Review of the Album Quadra by Brazilian Thrash Metal Band Sepultura
Quadra Is the Best Album By Sepultura In At Least 15 Years
Quadra is the latest album from Brazil's groovy thrash metal band Sepultura and they are still alive and well after enduring the departure of Max Cavalera. They have been playing, recording, and performing for almost 25 years since his departure and I'm sure the question on some fans minds is how good can Quadra be? It has some decent groovy, heavy thrash and Derrick Green doesn't overdo it with his vocals which is a plus obviously. It gets to the point where there has to be a serious discussion of where Quadra ranks in relation to Sepultura's albums before it. My educated guess is that Quadra is the band's best album in at least 15 years, dating back to the Dante XXI (21) days. That was also the last album to feature Igor Cavalera playing the drums. There aren't too many albums that are this heavy that I can listen to in one setting and Quadra at least for now is one of those albums.
Songs Such As Ali, Raging Void and Guardians of Earth Show the Musical Diversity of Quadra
Ali is a good, heavy picking kind of song and it is good that even Sepultura is trying to sound musically diverse. Raging Void features harmony vocals which aren't exactly like Fear Factory but I think that Sepultura is growing musically as a band. This growth is also seen in the song called Guardians of Earth as there is an acoustic section similar to what Blind Guardian would have done in their early years and a choir part that spans most of the song.
Why Is Quadra An Album That Should Be Noticed?
Sepultura enters year #36 having put out a rather decent set of songs and I would even say that they are more musically mature as a group. While albums such as Arise in 1991 really put Sepultura on the path to commercial stardom and success, Quadra has a modern musical maturity that Arise does not.
"Quadra" Song Only
Quadra Is Sepultura's Most Successful Chart Topping Album Since 1998
Quadra can also be thought of as a hybrid of thrash and death metal but I would classify it more as a groovy thrash metal kind of album. One listen through the album Quadra has me rather impressed though it would be extremely difficult to top the greatness of the album Arise but Quadra is a really good modern album that shows more creativity. This album actually is the band's most successful one since Against in 1998 and it got on the charts in 17 countries. How about that for a band that has been around since 1984!
Quadra Still Has Melodt In It
If you want to hear melody being played, don't worry because Quadra will provide that as well.
Derrick Green Is the Better Vocalist for Sepultura's Current Style of Play
Yes, it won't be like the days when Max was the front man and the music isn't the fast pounding death metal style of the early 1990s. Those days are over and while I would have preferred Max as the front man over Derrick in the past, I really think that the case could be made that Derrick is the better guy for the band's current style. Derrick starts to sound just a little like Phil Anselmo did around 1996 in the song called Capital Enslavement. There is a little bit of a laugh as well in the song.
An Initial Analysis of the Album Quadra
Quadra begins rather slowly and then gets into a Holy Moses influenced song called Isolation and this song is about the effects of mass incarceration on a society. The song has a more modern type of guitar work that sort of resembles Arise but the thing is that this is more modern. Means to an End is an even heavier song that I see is somewhat of an Arch Enemy feel to it except imagine Arch Enemy as a thrash metal band. The song is lyrically trying to say how politics can brainwash people as the concept of divide and conquer is encouraged. If we are going to brainwash ourselves, we might as well prepare ourselves for success. Last Time is a song that lyrically is about a person that went down the wrong path but he wants to change his ways, redeeming himself one day at a time if he can. There is a special kind of significance to the title of the album Quadra. It is actually the Portuguese term for sports court. Guitarist Andreas Kisser explained in depth what this is all about. He basically said that everyone grows up in a different Quadra that has taken shape by rules and definitions. By this point in the album, Arise is going to get some competition. If it isn't doing so already, it will be a close call. Quadra is a more musically diverse album compared to Arise. Also, in 2020, artists are becoming more diverse. Back in 1991, there was either death metal, thrash metal, or the traditional heavy metal that we heard. If a band was a death metal band back in 1991, they generally stayed in that sub-genre. Raging Void, the song that we discussed earlier, has that exotic melodic guitar feel to it. Quadra is more than just a modern thrash metal release but it is one of those albums that brings to light the major social issues of our time including violence being waged in the name of wealth as is the case in the song Guardians of Earth. The title track Quadra is another outstanding instrumental done by these guys and it is further proof that these guys can still compete with the major thrash bands of the world.
"Means To An End"
Final Thoughts About Quadra
Two full listens through the entire album Quadra has me convinced that what Andreas Kisser is saying is valid and legitimate. Music is determined by how well it can fit within the context of an album and Quadra is not just a change for Sepultura but a major growth for this veteran Brazilian band that dominated MTV with their death metal videos in the 1990s.
© 2020 Ara Vahanian