Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sepultura-Beneath the remains

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Roadracer
1989

By 1989 speed metal was very popular and there were bands from many countries playing this sub-genre of metal. Brazil's Sepultura were a band who had started out in the mid-1980's playing a "speed for the sake of speed" style that was fairly noisy and not particularly innovative. Yet after a couple of releases, they were growing more focused and developing their skills. This album hears the band channelling and controlling an aggressive style of thrash. The most important factor in their favor might be they were controlling the pace rather than the pace controlling them. They knew when to go forth with frenzied all out parts, but they also were becoming adept at slowing the tempo down and building changes as well. At this point in time the two biggest speed metal scenes were likely the Bay area scene and the German scene. Both had somewhat distinctive styles and although Sepultura have a few elements of both in their sound, they also were bringing some of their own ideas to the table as well. They were using different tones and their song structures were not that predictable anymore. Above all else, these guys were keeping it heavy and that was a point that too many bands missed. Too often a speed metal progressed to some extent, but they would lose some of their heaviness. Not here as the progression in Sepultura's style allowed them to take concentrate more on pounding through their songs and the heaviness actually became more pronounced. This is certainly a strong speed metal album that doesn't always get it's due.

7 Comments:

Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I don't know the early catalog as well as I should, but it was certainly clear by Roots (and probably before), that Sepultura wasn't the average metal band.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

bob-I have the first three on vinyl if you ever want to borrow them. Like Death, Kreator and others they started out noisy, but then started to figure out their on style.

4:35 AM  
Blogger dschalek said...

Two albums from the 80s are perfect examples of straddling the line between thrash and death metal. This is one of them (Reign In Blood is the other). An absolue classic and must-have.

7:34 AM  
Blogger dschalek said...

Maybe you guys can track down more Michael Whelan album covers for "Whole Lotta Album Covers".

7:34 AM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

I like Sepultura, but at this point only have a best of album. I've been meaning to check more of their stuff, just haven't yet. I love the crushingness of their music. Brutally heavy.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the title track in my dreams in the fall of 1989. I'll explain: I was listening to a heavy metal radio show while laying in bed...and I fell asleep. In the dream, I was driving around the University of Rhode Island college campus (where I was going for my bachelor's degree at the time) at night, radio blasting this song, all windows open, and everyone was gathering around my car, asking me what was playing and they were banging their heads to it and loving it.

I awakened just at the middle of the solo break, and forced myself to stay awake long enough for the ennouncer ("Dr. Metal" of 94 WHJY in Rhode Island, RIP) to mention the name. I remembered it, and bought the cassette the next day.

I've gotten every subsequent album upto Roots...and I did see them live for their Against tour (1998) with their singer Derrick.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

No, that's very accurate, Mark, and granted, I play Arise, Roots, Chaos AD and the latest album the most, but Beneath the Remains is defnitely a paving stone in thrash, not just for Sep, but for the genre itself...like Kreator and Voivod, Sep figured out its own artistic niche and broadened the territory

3:38 AM  

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