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14th Sepultura album and things pretty much stay the same. Yet I would never go as far as to say that the band has run its course because they for sure have some serious shit to present still. Machine Messiah is most of the time just damn heavy or kind of brutal with tribal/folk elements intertwined and on top of the music we get a raging vocal performance from Derrick Green for the most part.
The album's downsides are its uneven song quality and its slow and dull start which the whole thing never totally recovers from. A few tracks, like Phantom Self and Sworn Oath, are impressive to say the least and I find myself wondering how come the band doesn't make an attempt to write more songs sort of in the style of those two, because those tracks are truly living evidence of today's version of Sepultura's ability to bring forth awesome material even to this very day.
From time to time the record seems kind of viscous though and on those parts I lose focus and interest a little bit and start to think about something else. Most songs are different from the other and the fact that this is a diverse effort, within a limited environment in the type of music, is to no avail this time and just contributes to the bumpy ride of the standard of the songs.
To please the everyday fans, and not only the real diehards and long-time true followers of the band, maybe Sepultura in the end ought to get back with the Cavalera brothers again and bury the hatchet and try to forget about the constant open arguing on the web through various interviews, since neither of the sides ever since the brothers parted ways with the band have managed to put out great material more than occasionally.
At the same time, if I personally were in the middle of this situation, I would probably never get back with people that I wasn't able to work with in the past and kick some guys out of the present band lineup to make room for something that can turn out very unstable. There's also definitely no guarantee that merging two sides into one will mean magic once more and maybe it's just that all these guys only had a couple of massive albums in their bodies and later on ran out of their most creative talent and capacity to deliver the greatest stuff over and over again.