Review Summary: Sepultura in their prime.
Sepultura went through some changes across the years. They began with their debut Morbid Visions
playing a combination of death metal and thrash metal and continued with that sound up until their fourth album, Arise
. Instead of staying in their comfort zone, they decided to experiment with groove metal - a much slower paced, heavier subgenre of metal. Most of their fans were severely disappointed in this change since they executed their style of death and thrash metal perfectly. Unfortunately, it seems that the glory days of Sepultura are no more, but at least we can enjoy their early albums - one of which being Schizophrenia
is much more polished than their debut album both production wise and songwriting wise. Well, all I’ve heard was the re-mastered version so I can’t comment on the production of the original, but the re-master maintains a very raw sound and the riffs are fairly clear. As for the songwriting, it’s a definite step up. Morbid Visions
had a very unpolished and dark tone which is still present in Schizophrenia
, except Sepultura added a layer of depth to it. Songs like “Inquisition Symphony” and “The Abyss” show that Sepultura doesn’t want to be thrown into the ‘generic thrash’ group. “Inquisition Symphony” begins with an ominous atmospheric sound before adding in an acoustic guitar. This sets a dark tone for the rest of the song and also leaves you into a false sense of security until the thrashing begins. “The Abyss” essentially is nothing more than an intro to the album closer, but again it shows that Sepultura isn’t just a one-trick-pony; they’re perfectly capable of adding depth to their music.
As for the actual players, they’re all very capable musicians. Vocalist Max Cavalera has a very deep and haunting voice - a healthy combination of death growls and thrash yells. Lead guitarist Andreas Kisser provides some headbang worthy riffs to the table and some blistering solos for icing on the cake. He also came up with some surprisingly melodic thrash metal riffs which aren’t really found on Morbid Visions
. The bass work is decent, but then again it is
thrash metal. The bass is pretty much there to support the guitars and hold the band together. Last but not least, the drums. Igor Cavalera throws down some ferocious thrash beats and nice fills here and there. Thrash drumming is pretty standard, but Igor performs it extremely well.
Now for the final verdict: how does this album hold up to their highly-praised Beneath the Remains
? To be honest, I think this album is better all-around. No track is substantially worse than another making it a stable album. The thing that makes Beneath the Remains
a better listen, however, is the fact that a few songs on that album can be called classics. “Beneath the Remains”, “Inner Self”, and “Stronger Than Hate” are superb thrash metal songs, whereas songs like “Lobotomy” and “Hungry” are pretty much worse than every track on this
album. Still, this is Sepultura at their prime, and Schizophrenia
is a very enjoyable listen if you’re looking for some good ol’ thrash.
- Inquisition Symphony
- To the Wall
- R.I.P. (Rest in Pain)
- From Past Comes the Storms