Album Review: Sepultura - Quadra

3 February 2020 | 3:18 pm | Brendan Crabb

"Derrick Green's barrel-chested roar remains a potent force."

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Despite some believing that Brazilian metal band Sepultura haven't created music of worth since you-know-who abruptly left their ranks, they've actually been reliably solid in recent years, with occasional glimpses of greatness. Quadra isn't exactly wall-to-wall bangers, although tracks such as Last Time fall into that category. But it does contain some of their best and most urgent material in eons, referencing the past while also heading into new (ahem) territory.

The album distills elements that longtime fans have embraced, while adding fresh ingredients to the mix. Isolation's raw, bruising thrash is executed with an intensity impressive for a band over 35 years in, while also being fused with Dimmu Borgir-like orchestral touches that enhance the effect. Elsewhere, thrash fury slots alongside moments channelling the tribal percussion of their groove-laden Roots era. And they look further beyond the familiar parameters, adding flourishes like choirs, incisive melodies, clean vocals and acoustic guitars. The Pentagram's a fiery instrumental workout, while Guardians Of Earth proves a standout, combining their early aggression with eerie atmospherics. Derrick Green's barrel-chested roar remains a potent force, and the perennially underrated Andreas Kisser delivers fittingly fleet-fingered solos throughout.

The naysayers may not acknowledge it, but Sepultura's dogged determination and conviction keeps propelling them forward.