Sound — 8
First full-lenght album released by Sepultura in 1986. In this album, the band is still very rooted on death metal, unlike later releases like "Schizophrenia" and "Beneath The Remains". Honestly, Sepultura members were still kinda unskilled at their instruments. The best musician here is Igor Cavalera, by far. The guitars were out of tune in most of the songs here. Lead guitarist was still Jairo Guedez, with Andreas Kisser only joining the band in 1987. Many people bash this album. Usual arguments are that the band were uninspired, that the songs sounds pretty much the same... Well, I honestly do not disagree with this. Many riffs and ideas are repeats themselves throughout the album, and like I've said, instruments were out of tune, but still... There's something with this album that makes me like it. Probably the evil, "satanic" mood that it holds, because I love this kind of early, primitive metal. Even with the bad criticising, this album still holds some real anger, you know. Really fast riffs, crazy solos filled with whammy bar noises and all that stuff, and very aggressive drumming. To be honest, I don't think the bass lines here are really great (most of the time they just blindly follow the guitars), but I'm pretty sure bassist Paulo Jr. does his job well. Oh, and production and mixing is very poor. If you listened to Bestial Devastation but never listened to this, believe me: it gets worse here. Basically, all that it takes to make a good thrash/death metal album. May not be the best Sepultura album, but I still really enjoy listening to it.
Lyrics — 6
Well, we can sum up the lyrics on this album in one word: Satan! Oh no, maybe another few ones: 666, blood on the altars of churches, hell, evil, Satanas, Lucifer, kill. So, I'm kinda joking here, but it has a kernel of truth on it. I really don't think lyrics here are very impressive, overall. They're mostly satanic cliches with things like setting churches afire being said all the time (I'm sure Varg Vikernes love this album)... But it gets better when you take them to a context: Brazilian society in the 80's was very religious and kinda forced people to attend the church. This was a way to tell people that they did not agree with the bible, or the church, or with religion overall. Many bands did that not only in Brazil, but in the whole world, I guess. About Max Cavalera's voice, his voice here is just maniacal. Although I prefer his voice on later records like "Arise", when it got more powerful, his growls here also sound really evil.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, enough has been said. Like I've said before, in my opinion, this is definitely not the best album by Sepultura, but I still really enjoy listening to it, nevertheless. I would say that the highlights on this album are "Crucifixion", "War" and the title-track, but there's also other really cool songs like "Mayhem". I would say that "Troops Of Doom" sounds really lame here, though. I like the re-recording featured as a bonus track in "Schizophrenia" so much better. It was properly lapidated and turned into a metal masterpiece. This album kinda remembers me of Slayer and Kreator in albums like "Pleasure To Kill" and "Hell Awaits". Sure thing, Sepultura took a lot of inspiration from them. And yeah, I will buy this album again if it gets lost or something, I think it's worth.