SEPULTURA - Schizophrenia (COGUMELO - LP 1987)
Oh, how I wish the day had 48 hours rather than 24. There are always so many things I would want to do, but never have enough time to actually do them, because you need to work, eat, sleep, find time for your wife and son… That annoying lack of time influences even the records, which I listen to. As I collect and buy so many new – and old – records every week and then obviously I must listen to them few times, before putting on the shelf I realize that sometimes I just have no time to listen to some older albums, which I had for years. Sepultura is a good example for that. I’ve been listening to them a lot in the 90’s, but recently I realized that I haven’t played their records for over 10 years, which is a shame obviously. So, I decided to refresh my memory and last month I decided to exhume “Morbid Visions”. And yesterday I did the same with “Schizophrenia”. And I must admit that it was a great pleasure to listen to this album once more, after so many years. Actually I think that now I even like this album more than “Morbid Visions” and despite remembering and knowing every note, every sound on the album it felt like listening to it after the whole decade refreshed it a lot and caused that I am quite enthusiastic about Sepultura’s music again; something I wouldn’t expect at all.
“Schizophrenia” thrashes my guts right from the first to very last song and I must say that there’re no feeler songs at all. Each track is just a classic metal attack… and whether you’ll call it a thrash metal or thrash / death metal, I leave I to you. The most important factor is that Sepultura with “Schizophrenia” has progressed incredibly and I shouldn’t even compare “Schizophrenia” to “Morbid Visions”, because it would be the same if someone wanted to compare “Scream Bloody Gore” to “Human” – both albums are from the same band, but are completely different to each other. But in case of Death I like their debut more, while when speaking of Sepultura’s, “Schizophrenia” wins the trophy, in my opinion. Of corpse if someone is looking for the most bestial, evil and raw, primitive and morbid death metal then “Morbid Visions” will be his choice… And yeah, that album has its charm and satanic aura. I agree there are some killer tunes on it, but as overall it also feels a bit sloppy here and there, while “Schizophrenia” is just in different league, taking Sepultura to new dimension. So, satanic matters have been left in the past, something new came over. The production may still remain slightly on the rawer edge, but it also is far away from the chaos and noise of the debut LP.
A creepy, symphonic, horror like theme serves as a short intro and all of a sudden a killer, fast as hell riffing of “From the Past Comes the Storms” erupts and yeah… I’m truly impressed. Max Cavalera’s voice is still quite rough and gives the music more aggressive and vicious feeling from what you would expect from a typical thrash metal record. And side A of the LP goes through three more awesome songs, of which I especially like “Escape to the Void”, which is just killer track, with some exceptional riffs and memorable chorus. And “Inquisition Symphony” is for sure of the best instrumental songs I have heard, I can even compare it to some classic Metallica tracks, such as “The Call of Cthulhu”, speaking of the quality and the ability to impress with the instrumental passages. All in all every song on side A is a pure metal slaughter, with excellent performance of every member and great, crushing riffing. I couldn’t ask for more. And speaking of side B, nothing really changes. Maybe some songs are my least favourites, speaking of the whole tracklist of “Schizophrenia”, but the band still shreds like crazy. For my favourites I would especially have to mention “R.I.P. (Rest in Pain)” and “Septic Schizo” – two excellent pieces of relentless thrash metal. “Septic Schizo” for instance is so fast that I can see in my imagination the ferocity and madness it was creating in the crowd, when Sepultura was playing it live back in those old days. It must have been phenomenal experience. I’m not surprised that such a furious song is followed by a nice, calm acoustic instrumental piece “The Abyss”, otherwise the adrenaline would erupt too much! Oh, my 1991’s Roadracer vinyl version contains also a new version of “Troops of Doom”, which Sepultura recorded back in 1990. And to be honest, while I really like this song and it is a nice addition to “Schizophrenia” I must admit that I like the original version more hehe (which doesn’t mean this one is shit… it just isn’t as good as that fierce original version).
If I was really picky I would probably mention a couple of things from “Schizophrenia”, which could have been done better… While the satanic lyrics and the whole image from “Bestial Devastation” and “Morbid Visions” are gone, the texts on this album are really crap. I know the band spoke very bad English at that time, etc, but the lyrics aren’t just that good. Some people mention also the production for being not the best… Well, personally I really like it; the guitars sound razor sharp, Max’s vocals are vicious… But maybe the drums could have sounded more powerful? From the other hand you can clearly hear how an excellent drummer the younger of Cavalera brothers was already at the time of recording the second Sepultura album.
I am actually quite surprised when I’ve read somewhere some anecdotes about “Schizophrenia”. Many parts of the album were written by Jairo G., but the guitarist decided to leave the band before the whole material was finished. And I always thought that it was Andreas Kisser, who should be praised for writing such an awesome album. But no, Kisser joined shortly before the recording session, but managed to have a huge impact on the record anyway, especially as he brought a song titled “Escape Into the Mirror” from his previous band called Pestilence, which was rearranged and retitled for “Escape to the Void”. One more song of Pestilence was used on “Beneath the Remains” (“Slaves of Pain”). More so, Kisser recorded all bass parts for “Schizophrenia”, which I didn’t know about, as Paulo Jr. is present on all the photos and the credits on the LP. Such facts are always interesting to know about, especially if we talk about such legendary albums as “Schizophrenia”. For sure this is a great record and even this cheesy front artwork (which looks like it was taken from the 80’s C-class horror movie) won’t destroy the impression.
Standout tracks: “From the Past Comes the Storms”, “Escape to the Void”, “Inquisition Symphony”, “Septic Schizo”
Final rate: 90/100