Sepultura return with an Album of contrasts, and varied vibes making it an interesting listen that will split opinion and further divide the Old Sepultura fans and current fans with out a doubt.
But this is what Sepultura do, they love to experiment and no more so than on “Machine Messiah”. It really is a mixed bag with the band delving in to Hardcore, Thrash, Prog, Folk, Jazz and Punk infused fusion it really is an extraordinary mix.
Andreas Kisser states this about the Album: “The main inspiration around Machine Messiah is the robotisation of our society nowadays. The concept of a God Machine who created humanity and now it seems that this cycle is closing itself, returning to the starting point. We came from machines and we are going back to where we came from. The messiah, when he returns, will be a robot, or a humanoid, our bio-mechanical Savior.”
Derrick Green is an amazing Vocal talent and I think its such a shame he never really gets the recognition he deserves since taking over from Max Cavalera all those years ago, the opening song and title track “Machine Messiah” is intense as Greens deep and dulcet tones deliver a doom laden introduction as the song builds into a veritable monster, this leads nicely into “I Am The Enemy”.
Andreas Kissers killer thrashing riffs are accompanied by the Rhythm section of Paulo Jr on Bass and Eloy Casagrande and Greens ear splitting screams see an upbeat tempo and savagery emanating into the room.
Then things take a twist on “Phantom Self” opening with Middle Eastern orchestrations and then the Drums hammer and blow your brain cells as Greens singing and wailing enrapture you, capturing your imagination as the eastern harmonisations continue, accompanied by the chugging riffs.
The whole concept of the Album and the different musical vibes continue to beguile and draw you in as “Aletha” opens with the hypnotic beat of the drums that leads into an instrumental called “Iceberg Dances” which for me personally goes on far too damn long, this song goes from Metal to flamenco and jazzy moments, this is a song I would skip if I am honest.
From the instrumental that kinda bores we move to the excellent “Sworn Oath” it is just over six minutes long. So of course its a slow burner that builds into a formidable work of art leaning heavily on more orchestration and Greens vocal ferocity it is a truly stand out track, consuming, massive, progressive.
The Brutal “Resistant Parasites” and “Silent Violence” are heaviness personified both are grooving, neck straining assaults of crushing momentum that the Sepultura naysayers should be made to listen to while strapped down in a chair for a few hours!
“Vandals Nest” is a solid track where Casagrandes tribal drumming comes more to the fore on this the penultimate track.
“Cyber God” is an epic number full of shredding and captivating grooves its a immense ending to a stellar release from these Brazilians!
This is the first time in many years I can say I have really enjoyed a Sepultura release. Only let down on here for me is the instrumental which drags on. “Machine Messiah” is a diverse and interesting listen.
Also the outstanding Album art work for “Machine Messiah” needs to be mentioned, its Originally a painting by Filipino artist Camille Dela Rosa titled “Deus Ex-Machina”. The artwork fits in with the compelling concept Andreas Kisser wanted to explore with Machine Messiah.
Review by Seb Di Gatto – Score 8.8/10
01. Machine Messiah
02. I Am The Enemy
03. Phantom Self
05. Iceberg Dances
06. Sworn Oath
07. Resistant Parasites
08. Silent Violence
09. Vandals Nest
10. Cyber God
Andreas Kisser – Guitars
Derrick Green – Vocals
Eloy Casagrande – Drums
Paulo Jr. – Bass