Sepultura has changed a lot in the last few years. One of the first metal albums that I ever bought was a copy of “Roots Bloody Roots”, and the band seems to have moved well beyond that style in the 6 or 7 years since I picked up that album. There seems to be a lightness among the tracks on “Dante XXI”, one in which the bass is eschewed for guitar fury.
This opening up of Sepultura’s sound during “Dante XXI” is a godsend for the act, as it allows songs like “Ostia” to be placed on this album. There are hints of Megadeth present during the track, but the milking of the guitar during the track coupled with an orchestral, train-like sound makes this a fundamentally different track than anything else that Sepultura has placed to dissc. Furthermore, the incorporation of strings during “Ostia” is a move that will make fans of Cradle of Filth happy, even though Sepultura contextualizes it much better than the willy-nilly excesses of Cradle of Filth would allow. Sepultura can thus be heavy while incorporating classical instruments, something that seems to most bands to be an exclusive thing (either they are hard and heavy or they are piano or strings). The maturity of the musical side of Sepultura is shown during tracks like “Buried Words”, in which the band can construct an extended introduction that will compel listeners into a greater appreciation of the band.
This is done until the band creates the equivalent to a punch in the face with the absolutely brutal guitars that come to prominence during the track; the band has not aged a day since they started all those years back. It has taken Derrick Green a few years to learn the ropes of Sepultura, but the culmination of all these formative years is a beautiful album in “Dante XXI”. There is no limit to where Sepultura can go after this album; the style created by “Dante XXI” is extremely open, and to the point that the next album that the band cuts could be a resumption of the style that they had with Max still in the band, or they can forge ahead with this new and even more exciting sound. The one thing that is a constant for Sepultura is the fact that whatever comes forth with be done with the same care and intensity that the band has always brought to their albums.
Top Tracks: Ostia, Convicted In Life
Sepultura – Dante XXI / 2006 SPV / 15 Tracks / http://www.sepultura.com / http://www.spv.de / Reviewed 23 April 2006