I personally believe that Sepultura down-spiralled following the departure of Max Cavalera. While I do give their newer releases the odd listen every now and then, their latest record is by far their weakest. Not terrible but not nearly the same Sepultura I loved from the Chaos AD era.
Those who constantly compare this era of Sepultura with the Cavalera periods are probably idiots who are stuck in a time where they would happily headbang against a brick wall as to thrash as their favourite past time. These people should grow up and stop hating this band which is only getting better over time and just listen to it properly.
This album DOES have thrashy moments throughout.
The drummer Jean Dolabella is amazing but just because he uses the toms frequently doesn't mean there's really anything tribal going on. That's just the reviewer's bias kicking in with his idea of "Brazilian jungle themes" (there aren't any).
A-Lex is great if you just want to listen to some fast and heavy music. If you want to think and analyze the album closely, it's even more rewarding.
This is the best Sepultura record with Derrick Green, hands down. With this release, the band decided to ditch almost completely the experimental sound of records such as Roots, Against and Nation and focus on the agression they are well known for in the first place. The only downsides to this record is that the concept feels half baked and the recrd feels overlong.
Fat could've definitely been trimmed off of this album to make it stronger, but the band makes up for their excesses in the better parts of this album. Though I thought the A-lex I-IV suite was a bit much, the riffs beginning around the 1:00 minute mark of part two kick major ass. "We've Lost You!", "Sadistic Values", "Moloko Mesto", "Ludwig Van", and "Paradox" showcase the energy and passion that has always been a part of Sepultura and are some of the best songs the band has written since Green joined.