CD Review

Sepultura – “Dante XXI”

By Marcus Pan

Dante XXISepultura have become one of the few thrash metal bands that have built at least something of a following out of the purely thrash-metal underground scene. They’ve done this for the past ten years by continuously providing endless adrenaline-fueled metal, and not relying simply on the fast-playing techniques of their brethren. While fast and smashingly brutal, their work remains as something that others outside of the distinct thrash genre can grasp due to their talents and techniques. Dante XXI is very chunky, powerful and tight.

Here Come the Trumpets sounds both namewise and aurally as a threat. I can see the trumpets destroying the world now. A really annoying track. Immigrant Song has an interesting (guitar?) strumming vibe, but gets much too repetitive for my taste. The closing 300 White Rabbits is just blaring noise, really, without anywhere to go so I’ll have to give this one a thumbs down.

Dante XXI, due out this year from Sepultura, is a brilliant musical rendition of Divina Comedia by Dante Alighieri. With moving introductions that lead you into each land visited by Dante in this well known and brilliant comedic tragedy, the band will take you from Hell to Purgatory and on to Paradise, where the chosen reside while simultaneously distinguishing themselves as a chosen line-up of the classic thrash metal genre. Dark Wood of Error is blisteringly fast and thrashy proving Sepultura's capabilities in the thrash genre as a staple of the movement and style. The opening double bass drums of Convicted in Life is brilliant. The fast moving guitars and bass are tied tightly together and shows the maturity you'd expect from such a long standing act like Sepultura. The guitar work from City of Dis is wonderful, showcasing Sepultura's talent outside of the pure fast-riff work. Breaks into one of the fastest thrash songs I've heard in a while and doesn't lose any tightness or reeks of amateurishness as I've noticed with a lot of the crowd today showing that it is possible to play fast because you're good at it, and not because you need to hide the fact that you're not.

False includes solo work that defies the thrash metalheads and is one of the reasons why Sepultura enjoy a following outside of the otherwise closely knit genre’s underground. Fans of other metal music, from Maiden to Megadeth, would enjoy this type of work and it’s a testament to the talented playing of the band as a whole. By Ostia on track 8 we’ve passed from Hell into Limbo (Purgatory) as we continue to walk the worlds of Alghieri.

Buried Words walks the line between classic heavy metal and thrash, being fast enough to qualify for the latter but not driven solely by speed. Nuclear Seven is similar in that it’s slower than your typical thrash fare, but just as powerful. The subject matter here treads both on the thoughts of Dante Alighieri’s day as well as the constant threat of today’s world by power hungry nations of the planet Earth now. Check out the twiddly solos here to prove my point on Sepultura’s talent.

Sepultura continue to astound and improve, their maturity as a musical outfit proven not only in their style but their choice of subject matter. Whether or not your standard high school thrasher will even care to know that Dante XXI is a concept album built on the writings of a philospiher who lived in the 12 and 1300s is unknown, but even if they don’t the songs themselves are rivetingly strong enough to please even the most boorish of powerhungry fans. The more astute will realize the potential here and embrace the latest to the Sepultura catalogue with enjoyment.

Contact Information:
SPV America
Post: 48 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ, 07701, USA
Phone: (732) 741-2666

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