Sepultura – Machine Messiah

Long gone is the time that Sepultura played old school thrash and the times of ‘Beneath the Remains’ and ‘Arise’ will never return. The band developed their style with adding more tribal influences and after the departure of Max and with Derrick Green the style of the music even changed more. A lot of early hour fans never got used to the new vocalist and to the new darker and more groovy  style. ‘The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart’ was a nice album if you just look at it with an open mind and you sure not compare it with their eighties albums. The music even got a more dark edge and the tribal parts were less. That development is carried on with the music on this new album.

The first song confused me, was this the new Sepultura, did I put on the right music? Yes I did, but the first song is not something you expect from Sepultura, it is slow, dark and very mysterious and even now I don’t know what to think of it. It is a good song, but not typical Sepultura. “I Am the Enemy” forms a big contrast with the opener and is a short fast and heavy aggressive thrash hammer and hits you straight in the face.

That not all the tribal influences are gone can be heard in “Phantom Self”. A groovy kind of bombastic epic track with orchestral parts in it and is in my eyes one of the stronger pieces on the album. Sepultura really made progression, you can say that there are parts on the album that fall under progressive metal. A small example of that is “Iceberg Oath”, a melodic pure heavy metal instrumental with hammond organs, weird sounds and flamengo guitar added to it. The bombastic orchestral track “Sworn Oath” follows, an epic song that underlines the development Sepultura still makes. The variety in the song sees to it that you need to listen to it a few times, but then you hear the beauty and the strong song writing back. Aggression and groove follow with the next track with again an orchestral part that fits the song.

Pure thrash returns with “Silent Violence’, this is together with the next song the most old school sounding song where they show some of their early eighties roots, completed by a howling guitar solo. The thrash fan will also be pleased with “Vandals Nest” a short high speed track with strong riffs and nice solos. After this violence the album ends with another kind of epic song with a lot of variety, but still typical Sepultura.

I think this album will take some spins for a few listeners before it really shows its beauty and strength. The band went on where their last album stopped, but added more orchestral parts, the music is a bit less into your face, more open and with quite some new (progressive) elements added. So don’t expect a real thrash album, but just a good record with lots of thrash influences and much more… Not bad, not bad at all….


01. Machine Messiah
02. I Am the Enemy
03. Phantom Self
04. Alethea
05. Iceberg Dances
06. Sworn Oath
07. Resistant Parasites
08. Silent Violence
09. Vandals Nest
10. Cyber God

Playing time: 46:00

Release date: 13 January 2017

Label: Nuclear Blast


Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 383 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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