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Dante XXI

Dante XXI

14 Mar 2006
4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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By James VINE VOICE on 22 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
`Dante XXI` is SEPULTURA's 4th offering since their fallout with figurehead Max Cavalera back in the late 1990's. The album follows 2003's `Roorback`, a strong record that showed SEPULTURA still had something left in the locker. The question is, can SEPULTURA keep up the good form?

`Dante XXI' is a concept albuminfluenced by the epic poetic masterpiece "The Divine Comedy" written by Italian author Dante Alighieri in the early 14th Century. The three main components of "The Divine Comedy" are Dante's descriptions of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.

The frist 2 tracks act pretty much as an intro. The 1st is actually called `Intro` while the second track `Dark Wood of Error' comes in at under 2 minutes, most of which are fileld by a powerful drum intro from Igor Cavalera. The first real track is `Convicted in Life', a scorching thrasher to set the ball rolling style, a blueprint follwed by next song `City of Dis'.

News has recently spread that there would be orchestration on the album, certainly a first for SEPULTURA. Although prominent in the 3 `intros' on the album, the first hint of orchestration in a fully fledged song is on 5th cut `False` before it is used to wonderful effect on the album's strongest moment `Ostia'. This one may not sound too much like the SEPULTURA we know, but the orchestration is used delicately and adds a great feel to a great song.

Stuck in between the 2 aforementioned tracks is another standout. `Fighting On' is a straight ahead thrasher, but has a strong chrous to boot and acts as a new anthem for SEPULTURA who quite rightly are still fighting on despite all the bad press they have recieved since the departure of Cavalera.
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Format: Audio CD
Did you like Roorback? Did you hate Nation? Did you care for Against? Was Roots an abomination?
Regardless of what you answer on these questions, a new Sepultura album always deserves a chance. Sepultura have the strong tendency to evolve within the areas of heavy music. From their death metal beginnings, soon adopting a thrash sound, on to experiencing with more hardcore and some groove, on the edge of nu-metal with Roots, swaying away from that to an underground fusion of metal and hardcore on Against to more experiments with Nation. Shorter, more simple and heavier on Roorback. So what's the next step taken?
I don't like to compare Sepultura's albums to each other because it's virtually impossible due to the difference in genres throughout their career. But if I have to describe Dante XXI in terms of previous Sepultura albums I say this: Take a basis of Chaos AD, add some of the best elements of Nation and Roorback to that, then add some thrash that falls somewhere in between 1991 and 1993: thrashier than Chaos AD, but not really like Arise. When you're thinking that we have a nice mixture here... also add some total fresh new elements - horns and strings on less than half of the songs.
After the intro, Sepultura kick into Dark Wood of Error, and one thing becomes clear: No compromise. In a Meshuggah-ish intro of palm-muted riffs and double-bass kicks it becomes clear that Sepultura are not going to hold back this time. The clear and raw production is a true danger to your ears and the whole album sounds way heavier than Roorback or Nation. After almost two third of the song Dark Wood of Error kicks into some pure thrash.
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Format: Audio CD
On this album, Derrick sings with all the power and passion that you would expect of Sepultura at their best.
An interpretation of Dante's Divine Comedy, this album takes us on a journey through the depths of hell, and then upwards, to climb the mountain of purgatory, and finally ascend to heaven.
It is a marvellous representation of alienation, and the fact that Catholicism (and Government) gives us a peculiar way of internalising our own pain, and casting us into hopelessness and despair, so that we might conform all the more.
It is a death cry and a cry of hope, heavy at times, uplifting at others, melancholic and an upraised fist of an album. It has all the stuff that makes Sepultura so unique. It has chunky riffage, samba-style drumming and double-bass pedals, orchestras, weird intro's, soaring guitar solos, compelling lyrics. Do not miss out on this - in my opinion one of their best albums to date. It is not as cutting-edge as Roots, but it is more mature and insightful.
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Format: Audio CD
Most of sepulturas stuff post chaos ad hasn't really been to my liking. Most of the stuff since post max era seps has been mediocre, I've still listened to it and liked it, but there was always some kind of lacking I found.
This record however, combines a bit of all sepultura work, with a great sense of musicianship appearing, with all of the songs flowing very nicely together, without sounding similar. I find that there are also no filler songs to bump up the record time as well; each one having a nice unique, heavy feel to it. All the records have a kind of thrashy feel to it, but don't be expecting arise style songs.
I said earlier how igor has been becoming an even better drummer over the last 10 years. Well, this record shows the brazilian madman continues to improve. Hardcore sepultura fans will easily be able to tell his trademark bass drumming, but he also places some really good fills here and there. There is also andreas work, which has some great solo work (unlike the last few records, where he would just play with the tremolo). Some of the riffs are plain out amazing, with a good mix of ringing and palm muting picking used. Derreck as a vocalist continues to impress me as well. Although his shouting can sound slightly hardcore at times, the aggression and brute force of it can rival any thrash metal vocalist, past or present. There is a huge originality seen in his voice, just take the second track, dark wood of error.
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