Sepultura
Beneath the Remains (Reissue)

In 1989 Sepultura’s Beneath the Remains solidified the band as being able to compete with the bigger thrash metal acts as this was a ferocious death/thrash metal assault.  To this day my favorite Sepultura album is their second album, Schizophrenia, from 1987.  I was a fan since Morbid Visions, from 1986.  And I missed meeting Max Cavalera at my local record store in 1987 by a day or two, in New York.  Max had come to NY, at the time, and brought the bands new album, Schizophrenia, as well as Morbid Visions, Bestial Devastation and other Brazilian bands vinyl and sold them on consignment to the local record stores.  Him doing this and eventually meeting with RoadRacer/Roadrunner solidified their eventual signing.  The record store was my second home, Slipped Disc, and the owner, Mike said Max was super fucking cool.  I went over and picked up Mutilator’s Immortal Force, one of the records Max brought in and what a great record that album still is.

Anyway, Beneath the Remains had the bands cleanest production to date and thus became the partnership between the band and Scott Burns and to this day the album is still outstanding.  I actually saw the band live, on this tour. The tour was the S.O.S. tour.  Sepultura/Obituary/Sadus.  Insane show.  I met all of Sepultura and had my BTR vinyl signed by the band and they were super cool  I hung with the drummer, Igor, for a bit and his English limited, proved to be an interesting conversation.  I asked him if they were going to be playing “To the Wall”, one of my favorite songs.  He said No, I don’t’ think the song is in our set.  But they did play it and I went out of my mind.

Take any of the songs, from the song title opener, which is pure brutal bliss to “Inner Self”-with the massive double bass drums that Burns was able to really capture on this album.  They’re all perfect.  The band made a video for the song and it was a frequent video on Headbanger’s Ball.  I know this album backwards and forwards in terms of music and lyrics.  Hell, in my High School yearbook, next to my picture, my quote are lyrics from “Primitive Future”.  This album was Sepultura’s game changer.  Great songwriting, production and decent lyrics.  Although I prefer Schizophrenia to this, BTR, is almost tied.  The band blew up once this was released, and at the time-really deserved it.

As always I am a stickler with reissues.  I expect a certain quality that certain labels bring, while others drop the ball.  This new re, reissue falls in the middle of that.  In 1998 Roadrunner reissued this and it was remastered on a gold disc, which I own.  The sound was and still is awesome.  Crisper, loud and the packaging excellent.  Bonus features were isolated drum tracks for 2 songs and a cover of Os Mutantes-“A Hora E A Vez Do Cabelo Nascer”.  So when Roadrunner announced some of these recent 2cd Sepultura remasters I was skeptical, since 2018.  The Chaos A.D. one is most excellent, Roots and Arise were ok, but still similar to earlier remasters that I own.  The Beneath the Remains 2cd remaster again has the sticker all new 2020 remaster.  Hmmmm, really?  I did a side by side comparison of the 1998 remaster and the 2020, on multiple devices and no sound difference, whatsoever.  The cover song is on the new reissue, along with the drum tracks from the first reissue.  Then there are just instrumental versions of some of the songs, on the first cd.  The second cd has rough mixes of songs.  I am not a big fan of rough cuts of songs and especially instrumental versions or drum tracks are filler to me.  I am never going to listen to them ever again.  The second cd, main focal point is an audio live set, from Germany, in 1989 when Sepultura opened for Sodom.  That must have been a super cool tour to see.  Anyway the live recording is excellent and captures their true live energy.  The cd booklet has lyrics and a cool recollection of that time period.

If you have the 1998 gold remaster and are not really a fan of live shows, there is no need to buy this new reissue.  Since the 1998 remaster is long oop, then I am sure this 2cd reissue will sell quite well.  Since I also have the original gold remasters of Schizophrenia and Morbid Visions/Bestial Devastation, if Roadrunner reissues those again, unless they are screaming with killer bonus content (c’mon you stoolbags-throw in a live DVD, from that time period), then I will pass on those reissues.  At the end of the day Beneath the Remains is still one of the finest death/thrash metal albums ever released and if you have no prior reissues, of this, then I would recommend this.

 

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Written by Frank Rini
June 9th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: MetalAndrew

    Cool review! I also prefer Schizophrenia (and Arise also) over Beneath the Remains, but still definitely a classic album of the golden Sepultura era.


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