I have been a long time Sepultura fan starting from Arise. After Max left, i thought Sepultura had lost it. I didn't care much about their albums up until Kairos which was a turning point. That album was excellent, just pure brutal metal. This new album is a tad bit lower than Kairos in terms of metal attack, but I recon that they are still on the right track.
Best Sepultura album for a long time. Feels raw, live and full of feeling. Pretty brutal, but has a lot of different vibes. You can definitely feel the new energy that Eloy brings. This feels like the Sepultura album I've been waiting for, for some time now, and now it's here, can't wait to see them live!
Not a lot of early Sepultura fans have given any time to the Derrick Green albums, and granted, 'Nation' and 'Against' were probably two of the weakest Seps' albums following Max's acrimonious departure shortly after 'Roots,' but, 'Roorback,' 'Dante XII', 'A-Lex,' and 'Kairos' are all superb albums and I recommend either of them. Note - they get gradually heavier and thrashier as time goes on, and this album continues that trend and takes the heaviness to 11! Make no mistake, this is definitely the heaviest album Sepultura have released in a long time and their most thrash metal outing since 'Arise.' I, as like many Sepultura fans had some reservations about the announcement of Ross Robinson as this album's producer. RR divided fans with the brilliant 'Roots' as the solo's had mostly disappeared, the riffs got simpler, the thrash element was almost completely taken out and some of the songs were 'Nu Metal' almost. Roots Part 2 this is not. Instead RR has delivered probably their fastest album to date which borders on death/black metal on some songs and still maintains Andreas Kissers’ very distinct soloing. The riffs and the overall sound is great and the production is impeccable whilst also having its own distinctive sound and character. Although this is by a vast majority a thrash album there are a few surprises here and there. 'The Vatican' starts off with a soft and beautiful classical church choir intro for close to 2 minutes before hammering in the filth with some very heavy thrash riffs. 'Impending Doom' has a very heavy, thrashy groove that makes your head involuntarily bang. Opening track 'Trauma Of War' stalls for a bit before hitting the ground rocketing away at the speed of light with a thrash riff that echoes Slayer's 'Angel Of Death.' Closing track 'De Lama Ao Caos' is a Chico Science cover with Andreas Kisser on vocals. I haven't heard the original, but I can imagine Sepultura have added their own spin to it, it is very different and enjoyable although it's probably the weakest track in the album. 'Age of the Atheist' is probably the most conventional song - but that description doesn't really do it justice. A slow power chord intro rolls into an abstract riff before getting faster and faster towards the chorus - a great song. My only complaint with this album is the 12 - 15 minutes of silence on the final track, which is brought to a close but a 6/7 minute drum duel between Sepultura's new drummer Eloy Casagrande and ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo (see the DVD). Not that's there's anything wrong with the drum duel, but why on earth must you either wait such a long amount of time or scroll to hear it? Why not give it its own slot on the album or at least a 10 second silence gap? It is something that plagued late 90's early 00's metal albums and often features in Ross Robinson albums and is one of my pet hate's. However, that is a very minor flaw and does in no way tarnish this superb album. This album brings something new to the table, revisits the thrash metal Sepultura of old, manages to keep their trademark sound and Brazilian heritage, but still challenging enough to keep it interesting. Old and new Sep's fans, have a listen and thrash out!
With 'The Mediator' Sepultura venture into territory that is more raw and heavy than anything they have done since 1989's 'Beneath the Remains'. The songs are more death metal influenced, most of them are uptempo, and the whole production (by Ross Robinson) gives the album a very raw edge. This is notable from the get-go, with the razorshap opener 'Trauma of War', a blistering thrasher. Much of this is due to the influence of young new drummer Eloy Casagrande, who infuses the album with his youthful energy and impeccable technique. Among the uptempo violence, 'Impending Doom' is a breather in a sense, giving us a more slow track, very heavy and initially remniscent of a band like Gojira, while later on in the song showing some flavour of their own 'A-Lex' record. 'Grief' is another odd man out, being a ballad of sorts, which alternates between soft verses (with great clean singing) and a heavy chorus which works very well. The rest of the album is thrash and death heaviness galore with some groove here and there, but mostly relentless thrashy drumming and riffing. Especially notable is Derrick Green's performance on this disc. He delivers a very versatile performance and sounds like a veritable madman at times. Yet even within the madness there is room for nuance and variety, with each song getting a different treatment while staying brutal. Amazing.
2011's 'Kairos' was already a great album, and 2013's 'The Mediator' shows us an even heavier, rawer, more intense Sepultura. Obviously, they have enough energy and creativity in them to go on for another decade or more. A must buy.
I always feel this massive divide between both Sepultura and Soulfly within the metal community, not dulled by the fact that everyone cries out for Max Cavalera to return to the band. If people care to know their musical history then they would know the truth about why Max left Sepultura first and started Soulfly, whom have just released their ninth album Savages. I love both Sepultura and Soulfly, and having rediscovered my love for the band with 2011′s outing Kairos, now with the band set to release a new album I am mildly excited for it.
With the rather lengthy album a title serving as a hint for Sepultura’s inspiration – the 1927 Science-Fiction film Metropolis – it’s no secret that much like the film the album is visionary yet true to its roots. Sepultura it seems since Max’s departure and Igor’s as well, now that I mention it, have fallen under the cosh and fallen into hard times trying to rediscover their old selves, but with both Kairos and The Mediator… (let’s call it that for short) I feel that Sepultura more than do themselves credit. The album starts off with “Trauma of War” which has a fairly climatic build up introduction before exploding into Sepultura’s more traditional thrash metal, and there it continues at the same pace.
If this any measuring stick against past material then The Mediator… might the best thing since their 1996 masterpiece Roots. I’ve never ventured past Roots and listen to the ‘Derrick-era’ as it were, but Kairos was my first bold introduction and now with Eloy fully onboard as their drummer, he has an amazing talent and a vibrant youthful energy. It certainly brings that extra ‘oomph’ to the band which I think that they’ve missed. The album’s production is exactly how I would expect: raw and edgy, with just that little hint of a modern production.
Again I know there will be a lot of divide between the fans of who the ‘real’ Sepultura is to them, but to me, I think this album carries some weight when you think of 2013′s already incredible standards in the metal scene. I’ve listened to this album a few times over now and it certainly has a heavier influence all throughout, even the ballad “Grief” helps to serve as a reminder that whilst Sepultura are incredibly ball-breakingly heavy they can also write a melodic tune as well. The last track’s length time of twenty-five minutes threw me a little, “Da Lama Ao Caos”, but it has the song then a massive break in the middle before Eloy cuts into a drum solo. Nice little touch to give the kid some big exposure minus the band.
Overall, The Mediator is a fantastic album from Sepultura as they flex their heavier muscles. Depending on what side of the fence you stand on then you’ll love or hate this album, but again this is just my opinion. From start to finish it shows how much Sepultura have grown and with Ross Robison at the helm this album sounds great. Be sure to go and pick it up, and see Sepultura on tour.