For me, any post-Chaos AD Sepultura lacks the pulse of the band’s neo-thrash/death metal. I’m not too sure if Sepultura has grown up and I haven’t, but whatever the case may be my heart isn’t where it used to be when Sepultura’s name came up in, “Best band discussions.” I hate to say the experience of life has somehow refined the band’s writing, and subsequent delivery of material; the fact remains here that you can’t live life angry at the world when the world isn’t such a terrible place to perform heavy music. So, my opening statement is rectified on Nation. In saying that, the album is certainly a lot more to behold musically than its predecessor Against. Why? While the Sepultribe are still playing with tribal psuedo-polyrhythms (“Border Wars” “Uma Cura” and “Tribe to a Nation”), riff maven and bandleader Andreas Kisser is nailing thick-as-magma grooves and obtuse fretboard melodic antics, recalling the ingenuity and inspiration of older tracks “Under Siege (Regnum Irae)” and “Refuse/Resist.” The range of the album’s 15 tracks is greater dynamically, which, of course, gives Sepultura a greater platform to experiment much in the same way they’ve done all along. It’s sort of reverting back yet continuing to look forward. On Nationthe traditional Sepul-crunch returns again without a guitar complement to Kisser’s fabulous riffing. Tracks “Sepultribe,” “Border Wars,” “Revolt” and “Saga” literally pave over much of the Roadrunner roster with their sophisticated sense of rhythm and subsequent intensity. Are you listening Slipknot? Whereas the raw nerve exposed on older Sep-material is now under a thick layer of tattooed skin, the band still manage to push the thrash metal conventions on which they built their empire to a whole new, exciting level. Even Derrick Green shows marked improvement as a growler and a singer. Tracks like “The Ways of Faith,” “Who Must Die,” and “Valtio” are indicative of this. Yet, for all its greatness, Nationdoes have its own conventions. The ‘tribe’ atmosphere of bringing in every guest musician under the sun is a tired subject on the band’s seventh album. Once and for all, I’d really like to hear the quartet jam without someone like Jello Biafra whining about paid-politics when he himself is wearing the same suit as the people he’s rallying against. It also means nothing that Dr. Israel, and Jamey Jasta have decided to have their sounds heard on Nationbecause when the ‘cool’ factor is over, I’d rather hear a non-collaborated Sepultura anyway. With that said,Nation is ultimately a great album for heavy music. It’s just up to fans to decide if they want to weed through all the filler to hear the very reason why they bought Nation in the first place – to hear unadulterated Sepultura.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Allan Richardson
March 21st, 2001


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