Review Summary: With songs all of the same color, "Chaos A.D." is about as boring as watching an educationl channel, except with a lot more yelling and noise.
There’s this state of mind that everyone reaches at some point or another which makes one feel as if they can lift a truck, kick Chuck Liddell’s as
s, or just accomplish anything. This feeling, often associated with an “adrenaline rush”, can be brought on by newly received praise, determination/motivation, and in many cases, music. Everyone has a handful of songs that they know that if they listen to, it’s go-time. For myself, it’s songs like “Walk” by Pantera
and “Angel of Death” by Slayer
, but I’m always out to look for more. So when I came across “Refuse/Resist” by Sepultura
, I felt my blood rising and I was ready to take on anything or anyone that came into my path. I immediately vowed to check out the rest of “Chaos A.D.
”, which was highly praised and described as the bands best work.
Unfortunately, this certainly did not meet the expectations I had, as well as the praise it has received over the years.
While it jumps right into the fire with the most aggressive, testosterone filled song on the album (“Refuse/Resist”), the rest of the album seems to falter. It comes off that they tried to land such a heavy blow in the first song (which they did), that they were out of breath for the rest of the album. Max’s vocals tend to blend in too much with the songs, more noticeably on “Biotech is Godzilla” and “The Hunt” (actually a cover), which leaves the songs to sound one dimensional. And Andreas lead guitar work…oh, forgive me, there is no lead on this album, not even close. Max is on the 4-string, and the two hardly differentiate from one another. Most of the riffs the two put out feel recycled, over-used, and under-written. I’ll give them credit for trying to experiment here and there, but the bland riffs they create on “Nomad” and “Amen” is enough to make ones ears bleed. However, when they up the tempo, the intensity that is then created seems to overshadow a good deal of laziness that was present on the other tracks, such as “Propaganda” and “Slave New World”. On “Kaiowas”, which is an acoustic-instrumental track, they incorporate a tribal/native influence (they’re from Brazil), and is a welcome change-up. But for the most part, every song on here sounds like the one before it, and the one after it, which isn’t a good thing.
While Max is certainly a suitable vocalist, he never really does anything unexpected on this album. His harsh growl/yell is usually horribly mixed into the instruments, which makes it even harder to make him out. And for the most part, he’s not really doing anything either. He sounds the same throughout the whole album, and after awhile, it might sound as if he just did one vocal track for the whole song. He does have his shining moments, however, more noticeably on “Refuse/Resist” and “Territory”, where his yell seems to be a bit more sharp and coherent. Listening to shrieked cries of “Destroy – Destroy ‘em all!
” on “Slave New World” will get your feet stomping, while his monotone voice repeating “We who are not as others!
” over and over on the track of the same name will leave you yawning. And on the topic (somewhat) of lyrics, the ones he spits out into the microphone are beyond laughable. On “Nomad”, Max proudly exclaims “Wanna choose the way they die. Look inside their minds
”, which could cause your IQ to drop a few points.
And to go with his sub-par vocal performance, Max and his buddy Andreas pretty much just “hang around”. There were so many times where a riff (Such as the main-riff found in “Nomad”) is just screaming to be enhanced upon. But did they do it? Nope. They just continued palm-muting and chopping the riffs in order to maintain that “Hardcore” influence. That being said, they do make some interesting ones every now and then, like the thrashing ones found on “Refuse/Resist” and the speed-based “Propaganda”. But just like most of the riffs, Andreas’ solo work is about as normal as they come. Most of them, such as on “Territory”, “Propaganda”, and “Clenched Fist” are just simple-minded, one-tracked, mindless wankery. There’s no attempt to even try and connect them with the song, which could irritate many listeners.
However, there are some redeeming points that shine through occasionally. “Refuse/Resist” is one of the most adrenaline-pumping songs I’ve ever encountered in my life, and “Slave New World” almost matches its intensity. And some of these songs aren’t unbearable, as “Territory” and “Propaganda” are still more than enjoyable (in small doses, at least). And Igor, the drummer, brings the most life to the party. He implements a lot of tribal drum-work throughout, mainly on tracks like the instrumental “Kaiowas” and the drum intro to “Refuse/Resist”.
I’m tempted to call this “overrated”, but I’m not a huge fan of the term. Is there some good stuff on here? Yes, but for the most part, this simply falls into the “yawn” category. All in all, “Chaos A.D.
” should only be picked up for two songs: “Refuse/Resist” and “Slave New World”. Other than that, there is nothing here that you can’t find from another band, who have probably done it better anyway.
Slave New World