ARTIST:

SEPULTURA

(BRAZIL)
TITLE:

A-LEX

(2009)
LABEL:

SPV STEAMHAMMER

GENRE:

THRASH

TAGS:
Concept-album, Growl, Opera-Rock
"Concept album based on Anthony Burgess' book, Orange Mécanique, "A-Lex" is a concentrate of brutality close to "Arise" or "Beneath The Remains"."
NOISE (20.02.2009)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

With "Dante XXI", released in 2006, Sepultura had made a great comeback after a rather disappointing "Roorback" (2003). But while one could think the band was completely revived, ten years after Max Cavalera's departure, Sepultura had to go through another difficult stage of its long career. Indeed, it was his drummer, Igor Cavalera, Max's brother, who left the band in 2006. In doing so, the band lost another founding member, leaving bassist Paulo Jr. as the sole survivor of the original line-up. 

However, the band got up again under the impulse of Paulo Jr and especially his faithful guitarist Andréa Kisser. The latter, the true soul of the band since 1996, will once again succeed in keeping Sepultura alive by hiring a new drummer, Jean Dolabella. And it was without wasting any time that the band went back into the studio after a tour in 2008, to offer us this "A-Lex". 

Like its predecessor, the album is a concept album based this time round on Anthony Burgess's book Orange Mécanique. To retrace the story, the band followed the outline of the book, that is to say three main parts followed by a short last one to retrace the last chapter of the film not covered in Kubrick's film. Each part starts with an instrumental, "A-Lex" (I, II, III...), thus delimiting the story.

Musically, this record turns out to be one of the most brutal Sepultura has delivered in many years. One would sometimes think to be immersed in the era of "Arise" or "Beneath the remains". Contrary to "Nation" or "Dante XXI", which had a lot of melodic passages, everything here is almost only fury and power. The hardcore aspect is ultra present thanks to Derrick Green's impressive vocals, and the tracks rarely exceed three minutes and go straight to the point.

In eighteen tracks, Sepultura retraces Burgess's book with efficiency and a rare nastiness. The first part is by far the most aggressive. It traces the violent acts of Alex (the hero of the book) and his gang. After a dark but quite affordable "A-Lex I", slowly rising in power, the band slaps the listener with the four titles of this first part. The newcomer, Dollabela has perfectly integrated itself into Sepultura and even managed to make Igor Cavalera forget by his terrible strike and very well put forward. From this first part, we will especially keep in mind the terrible sequence "Moloko mesto", "Filthy rot" which plunges us directly into the universe of Burgess. 

The second part, which recounts the moment when Alex is treated for his ultra-violence, is certainly more nuanced, but it doesn't lose the rage and the energy deployed since the beginning. "A-Lex II" is a good illustration of this, being at the same time heavy and relatively calm. Five tracks are on the program, with first of all a short "The treatment", more hardcore, in a rather heavy but slower genre. Then follows a more laid down "Metamorphosis", starting slowly as if to accompany the evolution of the book and its main character, the atmosphere remaining dark despite everything. This is also the case on the best title of this part, "Sadistic Values", which lasts nearly seven minutes. Starting in a very melodic way with clear vocal parts, Green being very good in this genre, and an almost atmospheric guitar riff, it evolves on an ultra heavy acceleration supported by agressive drums and a good solo by Andréa Kisser. 

The third part, which sees the hero return to society and suffer in turn the violence he made others endure, is a little shorter and is especially marked by the title "Ludwig Van". Sepultura worked on this one to take up various themes from Beethoven. Although the result is relatively sympathetic, it is a little difficult to include it in the rest of the album. In their defence, it was difficult not to go through Beethoven, so much his name marked Orange Mécanique. 

Sepultura finishes its story with a short fourth part which thus takes up the last chapter of the book not covered by Kubrick's film. In this part, Alex thinks about moving away from violence. The band choose to present this in one title, 'Paradox', purely thrash and ideal to finish the album in a very violent way.

So this "A-Lex" is a great success for Sepultura. Fans who have liked the band since Derrick Green's arrival in 1997 will undoubtedly be seduced by this record. I can only advise others to listen to it, Kisser and his band deserve it. 


More informations on https://www.sepultura.com.br/





TRACK LISTING:
01. A-Lex I (01:53)
02. Moloko Mesto (02:09)
03. Filthy Rot (02:45)
04. We've Lost You! (04:13)
05. What I Do! (02:01)
06. A-Lex II (02:18)
07. The Treatment (03:23)
08. Metamorphosis (03:01)
09. Sadistic Values (06:50)
10. Forceful Behavior (02:27)
11. Conform (01:54)
12. A-Lex III (02:03)
13. The Experiment (03:28)
14. Strike (03:40)
15. Enough Said (01:36)
16. Ludwig Van (05:29)
17. A-Lex IV (02:46)
18. Paradox (02:15)

LINEUP:
Andreas Kisser: Guitares
Derrick Green: Chant
Jean Dolabella: Batterie
Paulo Jr.: Basse
   
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