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Sepultura – Quadra Award winner

by Dave Nowels at 12 February 2020, 10:53 AM

All Hail the Thrash Gods, SEPULTURA have returned! Not only returned, but returned unmercifully with neck crushing tribal Thrash destined to set the standard for 2020 and beyond. “Quadra” is a firm reminder that at one time Thrash was the heaviest music many of us had heard, and at least one of the early purveyors of the art is potent and vicious. With "Quadra", SEPULTURA have put forth a damn masterpiece, one that should set the definition of what Thrash can and should be going forward. Impassioned, bold and true.

This is thinking man's Thrash. It's diverse, inclusive, complex and topical. Quadra is a reference to '4' as in the number. As such, the themes of the album “Quadra” are broken into four thematic musical parts, each with their own identity, all while still remaining based in strong Thrash roots. With the deceptively calm intro of “Isolation”, you may not know what to expect initially, but once the guitars join the tribal drumming, you're in for a precision attack. “Isolation” is the lead single, and with good reason. It's a powerful song that does a great job of capturing the overall feel of the album as a whole. But as I mentioned, there's quite a bit more substance here than just full throttle speed and aggression. Casagrande's drumming opening ”Capital Punishment” being a prime example. Channeling the band's Brazilian heritage for the intro adds depth and mystery, before Casagrande brings the double kick thunder and insane fills.

If there's a better 'roar' in growl vocals, I haven't heard it. Derek Green is downright stunning on his vocals throughout. But “Ali” just might be one of the most intense vocal performances I've ever heard. Speaking of “Ali” the chunky breakdown in the closing half is just amazing in it's contrast to the speedier riffs. Kisser and Paulo Jr. shine all through “Quadra”, with the instrumental “The Pentagram” definitely being a highlight, as is the Brazilian feel of the acoustic guitar intro on “Guardians Of Earth” that melds into choir before all hell breaks loose. A similar feel is present on the title track (minus the choir), yet another highlight. Surprisingly, I found “Agony Of Defeat” to be the track I was drawn to over and over. Green's softer clean vocals that open the song serves as a perfect counter balance to the deeper crushing roars that follow. Musically, it's an incredibly complex song that covers all the musical themes and showcases each musician's strengths.

SEPULTURA has achieved quite a feat with “Quadra”. Often referred to as part of the 'second generation' of Thrash, SEPULTURA has shown that they're no longer second to anyone. “Quadra” is heavier and more Thrash than anything the Core Four have put out since the late 80's. The album is so damn diverse and captivating. With each listen I found myself drawn to something new. SEPULTURA are definitely back, and this time they're making a statement. “Quadra” breathes new life into the genre of Thrash and proves that there's plenty of room for creativeness and pushing boundaries. The band is kicking off a huge tour in support of “Quadra”, and I for one simply can't wait. This one should be a no brainer contender for album of the year. Don't miss it.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Isolation
2. Means To An End
3. Last Time
4. Capital Enslavement
5. Ali
6. Raging Void
7. Guardians Of Earth
8. The Pentagram
9. Autem
10. Quadra
11. Agony Of Defeat
12. Fear: Pain: Chaos: Suffering
Andreas Kisser - Guitars
Derrick Green - Vocals
Eloy Casagrande - Drums
Paulo Jr. - Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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Edited 01 October 2020

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