The Brazilian super force SEPULTURA has had an undeniable impact on today’s metal scene, and need no introduction. For 35 years now the thrash/groove metal act has been dominating the world with their aggressive blend of music, all starting with their legendary “Morbid Vision,” released in 1986.
“Quadra” is a concept album about the struggle against predetermined cultural boundaries, and with a sound that revisits the “Beneath the Remains,” or “Arise”-era with a modern touch to it, the band is breaking any boundaries and immediately shoot for the stars. “Quadra” might just be one of SEPULTURA‘s best modern releases, and that’s immediately clear from the opener “Isolation,” which was also the lead single. “Isolation” starts off with a tribal percussion, progressing into orchestral elements and a choir providing an epic start to the listener, but it’s not its monumental intro that blows you away. The instant thrash metal assault fueled by drummer Eloy Casagrande‘s brilliant performance, and vocalist Derrick Green‘s vocal delivery is astounding. Since the album is divided into four stylistic parts, “Means to an End,” “The Last Time” keep the thrash metal level high, and continue in a similar style as “Isolation,” reminiscent of “Beneath the Remains.”
Then follows a song deeply focused on the trademark tribal sound, starting with “Capital Enslavement,” which is probably one of my favorite tracks on the record, and has some of the grooviest riffs. Again, Eloy Casagrande seems to be the motor behind these songs, but the more progressive side of the band becomes also clear in many other aspects. “Ali” is a hard-hitting song, which is slightly more progressive in its nature than what we have heard so far. “Raging Void” follows a similar pattern, with complex time signature changes, and great atmospheric sections during the chorus. “Guardians Of Earth” starts off with an acoustic guitar intro, and shows the more orchestral/symphonic side of the band, the almost two-minute intro, doesn’t feel a second too long as it builds up beautifully to the actual song.
The instrumental track “The Pentagram” is a nice break from the intensity of the records. The song reminds me vaguely of the nineties intro of Power Rangers and has a more modern metal approach to it. This is topped with sublime guitar melodies, providing extra depth to the song. The title track “Quadra” is an interlude, and intro with Spanish guitars, to the ballad “Agony Of Defeat,” one of the more emotive songs on the record. “Fear; Pain; Chaos; Suffering” is the last track on “Quadra,” which features a female vocalist. Even though the voice is somewhat recognizable I can’t put my finger on who she is. The song is an atmospheric and progressive way to end the album.
The Brazilian quartet never ceases to surprise, and “Quadra” is proof of that. While the first half of the album is probably a bit more “in your face,” the rest of the tracks are a bit more progressive, atmospheric and harder to digest. This progressive nature makes up for a very versatile album that has a little bit in there for everyone… Nostalgic thrash metal riffs, tribal percussions, magnificent orchestrations and choirs, and great melodies, “Quadra” has it all.
Article by Laureline Tilkin
- Means To An End
- Last Time
- Capital Enslavement
- Raging Void
- Guardians Of Earth
- The Pentagram
- Agony Of Defeat
- Fear; Pain; Suffering; Chaos
Andreas Kisser – Guitars
Derrick Green – Vocals
Eloy Casagrande – Drums
Paulo Jr. – Bass
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