Sepultura – A-Lex (2009)

sepultura - a-lex (2009)

Sepultura – A-Lex (2009, SPV)

  1. A-LEX I
  2. Moloko Mesto
  3. Filthy Rot
  4. We’ve Lost You
  5. What I Do!
  6. A-LEX II
  7. The Treatment
  8. Metamorphosis
  9. Sadistic Values
  10. Forceful Behavior
  11. Conform
  12. A-LEX III
  13. The Experiment
  14. Strike
  15. Enough Said
  16. Ludwig Van
  17. A-LEX IV
  18. Paradox

Band Lineup:
Derrick Green – Vocals
Andreas Kisser – Guitars
Paulo Jr. – Bass
Jean Dollabella – Drums

Producers: Sepultura & Stanley Soares

Total Time = 54:24

Country: Brazil

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I’ve never been a big Sepultura fan but I seem to have collected all of their albums over the years. I started out with the Max Cavalera years, that culminated with the groundbreaking ROOTS in 1996, but after Max left to create Soulfly I stopped paying attention to Sepultura. Sounds odd considering that I still bought AGAINST (1998), NATION (2001) and ROORBACK (2003) a few months after each was originally released. I just keep giving the band a chance but I always found myself looking for something more. The band’s last studio release, DANTE XXI (2006), was a concept album based on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and I didn’t even bother. With every other band releasing concept albums, I decided that I didn’t need to hear another from Sepultura.

Three years later the band is without another Cavalera, Igor has flown the coop to join his brother  and forming Cavalera Conspiracy, and we are graced with another concept record titled A-LEX (a Russian expression of “no law”). The album is based on the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess but I’m sure most people are more familiar with Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation. Taking Igor’s place on the drum kit is Jean Dolabella and he joins the core of Andreas Kisser (guitars), Paulo Jr. (bass) and Derrick Green (vocals) to put on a performance that makes you forget the Cavalera brothers left.

Most of the songs on A-LEX are very fast and to the point coming in at under 3 or 4 minutes, including four instrumentals (‘A-lex I, II, III & IV’), so you get pounded over and over with quick blasts of speed and power on tracks like ‘Moloko Mesto’, ‘What I Do’, and ‘Enough Said’. The band does mix the pace up throughout with the lumbering stomp of ‘Conform’ and slow buzzsaw of ‘Forceful Behavior’. The band mixes all of the styles they have used in the past (Thrash, Hardcore, Death and native Brazilian music) but there seems to be more of a focus on overall power and not on melody, something the band has always balanced and stayed heavy. The one surprise on the album was ‘Ludwig Van’ where the band takes the Classical score and sets it within the framework of the overall sound. I should have expected this but it’s so Yngwie and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it just doesn’t fit Sepultura. The music is good and aggressive, especially the guitars, and Derrick Green has always done a solid job on the vocals but it all sounds too much of the same to me.

Bottom Line:
I got a little bored with A-LEX but I’m also not the biggest Sepultura fan out there. A-LEX is not a bad album, just run-of-the-mill for my tastes…..there are some good aggressive songs but it all sounds more of the same to me. The record is 18 songs and close to an hour long even with most of the tunes being 3 or 4 minutes in length, the five instrumentals may have something to do with that. I’ve read the book and seen the movie for A Clockwork Orange and I wasn’t a fan of either so that helped in making it easy for me to lose interest. The best parts of the album for me was Kisser’s guitar work and Dolabella’s fresh drum sound, outside of that I wasn’t really impressed. I’ll just file this one away in the collection and wait for the band’s next album.

Favorite Songs:
‘Conform’, ‘Meloko Mesto’, ‘What I Do’ & ‘Forceful Behavior’