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Classic Review: Sepultura - Beneath The Remains
Beneath The Remains

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1989
Duration: 42:14
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 4, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Beneath The Remains

Rated 4.58/5 (91.58%) (76 Votes)

Sometimes it's hard to remember why Sepultura were ever a big deal in the first place. After 15 years of crap like "Against" this once-mighty band has degenerated into a swirl of hardcore crap and stupid groove, when once they were the greatest Thrash band alive. Well, one spin of the classic breakout album "Beneath The Remains" will remind you of why anybody ever cared about a band that sold out and went to shit.

This is a Death/Thrash classic on a level with "Reign In Blood" or "Enemy Of God", Sepultura started out as a down and dirty Brazilian Death band, thugging out the kind of low-tuned, badly-produced crap that region is still known for, but here they snared a Roadrunner contract and so managed to get a decent recording job from up and comer Scotty Burns. The addition of guitarist Andreas Kisser was another factor, as here was a guy who could really shred, and he added a degree of musicality that this band had lacked previously. Finish off a solid album with a dash of the then-ubiquitous Thrash sound, and you have a breakout smash that still makes waves today. Now, sadly most of the bands Sepultura 'inspired' turned out to be the kinds of shit bands that squeezed mallcore out of their collective sphincter, but this was before any of that.

Someone once likened Sepultura to listening to a hurricane work its way through a labyrinth, and I can't really argue with that. Galloping, chunky riffs, blistering leads, furious speed fit to break your neck, and the barking, punchy vocals of Max Cavalera before he became a big puss. The secret ingredient here is genuinely catchy songwriting that makes standouts like "Stronger Than Hate", "Slaves Of Pain" and "Lobotomy" into pure, shout-along fun.

After this album, Sepultura managed one more decent effort with "Arise", and then blew it all with the ridiculous "Chaos AD", and nothing after that is even worth mentioning. But "Beneath The Remains" still, er, remains one of the very best Thrash albums of the 80s, and that's no small feat. Essential.

Other related information on the site
Review: Arise (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Kairos (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Schizophrenia (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Interview with bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Junior on March 26, 2017 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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