Review Summary: Sepultura enters the new decade in the best possible way.
Let me start by saying I've never been a Derrick Green-era enthusiast, as a matter of fact I've stopped following the band with interest since Chaos A.D. Sepultura's tribalistic approach, while artistically understandable, never convinced me. By this I do not mean Andreas, Paulo & Co didn't have their moments along the journey, nor can I forget that they kept the ship going without the Cavalera brothers at the helm, against all odds. The hard truth, however, is that the band simply ceased to be relevant. Which brings me to the question of whether relevance is everything, especially in a musical genre whose main core is energy and rock attitude. Well, artistically, relevance is indeed everything, but in the entertainment sphere it's no longer a fundamental value. It is through this perspective that we should analyze Sepultura's fifteenth album Quadra
is a concept album revolving around the meaning of number 4 embedded in Quadrivium, the four liberal arts of arithmetic, geometry, music and cosmology, studied from Antiquity to Renaissance in order to perceive the nature of reality. Andreas combines these metaphysical syntheses with the meaning that Brazilians attribute to "Quadra", a sport court with a set of specific rules that distinguishes it from all others, such as countries with their own borders and traditions. Unlike its predecessor Machine Messiah
, which took shape in a very short time, Quadra
had enough time to mature, evolving from a previous concept, thus strengthening its substance and its aesthetic diversity. Let's take for example the opener 'Isolation' and 'Agony of Defeat', the first a thrash killer, the latter a remarkably accessible song that fit in any mainstream metal playlist. They're both sides of the same coin, but substantially different from each other. It's this kind of balanced contrast that we find in Quadra
. The album flows quite well, never making us feel like we're in loop mode. Even more generic songs like 'Last Time', 'Ali' or 'Raging Void' have all their strong moments, whether it's Derrick's powerful delivery or the ever-present contagious groove. However it's tracks like 'Isolation', 'Means to an End', 'Capital Enslavement', 'Guardians of Earth' or the contagious 'Agony of Defeat' that take Quadra
to another level, not seen in this band for many years. The squad is more confident than ever. The whole machine is well-oiled and highly focused, with special emphasis on Andreas Kisser who delivers his best performance since Chaos A.D. Don't get me wrong, Quadra
isn't Beneath the Remains 2.0
, nor does it pretend to be, but it's certainly a quality product, which shouldn't be ignored.
Sepultura enters the new decade in the best possible way. Much more than just a new chapter, Quadra
is a demonstration of confidence and vitality, an unexpectedly vibrant testimony towards a new cycle. And judging by what I've just heard, the future is promising.