Brazil's signature metal band Sepultura is back with their fourteenth album Machine Messiah. The album may not pack as strong of a punch as previous records may have, but the band incorporates some of the sounds of their home country to bring in some interesting, fresh sounds.
Machine Messiah, first and foremost, is a pretty average metal record from the core of the genre. There are moments of fast paced, chugging riffs like those found in 'Vandals Nest,' and there are also violent moments such as in 'Silent Violence,' where the intense moments are accented by the light, vulnerable guitars in between. Despite the seeming lack of interest developing from these tracks, there are plenty of moments that are pretty cool. The closing track 'Cyber God' has a very interesting groove going on to it that keeps the chugging riffs and throaty screams going. The immediate aggression of songs like 'I Am The Enemy' also serve as a blast of energy. Perhaps the strongest track on the album is the title track and opener 'Machine Messiah.' It starts mysteriously, light guitars reverberating while a twin guitar solo sounds. The creepiness of this intro turns into pure evil as the chugging riffs continue in, and the song progresses with loads of drive and electrifying guitars.
There are plenty of moments on this album that do have some original tones to them, however. The most notable is the instrumental song 'Iceberg Dances,' which introduces some cool Brazilian elements. The song is brought in by a familiarly powerful drum and guitar combo, blistering in energy. As it progresses, different elements come into play, namely Brazilian percussion elements and a spidery acoustic guitar section.
Another big part of the album are the orchestral elements. Big orchestras add a lot of drama to certain tracks, such as 'Phantom Self.' The song is brought in with more Brazilian percussion and a Middle Eastern orchestra giving the song a unique vibe. The orchestras are even more powerful in 'Sworn Oath,' the dark intro giving way to some epic orchestras that make the end of the track sound massive.
Sepultura may not have delivered the most exciting or unique metal album of the year, but they definitely made their home country proud by introducing some of its sounds into the music. Epic orchestras and Brazilian percussion give Machine Messiah a personal touch to the band with such a long history, and also proves that the band is here to stay.
Favorite Track: Machine Messiah
Least Favorite Tracks: Alethea, Vandals Nest
Rating: 70 / 100
Buy or listen to Machine Messiah here: