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Album Reviews : Sepultura – Quadra

By on March 29, 2020

At this point there is probably no need to give any background as the Sepultura story is well known by now, from humble beginnings in Brazil they became one the biggest bands in metal by the early nineties before an acrimonious split came to pass and they subsequently embarked on the second phase of their career. This brings us to their latest album, Quadra, a concept album built, as the title would suggest, around the numerology of the number four and its constant presence in our lives.

Admittedly, I was one of those people who checked out on Sepultura around the time of Roots and found their subsequent releases a bit hit or miss until I gave their previous album, Machine Messiah, a listen and came away impressed. As a result, I was almost looking forward to the release of Quadra and it clicked on the first hearing, in part because it carries on the momentum of the previous album but also due to the overall quality, and variety, of the songs themselves.

Guitarist Andreas Kisser has said that Quadra reflects the urge to revisit the old thrash feeling of Beneath The Remains or Arise in a more modern context but that is probably misleading, it is certainly full of aggressive elements that could qualify as thrash but is more than that. Broken into four parts it morphs from the more direct, heavier songs through to more complex, orchestrated tracks and, to their credit, the transition is done in such a logical manner, at no time does it feel disjointed or forced, which could easily have been the case given the concept.

Regardless of how you wish to describe it, Quadra sounds massive thanks to a big production courtesy of Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios, and this allows the orchestration and choirs that are employed at select moments to be heard without compromising the metallic base. And this base is strong, with all members turning in an impressive performance, which is only to be expected given their collective experience, and what it lacks in truly surprising moments it more than makes up for in the strength of the songs overall.

I get it, there are those that consider that Sepultura did their best work in the late eighties / early nineties, and there is no disputing that their early albums stand the test of time, but Quadra is a strong release that sees the band continuing to push themselves and their sound. Given half a chance it has the ability to impress, provided that it can be approached with an open mind, as Sepultura still have plenty, if not more, to offer at this point from a musical standpoint and you have to give them credit for staying true to themselves while releasing one of the best albums of their lengthy career.

Band: Sepultura
Album: Quadra
Year: 2020
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Origin: Brazil