Sepultura Nation

It's sort of hard for me to get the bad taste out of my mouth when thinking about Brazil's finest, what with those uncomfortable nu-metal leanings, the loss of you-know-who (and, yes, the new guy sounds pretty damn similar, so don't stress over it) and Soulfly's unfortunate existence. However, once I clear out my mind and just listen to this one without any prejudice, I realise it's a pretty kick-ass album. The band blends in elements of ethnic culture, but in a tasteful way (man, I hate to bring up Soulfly again, but...), which was what bothered me about the last few albums of theirs, as it seemed more gimmicky than honest. Nation shows no signs of really giving a fuck, basically being an excellent and diverse thrash album. The spirit of mid-era Sepultura is alive and well on this one, but they up the ante a bit by incorporating melodies, grooves, rapping, tribal drums and short punk songs in a way that doesn't make you cringe but rather makes you nod in approval. It's a strangely spiritual and cleansing album, particularly the song "Water," nicely placed in a climax position on the album, before things come to a close with those wacky Finns Apocalyptica showing their faces for a track. Something for everyone, and when listened to start to finish, it'd be hard for anyone to deny Sepultura's place in the forefront of modern heavy metal. (Roadrunner)