Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 3/14/2006
posted on 3/2006 By:
Ill admit it; I have not heard a single album beyond the seminal Roots and I have never even heard a single note from Derrick Green since he replaced Max Cavalera; Against, Nation and Roorback. Never heard ‘em. So with that it’s hard for me to gauge how Dante XXI stands up to the rest of the post-Max Cavelera era Sepultura. That being said, just from listening to Dante XXI and researching the response to prior albums, I can safely say Dante XXI is Sepultura’s best album since Derrick Green took over.
Heck, Dante XXI is just a flat good thrash album regardless of any previous pre Max and post Max leanings. There seems (and again I can only say this based on research) to be a return to more tribal, organic themes above and beyond the albums titular namesake. Dante XXI displays some orchestration, strings, cellos, chants and such with far less of a Nu metal, predictable chunk as I gather the last few albums had. The tempos and moods on Dante XXI are incredibly varied, and to be honest, if the album had not been called Dante XXI and you didn’t have the song titles, you’d be hard pressed to determine the albums theme (Dante’s The Divine Comedy) as Sepultura seem to have let out all the stops within the structures of thrash metal.
After instrumental opener “Lost” and the menacing and percussive but brief lurch of “Dark Wood of Error” the seething “Convicted in Life” reeks of an angry, unfettered Sepultura, finally free of the Roadrunner gleaned era. “City of Dis” sees the albums first foray into more tribal elements and pacing with ominous lumber and subtle monkish chants amid the rumbling thrash. “False” cranks up the intensity again while “Fighting On” staggers with heaviness and both come across as vehemently metal as I’ve heard the band in a decade. However, on Dante XXI, what stood out for me was the use of dramatic strings, keys and cellos on a few tracks signified by Dante’s shift into purgatory, it also signifies the album’s shift into more epic, adventurous structures. Starting with “Limbo” and bleeding into the massively epic standout “Ostia”, Sepultura show they are still a musical force to be reckoned with regardless of who is singing for them. “Burning Words” is a bit of a hardcore-ish letdown from the previous track, though the lumbering “Nuclear Seven” makes up for it.
The good thing about Dante XXI is that its never stationary for long as the 15 track including a few interludes (“Lost”,“Euno”, “Limbo”, “Primium Mobile”), are as varied and to the point as they can be without wandering or being too busy and unfocussed. Even with the levels of evolution, the band falls back on solid straight up thrash (“Crown and Miter”-orchestral thrash?) or a solid mid paced bruising. Even closer, “Still Flame”, though barely metal, is still a introspective and well placed album closer considering the theme and albums intensity up to its close.
Those, like me that lost interest in Sepultura after Chaos AD or Roots, should definitely give a Sepultura the respect of giving them another go around as they appear to be back up their old tricks as Dante XXI is a very good, Green fronted album finally worthy of the band’s legacy.
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