Review Summary: : A full power thrash metal album that induces head-banging from start to finish
Sepultura’s 5th official release is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments that the band has achieved since their debut release in 1984. The pure force on this album is enthralling as it is frightening and blasting this album full power is the only volume acceptable for such a release. The Brazilian thrash legends are at the top of their game here, continuing from the success garnered by their previous releases, the follow up to "Beneath the Remains" is perfectly suited for the task. The epitome of Sepultura’s career occurred during these releases and perhaps peaked here at "Arise".
What makes this album such an important milestone in the Sepultura discography? Well, for starters, the instrumental aspect of this album is undeniably exceptional. The guitars push this album full throttle, giving each and every track the ability to crush a listener’s skull under the right circumstances. This is expected from a Sepultura album, but on this disc they take it to a whole new level of intricacy and strength which definitely makes this album stand out from the rest. On tracks such as ‘Desperate Cry’, for the most part the song follows the fast paced full force attack that Sepultura are known for, but the breakdown in the middle becomes an electric guitar tournament, with tone changing from full throttle excitement to more of a melodic and higher pitched riffing. Having two guitarists certainly doubles the excitement felt on tracks like ‘Dead Embryonic Cells’. ‘Subtraction’ also features some of the best riffs on the album, even if they don’t last as long as would be desirable.
The drumming on this album also lives up to the grandeur of the guitars. Each and every percussive note is easily audible through the guitars due to its incredible bass heavy atmosphere. It’s clear that the drums are also a driving force on this album. And speaking of bass, Paulo Jr. proves that when a backbone is needed to keep a song strong, the bass guitar is always there. The deep strum from Paulo’s bass is never far away and gives an unsettling atmosphere to the entire album. There are also some electronic sound effects used in the beginning of ‘Altered State’ which definitely amp up the downright frightening feeling which permeates this disc.
Vocally, Max is outstanding. He compliments the music to a tee, and his harsh and deep voice makes it feel like he was designed to drive the tip of Sepultura’s dagger into the eardrums of listeners. He is especially amazing on the cover of Motorhead’s; ‘Orgasmatron’, which is an absolute highlight to the album and one of the top three songs on the album. Max once stated that he believed the Sepultura cover surpassed the original and I might agree with him. Max’s lyrics are quite good and it’s seems that by now in his career, he has gained confidence in writing English lyrics that are more intricate in their wordage and meaning.
Their sound has evolved since Beneath the Remains and Sepultura have managed to release an album that can be fully appreciated as some of the best work they have ever done.
Get this album for its impeccable guitar work, exciting riffs and rip-your-face-off thrash force.