Sepultura A-Lex

Sepultura A-Lex
A-Lex is generating a lot of curiosity. It's yet another album of firsts for the Brazilian thrash heroes: the debut of new drummer Jean Dollabella and the inaugural effort to not have either of the founding Cavalera brothers. And while the conceptual album is no mystery to Sepultura, it mounts the daunting task of churning Anthony Burgess's timeless novel, A Clockwork Orange, into song. Surprisingly, all of these new hurdles turn into quite an exciting experience on A-Lex. Upbeat and aggressive, the album may not feature all of the overt idiosyncrasies we've come to know and expect from Sepultura but as these 18 tracks unfold, they reveal themselves to be reinvigorated and challenged once again. This, in turn, pushes A-Lex into a state of hot, detuned antagonism not heard from this band in many years. Most songs are expedient blasts of incensed anger and belligerence delivered with pointed intensity. No, they're not going to top the likes of Roots or Arise but this is easily singer Derrick Green's best performance yet. Factor in a rejuvenated originality presumably via the new blood and it would seem as though while we've all been waiting for a full-on classic Sepultura reunion, both sides — the Cavaleras and these guys — are all the better for moving on. (SPV)