THE DEMO CORNER
Still beating back reunion rumors and requests along with general whining from fans who still cry to sleep over Max Calavera leaving in 1996(!), Sepultura releases the strongest album since Chaos A.D. and proves there is plenty of life after the Calaveras. Kairos drastically improves on the gains made by both 2006’s Dante XXI and 2009’s A-Lex. In fact, with Roy Z.’s production, Karios sounds like it could have followed Chaos A.D.
The opening riffs of “Spectrum” will remind everyone of pre-Roots Sepultura. The song slowly builds into a groove-based, mid-era Sepultura monster and finds room for Andreas Kisser to stretch his fingers. On the title track it is hard to distinguish if Derrick Green is vomiting out “Chaos” or “Karios” over the rumbling drums and growling guitars, but that is a minor detail compared to the overall strength of the track. “Relentless” continues the rough and gruff style Sepultura would later choose over their initial deathy thrash.
Ministry’s “Just One Fix” gets an injection of more personality here. Paulo’s bass grinds while drummer Jean Dolabella spices things up drastically. Green again shreds his vocal chords while Kisser’s guitar sounds oppressively heavy. The moody “Dialog” allows from some slower moments and clean guitars between the crunching chorus section. Channeling Arise, “Mask” brings back the full on Thrash hysterics and chaotic solos that have been missing form Sepultura for several years. But even though the song speeds around (even using blast beats), there is still plenty of that crushing Chaos A.D. flavored groove thrown in.
“Seethe” continues the return of the thrash and groove approach while both “Born Strong” and “Embrace the Storm” find Sepultura slowing down to near-crawls in spots but laying down some of their thickest grooves to date. Again, it is great to hear Kisser back to belting out some six-string hysterics while Green continues to abuse his voice in the most aggressive performance since joining the band.
Pure thrash returns on the blistering “No One Will Stand.” The jaw-dropping aggression shows the band in almost ageless form and the song’s midsection allows for Kisser to make up for years of brisk, shrill solos. But those looking for the experimental angle Sepultura haven’t been able to shake since Roots will be pleased with the industrial-flavored oddity of “Structure Violence (Azzes).” The tribal drums are in full force while Green’s hoarse roar and Kisser’s guitars are slightly processed. But the song twists and turns, finding room for acoustic guitars and some keyboard beeps and boops.
Even with the return to heavier territory on their more recent albums, it appeared that Sepultura would probably never return to their roots. While Kairos is no Beneath the Remains, it has the most piss and vinegar of any Sepultura disc since Chaos A.D. The production is spot on and its thickness bolsters the albums overall aggression. Obviously playing Arise to its entirety on the last tour gave Sepultura the injection it needed. Kairos simply owns from start to finish while not skimping on variety. If you liked Chaos A.D., you’ll like Kairos. Highly recommended.
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5. Just One Fix
10. Born Strong
11. Embrace the Storm
13. No One Will Stand
14. Structure Violence (Azzes)
Total playing time: 53:44
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Sepultura - Karios
August 6, 2011