Quadra (Nuclear Blast), the 15th studio album from Brazil’s own Sepultura, dropped on February 7, 2020. And the offering proves to be a solid record! The diehard Max (vocals/guitar)/Igor (drums) Cavalara era Sepultura fans, looking for a continuous remake of Arise (1991), Chaos A.D. (1993), or Roots (arguably the band’s best record; 1996), will find some familiar ground on which to stand, here. But, for the most part, the band has left that phase of its evolution long ago. This record is simply their best since those early days.
As the title suggests, the album is intentionally divided into four distinct parts, of which old school Sepultura is a part. The other ¾ of the record, however, is a survey of sorts of the band’s musical journey since those days; looking into the future. Andreas Kisser (guitars) is, as usual, incredible as the substance that holds the band in consistency. Paulo Jr (bass) is the other long-standing member, present for decades, that concretizes the sound. Eloy Casagrande (drums) is exceptional as the tribal, driving, time-keeper. And Derrick Green (vocals) is quite a force, both with his powerful chops, but also is giant presence.
Some tracks that are interesting, both in their representation of their respective sections (the Quadra), but also in their own right are: “Isolation,” and what an opening song! Old school thrash, post-modern twist, with crushing death vocals. “Ali” and “Raging Void” mark the next section, and they are groovy and heavy. Very nice. “Guardians of Earth” begins section three, and is an atmospheric track that expresses the talent of the individual pieces of the whole band. “The Pentagram” is an instrumental in the middle of section three. Sepultura has very talented instrumentalists. And this section shows the band moving away from the past and into the future. “Agony of Defeat” gives evidence of Green’s range, with clean vocals, screams, and gutterals. Beautiful! “Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering” is the last track on the album. It gives us an idea of the direction Sepultura is going with their sound and style. The song features Emmily Barreto (Far From Alaska) with Green harmonizing (often in gutterals), and superb riffs.
Favorite Songs: Isolation; Ali; Raging Void; Guardians of Earth
*Bonus: For more info on the concept of Quadra and Sepultura, listen to my podcast interview with Andreas Kisser, only on The Saw’s Electric Chair, in The Saw’s Butcher Shop on WKNC.