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Review of the Album "Against" by Sepultura the First to Feature Derrick Green Doing the Vocals

Updated on July 21, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The cover of the album Against shows what looks like a Venn Diagram in the center. There are two images of masks that are typically worn during theatrical plays.
The cover of the album Against shows what looks like a Venn Diagram in the center. There are two images of masks that are typically worn during theatrical plays.

How Would the Band Sepultura Do Without Max Cavalera?

Sepultura, one of the longest standing thrash and death metal bands had to deal with the departure of longtime vocalist and guitarist Max Cavalera. The question in the minds of fans of the band and the genre might have been how is the band going to be or perform without Max as the front man?

The Album "Against" is an Average Album by This Band

At first listen it may seem like their 1998 album "Against" is a terrible, poorly constructed album that makes no sense musically. As I got deeper into my listening experience, I realized that this album should be given a little more credit than it might have deserved at the time. Replacing Max Cavalera on vocals is Cleveland Ohio’s Derrick Green who does not have as rough a voice as Max does. Derrick Green’s vocals are also not as great as Max’s are especially from a death metal perspective.


Against: A Brief Review Starting With the Songs Against and Choke

The first song Against starts with some thumping noise before getting into a System of a Down influenced guitar playing and vocal style. Near the end of the song as the riffing gets heavier, it sounds a little like the song called Forest. There is no reason to compare this short song to that longer terrific one but it had to be mentioned that the end of the song Against sounds a little like that one. The shouts are quick and aggressive. The band still shows their speed though the style is nothing like the death metal that you hear on the albums Arise and Chaos AD. Choke is influenced by late 1990’s Pantera and it is a song about what happens when a person becomes too greedy. Too much greed can lead to a person’s downfall in life. There is a repetition of the word “choke” and this incessant low shouting drags down the score of this song. There are tribal style drums in the album.

"Against" the Review Part 2

The next song Rumors has a heavy bass line and it sounds like a heavy grunge style song except it has death metal vocals in it. Derrick uses a lot of lower growl style vocals and whispers and it does not help him in the song called Old Earth. The song is also so heavy and drowned out that it sounds like a weaker version of a song on Lacuna Coil's Karmacode. The song Floaters in Mud has a lot of lead guitar play that uses the “wah” pedal, something that Kirk Hammett used to his advantage but it does not work well here to be inspiring enough. The very heavy song Boycott describes the situation that exists when there is much urban warfare in a country. These kinds of events can lead to mental corruption, fatigue, stress, depression and a host of health problems. There is a tribal drum influenced instrumental song in this album called Tribus. The tribal style drumming and bass guitar work continues into the song called Common Bonds.

Obviously the album Against is nowhere near as good as the albums that Sepultura recorded in the early to mid-1990’s. Gone are the complex, melodic riffs along with the impressive drumming that we heard earlier. This album is a mishmash of industrial influenced death metal resembling a weaker version of Fear Factory as well as Pantera and System of a Down influences. With the next instrumental song Kamaitaichi, the album redeems itself at least a little with there being a decent riffing pattern along with the tribal style drumming. The very fast song "Drowned Out" is influenced by the song Biotech is Godzilla in terms of the speed. The song is about someone who takes whatever is not his and he uses selfishness to try and take advantage of others.

"Hatred Aside"

Final Thoughts About the Album "Against"

Overall, Against is an album that is okay and it is the weakest album from Sepultura that I have heard thus far. Even with the song Hatred Aside which is heavy and has Jason Newsted contributing vocals, it is not enough to put the album in elite category. Hard core fans will probably think that Against is a poor album musically but let me say that it is different from earlier albums but it is far from the worst. Looking back at this album in 2021, this is not a musical choke job by Sepultura rather this is their first studio album after Max’s departure so I will give them credit for transitioning into a different era. There is very much a groove metal influence in this album and if it is done properly then it will be good to listen to.

The Song "Against"

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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