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Sepultura | Under a Pale Grey Sky | review | metal | Lollipop


Under a Pale Grey Sky (Roadrunner)
by Tim Den

Nice reference to "Arise" in the album title, but you can't fool me. Under a Pale Grey Sky is yet another example of how the metal community continues to recognize the wrong era of thrash/death metal as revolutionary: The transitional period between creative fever and complete knuckle-dragging retrogression. The former, a period this live album's title refers to, saw albums like Sepultura's own Arise, along with Seasons in the Abyss and Rust in Peace, propel songwriting/technicality/dynamics to impossible heights. Just as the world held its breath waiting to hear follow-ups to these landmark albums, the aforementioned transitional period appeared. Sepultura gave us Chaos A.D. (and eventually Roots), and the seeds of nü metal were planted. Oh, how I curse your names, Chaos A.D. and Roots. To this day, I can't figure out how blazingly bright creative forces decided to dumb down everything good in metal to primitive 4/4 stomps and neanderthal lyrics. How did "From the Past Comes the Storms" turn into "growing up in the ghettos/made me real/to deal with my fears/motherfucker you don't understand"? How did dissonant, tricky riffage turn into monotonous stop-and-gos?

And so Under the Pale Grey Sky continues the erroneous cycle of championing the dumbing-down of our beloved metal by presenting us with Sepultura's last live show with Max Cavalera. Whoopdee-fuckin'-doo. Two discs full of songs I could've written while taking a shit during lunch break, replete with obvious breakdowns and moronic lyrics. It brings back all the painful memories of when I first heard Roots: The disbelief at the sheer stupidity of the whole thing. Metal is about finesse as well as brutality, arrangements as well as execution. Mid-'90s Sepultura had none of those qualities, nor does Under a Pale Grey Sky, nor the dipshit suburban nü metal crap that bands like Sepultura helped usher in. Thanks for nuthin'.
(902 Broadway New York, NY 10010)

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