SEPULTURA — Arise (review)

SEPULTURA — Arise album cover Album · 1991 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
"Arise" is the 4th full-length studio album by Brazilian thrash metal act Sepultura. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in March 1991. It´s the successor to the band´s breakthrough album "Beneath the Remains" from 1989. Like the predecessor "Arise" was produced by Scott Burns (who is also credited with engineering and lyrical assistance and translation). This time Sepultura travelled to Florida to record at Morrisound Recording though (they recorded "Beneath the Remains (1989)" in their native Brazil) and with a much larger production budget the band had more time and better opportunities to get the sound they wanted.

Stylistically the music on "Arise" continues the aggressive death/thrash sound of "Beneath the Remains (1989)", but the pace is generally lower (although there are still several fast-paced tracks featured on the album) and there is greater rhythmic variation compared to the predecessor. There are also a few nods toward industrial metal and to native brazilian music/latin percussion on the album, but those elements are very few and don´t really affect the overall sound of the music that much.

"Arise" features a heavy sounding production, which is both raw but also detailed, perfectly balancing death metal brutality and sharper more aggressive thrash metal aestethics. The band have honed their playing skills touring in support of "Beneath the Remains (1989)" and it´s audible they´ve been very conscious about what works and what doesn´t. Andreas Kisser was always a well playing lead guitarist, but his solos are just a notch better here than on the preceding releases, the rhythm section of drummer Igor Cavalera and bassist Paulo Jr. are now locked in their grooves and in perfect symbiosos, while lead vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera delivers sharp heavy riffs and convincing raw barking vocals. This is a band at the top of their game.

The songwriting on the 9 track, 42:26 minutes long album is also of high quality and "Arise" is through and through a strong release. Some highlights include the ultra fast-paced opening title track, "Dead Embryonic Cells", and "Altered State", but there´s not a single sub par track featured on the album. Continuing the trend from "Beneath the Remains (1989)" the lyrics on "Arise" deal with world issues like corruption, hunger, war, and pollution, providing the album with an angry and despair laden atmosphere but also an international touch reaching far outside their native Brazil. These are issues which concern every human being on the earth, and shouted to the world in a relatively simple (easy to understand) aggressive manner by Max Cavalera, Sepultura become an effective vessel for conveying the frustration and despair of regular men/women. I think that´s one of the many reasons why "Arise" appeal to so many people. There´s a sincerity here that not all artists possess.

So upon conclusion "Arise" is a gem of an album and a high quality release on all possible parameters. For fans of brutal thrash which is both raw and powerful but also clever and very well composed this is mandatory listening material. A classic in the genre and a unique listening experience from a distinct sounding band. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.
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Tupan wrote:
61 days ago
I love this album too, it's an undisputed classic!
Vim Fuego wrote:
61 days ago
This is a thrash classic, but I never warmed to it quite the same as the previous two. It's a bit too shiny and clean I think.


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