribute to the death/thrash orientation of this album. Sepultura is one of the innovators of this style, and this album is the reason that no band does it better than they do.

Beneath the Remains is everything you could want in a thrash metal album. It is a flat out masterpiece; there’s no other way of putting it. Not many thrash metal albums are timeless, but I feel that this is one of the few that will always be looked upon as a classic. 5 stars

Members reviews

Sepultura was already delivering top tier riffs on their sophomore Schizophrenia, but unfortunately that album was plagued by awful production. Max’s English wasn’t great either, resulting in some awkward delivery in some places. Here, Sepultura finally get to solid ground and bring all of the strengths they already had to a more professional release. The production here isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s leagues better than what they were working with before. The monstrous riffs are back, but the rhythm section opts to change things up here and there. Instead of nonstop Thrash beats, there are slower and more technical moments, hints of their future Groove sound, yet they never steep into boring or repetitive territory.

Beneath the Remains doesn’t sound too different from other Death tinged Thrash of the late 80’s, but Sepultura start to add a political, conscious message here that sets them apart from the Satanic imagery of other bands. Max finally gets his voice down and writes some good lyrics here. A prime example of the heavier end of Thrash, and one of the finest albums released at the end of the decade.

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