|Review: Sepultura - Schizophrenia|
Label: Cogumelo Records
Year released: 1997
Originally released in: 1987
Review online: March 9, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Sepultura's second album marked a period in which the band was transitioning from a juvenile Satanic band to a Thrash Metal beast. Released just a year after the debut, Schizophrenia showed a stunning songwriting growth that I didn't expect. After the Psycho (the movie) sounding intro the band explodes into "From the Past Comes the Storm" and thrashes more than anything the band did previously or to what few bands have done before.
This also is the debut of future longtime guitarist Andreas Kisser. His impact is huge as a person that could genuinely shred, he adds an element of musicianship that this band sorely needed. That was not his only contribution to the record as he also co-wrote the whole album with Max Cavalera.. Those two made songs that are among the best in their catalogue like "Escape to the Void", "R.I.P. Rest in Pain" and one of the best fucking instrumentals ever in "Inquisition Symphony". Naturally, this is catchier and less visceral than Morbid Visions, but that is something that I expected.
The rest of the band has improved as well. Max Cavalera's voice is a lot more intelligible but still carrying enough venom and anger. His rhythm guitar playing adds a ton of heavy and vicious riffs to the songs and complements them very well. Igor Cavalera's drumming has improved as well, he remains fast but not out of control like he sometimes was on the debut. Paulo Jr.'s bass is so buried in the sound that you rarely noticed it. Production-wise, it is crappy but it has that charming quality that underground albums have.
Schizophrenia was released right at the beginning of the Death Metal explosion that was happening in the U.S. It had a tremendous influence on the bands over there and it stands the test of time. However, their genius only lasted for two more albums, after that they became a sad joke, releasing utter shit like Roots and Nation and embarrassing anyone who ever liked this band in the process. I don't think that this is their best album but I have no problem if fans considered it to be, it is that awesome.
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