Cavalera
Schizophrenia

I reviewed and raved about the Cavalera brothers re-recording the first two recordings of Sepultura, Bestial Devastation/Morbid Visions EP, last year.  Last year when they played “Escape to the Void” and “Inquisition Symphony” live, on the Morbid Devastation tour, I knew it was a matter of time before we all got notice that Schizophrenia was to be re-recorded.  I also saw Cavalera at MDF the year prior performing a special setlist comprised of Beneath the Remains and Arise songs, from their original Sepultura stints.  Sepultura are winding down their career and as they complete their overseas farewell tour, they are going to embark on a North American one with Obituary and Agnostic Front.

For me, I do enjoy the first few Sepultura albums which did not feature Max and I do feel Roorback is the best post-Max Sepultura album with all the thrashing going on and Against was good too.  However, for me, the true essence of Sepultura is the Cavalera brothers, and their tours and re-recordings of the classic Sepultura albums, are gold.

Schizophrenia is my favorite Sepultura album of all time and I remember when it dropped in 1987 going to the record store to pick up the double gatefold vinyl.  I was friendly with the store owner of Slipped Disc Records on Long Island, NY and much to my chagrin he told me I just missed Max.  Max brought a bunch of the Schizophrenia albums to NY, from Brazil, along with many other of his Brazilian friends’ albums.  Of course, I picked up Mutilator’s Immortal Force that day. Max was so smart.  After doing this he went to NYC to meet with Monte from Roadrunner Records and that inked their deal, which led to the monstrous Beneath the Remains.

I was lucky to see Sepultura live with Sadus and Obituary in 1990 and met the entire band multiple times.  Schizophrenia ushered in Andreas Kisser as second guitarist which helped propel Sepultura further early on in their career and the structures, songs, production, of this amazing album, bests their prior efforts.  The band was still holding onto death metal elements as well and the reimagined album art on this re-recording is exceptional, keeping to the original in many ways.  The intro here is the same as the original, just with some different effects and once my favorite Sepultura song of all time comes on with that evil riff, “From the Past Comes the Storms”, I am back in 1987 again.  Once again Max emulates his former, younger self and the cavernous vocal effects, used on the original Cogumelo Records album, are present here. Max sounds pissed and does a remarkable job.  The song stays true to the original in style, structure, but of course is a bit tighter.  The production is crisp, punchy, however is organic and sounds similar to the original, just louder.

“To the Wall”, my second favorite Sepultura song of all time, is up next and now we can even get into the drums more.  Iggor emulates his patterns perfectly, but of course he is a much better drummer now, so it’s tighter.  One of the interesting production soundscape designs on Schizophrenia was the production of the drums.  From the sounds of the toms, snare, bass drums, cymbals and even those rototom batterings, they are all present on this re-recording.  It’s pretty killer.  “To the Wall” is changed up somewhat, where the band decides to extend the song further with a little more mid-paced moments.  It’s cool and different, and there’s some background whispered lyrics.

There are other moments like this such as on “Septic Schizo” with varying tempo and vocal shifts, from the original source material.  Just like the past two re-recordings, Cavalera records a brand new song, “Nightmares of Delirium”, and keeps to the original Schizophrenia sounds and song structures.  I do notice some of the riffing on this new song, has similarities to “From the Past Comes the Storms”.  There’s also some great guitar soloing happening and a killer groove, that blasts into a faster part and evil vocal effects.  Great new song.

Schizophrenia was a landmark album for Sepultura, because this lead to the Roadrunner contract, but you may not know, this is a concept album.  For a Brazilian band, playing extreme metal in the 80’s to tackle mental health in a conceptual way, is rather amazing.  Do a side-by-side comparison of both versions and you will smile ear to ear.  Additionally, the original recording, is actually a tad heavier.  But this re-recording does still keep to that filthy guitar tone.  Now do I foresee the band re-recording Beneath the Remains and or Arise??  I doubt it.  The production of those albums, thanks to Scott Burns, are landmark achievements.  There could also be some licensing rights with those albums as well.  Never say never though.  In the meantime, pick up Cavalera’s version of Schizophrenia – it is fantastic!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
July 1st, 2024

Comments

  1. Commented by: Kristofor Allred

    Nice review Frank. I spent the week before this was released jamming the original, and the past week jamming g this new re-recording. I have to day that the Cavalera brothers really did a bang up job capturing the original essence while upping the antenna a bit, especially production wise. Great stuff!


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