Brazilian thrash metal legends SEPULTURA have had to endure the ravaging pandemic just like everyone else. The pandemic's timing was incredibly unfortunate for the band having just released their monstrous album "Quadra" in February of 2020: meaning that the unit was unable to tour in its support. The prolific, hardworking act didn't allow the pandemic to force them into a state of inactivity, however. Instead, the Brazilians enlisted some of their friends and colleagues to re-record some of their classic material; songs that were released in a series of YouTube videos that have since been mixed and mastered by Conrado Ruther into a collection titled "SepulQuarta".
The guest musicians amount to a veritable "who's who" list of metal luminaries, to be sure. Generally speaking, the re-recordings certainly don't outshine the original tracks, but they are interesting, fresh takes on revered songs. Right off the bat, SEPULTURA strikes with their updated take on "Territory" (from "Chaos A.D." ), featuring former MEGADETH bassist Dave Ellefson. The incredibly aggressive "Roots" song "Cut-Throat" follows with the assistance of ANTHRAX's legendary guitarist Scott Ian. What's most notable about these songs and others that were culled from the Max Cavalera era isn't the guest musicians, though. "New guy" Derrick Green, who has been in the band for just shy of a quarter century, beams bright throughout "SepulQuarta" with a voice that is of course similar to Max's. But as we know, Green is very much a distinct vocalist and his take on Max Cavalera-era songs elevate the release above novelty status. The same can be said of virtuoso drummer Eloy Casagrande's performances that were originally given life by Igor Cavalera.
Other guests obviously make an impact as well. DEVIN TOWNSEND, for instance, lends his impressive talents to "Mask" (from "Kairos"), adding his bizarre flare to SEPULTURA with his one-of-a-kind vocals and tremendous guitar solo work. ANGRA's Rafael Bittencourt's revisioning of "Kaiowas" (from "Chaos A.D." ) is truly adventurous and spirited. It provides a unique and bright contrast to Andreas Kisser's source material. Elsewhere, TRIVIUM's Matthew K. Heafy quite possibly offers the most hefty and intense vocal delivery of his career on "Slave New World" (from "Chaos A.D." ).
Considering the organic performances at hand, the slightly varied deliveries compared to the original songs, and the contributions of the notable guest musicians, SEPULTURA has effectively breathed new life into the band's classic material, and proves the value of the band's current, longtime lineup. "SepulQuarta" also provides a proper overview of the band's material from the last 20 years, reminding fans that the band has released copious amounts of incredible material following the Max Cavalera era, which is also decently covered in the release.