SEPULTURA - Beneath the Remains (ROADRUNNER - CD 1992)
“Beneath the Remains” for sure was like a new beginning for Sepultura; they entered the world! First of all, after being signed to small Brazilian label Cogumelo (a legendary label nowadays for sure) they’ve found a new record company – and this time it was a major label; one, which was about to have a huge influence on the thrash and especially death metal in years to come, with distribution worldwide: Roadrunner Records. With them Sepultura became one of the most recognized names in the metal world; together they conquered it! Secondly, the recording session for “Beneath the Remains” may have taken place in Brazil, but the mixing was done at the famous Morrisound Studio, with Scott Burns and Tom Morris doing the job. And obviously soundwise the album is a huge step forward when compared to the two previous LPs (“Morbid Visions” especially). It is enough to say that the sound of “Beneath the Remains” is powerful, aggressive and perfectly clean. Finally, the songwriting for the album is better than before, with some absolutely crushing songs and utterly memorable riffs and the performance of every band member is simply excellent (I especially like the drumming of Igor Cavalera, who’s such an awesome drummer). You can truly hear that Sepultura has evolved and progressed a lot and even if I really like “Schizophrenia” I just must admit that “Beneath the Remains” is slightly better than its predecessor and probably will always be the best thing, which those Brazilians have ever recorded (I am not even going to comment what they’re recording nowadays… I don’t care, the band doesn’t exist for me).
“Beneath the Remains” begins like a dream album. Side A has four tracks and all four of them are just absolute crushers. The title track is an instant killer, with such an awesome riffing and arrangements that for sure it is one of my favourite Sepultura songs ever! A calm acoustic theme is like a calm before the storm, as suddenly a furious death / thrashing riffing erupts and the powerful energy of this music fills my room. Oh, so fast, so furious… and one can call it death metal, most will probably call it thrash metal – but thrash metal in most aggressive and intense way possible… who cares what will it be called if the music is awesome? “Beneath the Remains” is a real highlight of the album for me (“Who has won? Who has died? Beneath the Remains!!!” – yeah man!), but it is followed by another killer “Inner Self”, so there’s no time to breath, but headbanging continues! Again the riffs are absolutely amazing, the drumming and vocals are perfect and so are also the whole arrangements. This song is slower than the one before, not so intense (although it fastens in the chorus part), there are some more melodic parts here and there, but it still kicks ass seriously. Andreas Kisser shows his great skills in guitar leads department, Igor’s drums are strong… And suddenly “Stronger than Hate” begins! For sure one of the fastest and most aggressive songs; really nice, I love how it begins, with those melodic leads and then when it speeds up. This song has a guest vocal participation in chorus part by some well known vocalists from bands like Obituary, Incubus and Atheist, but they only scream the song title in the chorus, so you cannot even guess that John Tardy is there, as you just couldn’t hear it, so if I didn’t read about it in the booklet then I would never know. OK, no time for bullshit, “Mass Hypnosis” starts… the vocals of Max Cavalera are sometimes a bit weird, more in the classic thrash metal vein I would say… also some of the ideas for this song are slightly weird, so not everything about this song is perfect in my opinion, but it is good anyway.
Side B starts with two songs, which not often are mentioned as Sepultura’s finest pieces, but I personally like them a lot: “Sarcastic Existence” and “Slaves of Pain” (this one was originally written by Kisser for his previous band Pestilence). They both are excellent and shred with some absolutely phenomenal riffs and that sheer aggression. I love the arrangements again, the drumming and just everything about these two songs. What is so great about “Beneath the Remains” album is that even those more mediocre songs like “Lobotomy” and “Hungry” sound great – the latter has some truly nice riffs and is a perfect headbanger in my opinion… I bet every band would love to have such “mediocre” songs on their album hehe! Finally the LP is finished with “Primitive Future” – and the tempo is once more fast and the song is truly aggressive and savage… Thrash attack! I have nothing more to add, really… If you don’t know this album then I have no idea what were you waiting for… it is a mandatory release for every metalhead, whatever style of metal is his favourite.
Standout tracks: “Beneath the Remains”, “Inner Self”, “Slaves of Pain”, “Primitive Future”
Final rate: 90/100