Sepultura - A-Lex review



Reviewer:
6.0

232 users:
6.29
Band: Sepultura
Album: A-Lex
Release date: January 2009


01. A-Lex I
02. Moloko Mesto
03. Filthy Rot
04. We've Lost You
05. What I Do!
06. A-Lex II
07. The Treatment
08. Metamorphosis
09. Sadistic Values
10. Forceful Behavior
11. Conform
12. A-Lex III
13. The Experiment
14. Strike
15. Enough Said
16. Ludwig Van
17. A-Lex IV
18. Paradox


We all know the deal: Max Cavalera leaves Sepultura, they hire Derrick Green as his replacement and so begins a new era for the band. However, this meant they now had this odd fusion of nu metal and semi-thrash with tribal, groove and punk elements, which ended up sounding rather poor. In 2006 they released Dante XXI and seemed like they somewhat learnt to use this style to make a decent album. Three years later, here it comes, A-Lex

The A-Lex concept (based on Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, more well known thanks to Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation) was originally suggested for their previous effort that would become Dante XXI and so it was used for this album instead. There are four openers titled after the album "A-Lex". The first one starts off very promising, only to generate into sudden dirty and heavily distorted guitar riffing with the vocals immediately coming in, making it all seem explosive. Most of the tracks follow this or a similar pattern, making it seem like a suffocated sounding jam session. There are plenty of interludes, including the dragging beginning of "Sadistic Values" and the song "Ludwig Van" (the longest on the album, containing excerpts from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony). Although the guitar tone can be enjoyable, its main problem stems from the redundant and bland riffs. Derrick's voice is the same as always, so if you loved or hated it before, you'll still hold your views. The bass is really quirky and audible at almost all times but not distinguished enough to hold much significance amidst the music. Drumming is not bad at all, actually, but it's improperly mixed, therefore not having a very big impact either.

Of all the albums, this bears the most stylistic resemblance to Roots. "Enough Said" sounds like it's a rehash of "Dictatorshit" and "Filthy Rot" sounds like a primitive version of "Refuse/Resist" (from Chaos A.D.) but lacking the extreme tribal characteristics of Roots but, nevertheless, still retaining them to a degree. Atmosphere is where it partly excels at, helped by the odd synthesizer notes and guitar tuning but that's only a minor thing as the music itself is monotonous, bland and the way it's mixed, drains it from its power.

In short: if you liked post-Roots or even post-Chaos A.D. Sepultura (depends on your idea of the singing), then sure, buy this one. If not, stay the hell away.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 6

Written by vezzy | 18.08.2010


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 17   Visited by: 126 users
18.08.2010 - 23:41
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
Nice and fair review man. Completly agree.

I was thinking about writing a review for this album using Nadsat terms. How horrorshow would that be?
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member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
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19.08.2010 - 00:46
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Pretty sure I gave this piece of crap a 3 or something extremely low. Bland riffs indeed. And vocals are weak as usual...
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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19.08.2010 - 00:47
vezzy
Stallmanite
Written by Troy Killjoy on 19.08.2010 at 00:46

Pretty sure I gave this piece of crap a 3 or something extremely low. Bland riffs indeed. And vocals are weak as usual...


I'd say it's at least a 4.5, but whatever you like.
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19.08.2010 - 00:48
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Judging by your review I'd say you'd say it's at least a 6.0.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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19.08.2010 - 00:51
vezzy
Stallmanite
Written by Troy Killjoy on 19.08.2010 at 00:48

Judging by your review I'd say you'd say it's at least a 6.0.


You judge right!

But all things aside and generic music tolerance set lower, it'd be at least a 4.5 in that case. Bah, whatever the score, the closing comments say it all.
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19.08.2010 - 02:48
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
Heh I've been waiting for a review to come out and trash this album; boy oh boy did it blow. Although I'd have to disagree about the extent of the Roots comparison, mostly cuz I love Roots and couldn't stand this.
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19.08.2010 - 03:44
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
I LOVE their first 4 albums and the rest for me is MEH

And I really liked Dante XXI, I will give this a 7,3 or something... I liked it. The vocals and drums are fine imo. There aren't to good riffs though but it's still decent.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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19.08.2010 - 12:32
vezzy
Stallmanite
Written by Marcus on 19.08.2010 at 02:48

Heh I've been waiting for a review to come out and trash this album; boy oh boy did it blow. Although I'd have to disagree about the extent of the Roots comparison, mostly cuz I love Roots and couldn't stand this.


I hated Roots myself, but some songs were decent.
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19.08.2010 - 14:36
RavenKing
I think this album sucks. Bland and boring. And I think I dislike production as much as I dislike it on "World Painted Blood" (this kind of modern sterile production destroys any feeling and emotion music could otherwise have and makes it sound like a mere product and not art).
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They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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19.08.2010 - 14:49
vezzy
Stallmanite
Written by RavenKing on 19.08.2010 at 14:36

I think this album sucks. Bland and boring. And I think I dislike production as much as I dislike it on "World Painted Blood" (this kind of modern sterile production destroys any feeling and emotion music could otherwise have and makes it sound like a mere product and not art).


Yeah, it just drains from it.
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19.08.2010 - 19:45
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
Written by vezzy on 19.08.2010 at 12:32

Written by Marcus on 19.08.2010 at 02:48

Heh I've been waiting for a review to come out and trash this album; boy oh boy did it blow. Although I'd have to disagree about the extent of the Roots comparison, mostly cuz I love Roots and couldn't stand this.


I hated Roots myself, but some songs were decent.


I'll admit I'm biased toawrds it, Roots was probably my first metal album and I never "outgrew" it or anything like that, but that would explain it.
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20.08.2010 - 08:36
RafaRata
Underrated album IMO it derves an 8, people still don't get the fact there won't be another Beneath The Remains or a reunion with Max.
Performances and Production are great at least, the new drummer destroys!!!
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20.08.2010 - 12:05
vezzy
Stallmanite
Written by RafaRata on 20.08.2010 at 08:36

Underrated album IMO it derves an 8, people still don't get the fact there won't be another Beneath The Remains or a reunion with Max.
Performances and Production are great at least, the new drummer destroys!!!


I fully comprehend that there isn't gonna be a new Schizophrenia, BTR or Arise.

Even still, we should judge the album for what it is.
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20.08.2010 - 23:38
vezzy
Stallmanite
Lol spambot
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27.08.2010 - 16:16
Alakazam
Amatsu Mikaboshi
I, as for one fan, seemed to enjoy this and play it more than Dante XXI although I'm not quite sure why. Possibly due to how much I can appreciate Sepultura nowadays and that alot of the riffs on this album just clicked all well with me, not sure why but I find the consistency and flow of it overall more engaging than Dante and certanlly anything that Max has currently shot out.

Although two basic irrelevant things, Dante has the much better production although A-lex has their best looking cover art since the Michael Whelan days....a little sidenote of the small "Fanboy" side to Sepultura that I've still got.
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07.08.2011 - 18:31
Kuroboshi
When I listened to this, the by far most interesting part was their fucked up version of the great 9th symphony. Man, I wished I just listened to some Beethoven instead of listening to this boring and bland metal album.
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26.10.2011 - 08:15
sepulkisser
6???? A-LEX is a fucking insane album... It's a mix of thrash and groove, it's powerful, and have a beatiful version of Beetoven's 9th symphony arrenged by "Maestro" Alexey... Was almost perfect! To me: 9!!!
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