Metal bands that have played for several decades tend to either evolve into what newer bands are doing or stick closer to their classic sound. Although there is still a clear evolution, the overall creative direction of the Machine Messiah keeps its roots to the classic Sepultura sound.
One of the key elements that always sticks out with Sepultura albums is their embracing of other (non-metal genre) instruments, particularly native Brazilian instruments. That trend continues here as non-traditionally metal instruments are utilised throughout the album, including the usage of string interludes that add nice ambience.
Although I love it when a band can make a strong album with only vocals, guitar, bass and drums, I can still appreciate when other instruments are brought in to add another dimension. There are plenty of great bands keeping it simple, so it’s refreshing to listen to what creative options Sepultura add to give Machine Messiah an edge.
Orchestral layouts are used to add intensity to the chorus or peaks in the songs or to create ambience between climaxes. Tracks like ‘Phantom Self’, ‘Iceberg Dances’, ‘Sworth Oath’ and ‘Resistant Parasites’ utilise different instrumentation, helping add flavour to an already fantastic sound foundation.
This is the second album for Eloy Casagrande and his tight groove adds intensity without overusing any of the typical Metal drumming clichés. Green’s vocals might not be the most innovative compared to the techniques vocalists are using now, but those who enjoy his style will be satisfied with the performance.
Even as times goes on and music (especially metal) grows and changes, there still aren’t many options out there presenting similar alternatives to Sepultura. Although there are elements that can be found in other bands and subgenres, Machine Messiah still manages to carve out its own unique sound in the metal spectrum.
Reviewed by Nutman