Sepultura – Machine Messiah Review

Author: Laura Cosheril

SEPULTURA are one of those bands that everyone (including me) has an opinion on since the departure of Max Cavalera. As a reviewer, though, you need to be absolutely neutral so that is exactly how I approached this album. “Machine Messiah” is the fourteenth studio album by the Brazilian band. I did some research on the concept of this album and found this statement by Andreas Kisser:

“The main inspiration around Machine Messiah is the robotisation of our society nowadays. The concept of a God Machine who created humanity and now it seems that this cycle is closing itself, returning to the starting point. We came from machines and we are going back to where we came from. The messiah, when he returns, will be a robot, or a humanoid, our bio-mechanical savior.”

With a statement like that, this album is bound to induce the curiosities of fans .

Let’s start with the album artwork: it’s absolutely stunning. A far cry from the dark and monochrome covers that SEPULTURA usually sport.

SEPULTURA decided to open with the title track, which in itself is a little strange, what the title track actually includes is even stranger. “Machine Messiah” is a soft, Doom-y track that features a LOT of clean vocals which you don’t really expect, especially for the start of an album like this. My hopes of this album are dwindling fast at just the first track.

From the second track (“I am The Enemy”) onwards, we’re assaulted with a huge variety of different musical approaches and so many tone and tempo changes that you’ll get whiplash; there is no consistency here. SEPULTURA have never been afraid to showcase their Progressive style of Metal and in this album they decide to combine these proggy elements with Old School Punk, Groove and Thrash elements which, when listened to as a whole album sounds extremely disjointed and divided. If SEPULTURA made an album for each different sound they produced on this album, they could happily continue releasing albums for the next twenty years… That is how distorted “Machine Messiah” sounds.

Now this is not to say that “Machine Messiah” doesn’t have its glimmers of hope – it absolutely does. “Phantom Self” and “Sworn Oath” are brilliant tracks. SEPULTURA makes full use of a wide variety of instruments and sounds to give a very epic musical feel. “Sworn Oath” in particular has a darker undertone than the rest of the album with bestial riffage and spine tingling melodies it’s definitely my favourite.

No matter your own personal opinions, it’s hard to deny the fact Andreas Kisser is an absolute animal on the guitar. He produces killer riff after killer riff and this album is no different. The riffs on this album are catchy, heavy and memorable. It’s just a shame that every other aspect of the album is so muddled.

Overall this album is very underwhelming. If you’re going into this album with the hopes of it being an ode to the old SEPULTURA you will be sorely disappointed. While “Machine Messiah” isn’t necessarily a bad album, it’s definitely not up to par and only offers a few decent, memorable tracks and you certainly expect more from such an iconic band. I struggle to see what SEPULTURA are aiming for musically with this album, it raises a lot of questions as to where they’ll take their next release if this is anything to go by. Unfortunately I can’t say I’ll be listening to this again anytime soon.

Rating: 2.5/5

1. Machine Messiah
2. I Am the Enemy
3. Phantom Self
4. Alethea
5. Iceberg Dances
6. Sworn Oath
7. Resistant Parasites
8. Silent Violence
9. Vandals Nest
10. Cyber God
11. Chosen Skin (Bonus track)
12. Ultraseven no Uta

Derrick Green − lead vocals
Andreas Kisser − guitars
Paulo Jr. − bass
Eloy Casagrande − drums

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