Sepultura’s second full length release is similar to their breakthrough album, “Beneath the Remains,” in a lot of ways, so I’m surprised this C.D. (“Schizophrenia”) didn’t get more attention. Like “Beneath the Remains,” “Schizophrenia” is a death/thrash metal album full to the brim with blindingly fast, pile driving riffs, scorching solos, pounding drums, and Max’s violent, death metal barks. Plus, even though it sounds rather rough, and it’s not quite as great or groundbreaking as Sepultura’s third or fourth albums, this album is actually quite great. Tracks three and four, “To The Wall” and “Escape To The Void,” are good examples of this album’s insane guitar and drum work. Next, “Inquisition Symphony” is a good centerpiece for the album, because it’s an instrumental. It is also another tour-de-force for guitarist Andreaas Kisser, with flattening riffs, searing solos, and even acoustic guitars. Other highlights include “From the Past Comes the Storms” (which has catchy, chugging, pounding riffs), “Septic Schizo,” “The Abyss” (which is an acoustic guitar interlude), and “R.I.P. (Rest In Pain).” Finally, like the remastered version of “Beneath the Remains,” if you buy the reissue of “Schizophrenia” (which I strongly recommend you do for the improved sound quality), you get two bonus tracks: the “rough mixes” of “Septic Schizo” and “To The Wall.” These remixes are actually not remixes at all, they’re instrumentals. They’re the exact same as the original song, only without vocals. The bottom line is, this SHOULD HAVE BEEN Sepultura’s breakout album, but since it was not (and it’s not considered one of the best thrash albums of all time), “Schizophrenia” isn’t an absolute must for every metal collection. But, because it foreshadowed the greatness to come in Sepultura’s later works, “Schizophrenia” is essential for every Sepultura/Max Cavalera collection.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
1987: Enter Andreas Kisser the new lead guitarist for Sepultura and Jairo T.’s Replacement. This lineup change would lead Sepultura in the direction that would lead them out of the jungles of Brazil and onto the map as one of the best Thrash bands around. Sepultura grew up somewhat from their primitive Death Metal albums Bestial Devastation and Morbid Visions and released Schizophrenia which officially transferred them over into the realm of Thrash. This is a drastic change from the previous albums. It has better production while still having that low production feel to it, courtesy of Cogumelo records. Though the “Intro” is obviously ripped from the classic Psycho movie theme but when From the Past Comes the Storms Kicks in, you know you are in for one hell of a ride. Each track is more punishing than the next. The two instrumentals are excellent with Inquisition Symphony being a 7 Minute piece of perfection and the Abyss being a simple one minute song on acoustic guitar.
The lyrics content has matured; instead of songs about the antichrist we have songs about being taken advantage of by cops in To The Wall; which contains the best drum solo section on the album. Speaking of the drums, Igor has definitely improved and only got better with each album. Schizophrenia has a weird production to it that affects the tom drums in the most unusual manner. It sounds like Igor had left and briefly joined the blue man group only to return with a drum set made out of plastic pipes. Don’t worry, it sounds awesome and it is one of the things that really stands out on the album.
While Sepultura showed some growth they we’re still rather young, so the rather immature ending to album R.I.P. (Rest In Pain) has one of the most comical ways to end an album and brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. Then we are given their redone version of Troops of Doom, which was not included on the original version. Let’s just say it beats the original to the ground and then slices its head off. Yeah, it’s that good.
Then we have the three bonus tracks. A weird demo of From the Past Comes the Storms featuring poor English and two rough mixes featuring no vocals, bass or solos. All three of them are a real treat to listen to, and the rough mixes actually let you relax a little bit because they are instrumentals despite the fact that they are extremely fast.
Schizophrenia is always overlooked for some reason. It isn’t Beneath the Remains, Arise or Chaos A.D. or Roots but it manages to stand out on its own and it is easily worth the five stars. This album is difficult to find though so if you do find it in stores, then buy it immediately, if not then click the buy button now, you will not regret it.
Well after listening to this album I can tell ya one thing’s for sure, Brazilians know how to thrash! But is this really thrash or death metal? Honestly who the hell cares because if you’re a true metalhead you will inevitably be headbanging to this in no time! (watch out for whiplash though)
You see it’s the early era Sepultura albums that are my favorite, they are simply the rawest, dirtiest, and most evil. It kinda pisses me off that they don’t get much credit, everyone knows the awesomeness of BTR (which I love), Arise, and Chaos AD but I think more people need to check out the early releases. Oh yeah and I’m sorry but I thought Roots SUCKED! Yep I said it, so sue me. Hey I’m all up for experimentation but I just didn’t like it in that case.
Anyway this is where Andreas Kisser comes in and shows his stuff. Does he kick ass? HELL YEAH! The entire album is a riff machine churning out a myriad of crazy guitar licks. I mean listen to “From the Past Comes the Storms”, the immortal instrumental “Inquisition Symphony” (one of the greatest metal instrumentals EVER) and “Septic Schizo” and you’ll surely see what I’m raving about, unless you’re a nu-metal queer or something. The vocals are straight out of hell with Max doing mostly a death metal growl and yell but there is a little bit of clean vocals here and there.
The only problem I see with the album is the muddy production which for once does affect the listening experience for me (usually I really don’t give a sh*t), there’s pretty much no bass but overall it’s not that bad. However, I have the original pressing of the CD so perhaps it’s a tad better on the remaster.
Even if you like later Sep better albums (which is understandable), you have to give these guys for really trying to make it while nestled deep out there in Jungleland and only being 18! My recommendation- get all Sep albums up to Chaos AD, get some Kreator, Possessed, Celtic Frost, Early Slayer, etc for more extreme thrash! Well that’s my opinion, LATER.
I started listening to Sepultura when Beneath The Remains first came out, in ‘89. I later found out that they had 2 previous albums, but I wasn’t interested at the time. with each album after B.T.R. there was slight improvement and maturity. Sepultura evolved with Arise, and even more so with Chaos AD, and finally with Roots. after 15 years of being a Sepultura fan, I finally decided to go back to the beginning and venture into the pre-Beneath The Remains material. I was pleasantly surprised with Schizophrenia. don’t get me wrong, it is definitely raw, and primative compared to B.T.R., but on Schizophrenia they were still a pretty tight and solid thrash metal band. of course each album after that was an improvement on the previous one, but think of Schizophrenia as the Slayer’s Hell Awaits, or Anthrax’s Spreading The Disease, or Metallica’s Ride The Lightning. it is simply put, the prequel to their upcoming masterpiece. the best songs are definitely the new version of Troops Of Doom, and Escape From The Void.
This album,to me,defines underground metal.The recording quality isn’t that great,but neither was “Kill Em All”.The true star of “Schizophrenia” is the then new guitarist Andreas Kisser.His solo on my personal favorite,”To The Wall”,is unbelievable and secured his place as one the best metal guitarists ever.Seriously,this CD is worth buying for this solo alone.His other lead work is incredible,also.Max’s distortion plagued vocals are very effective and really go well with the music,though i prefer the Arise-era roars.The best drummer in the world,Igor Cavalera,pulls off some great fills and double-bass,though the muddy production does obscure some of the more intricate moments of his performance.”From The Past Comes The Storms” is another defining moment for the once unstoppable band,with it’s furious riffs and unrelenting speed.”Inquisition Symphony” is a classic instrumental,as good as,if not better,as any of the Metallica ones.I don’t like “Escape From The Void” as much as everybody else seems to,but it is still a great song,easily better than over half the stuff on “Reign In Blood”.”The Abyss” is an amazing piece of acoustic guitar mastery,capturing a mood of desolation and doom….I just wish it was longer.”Screams Behind The Shadows”,”Septic Schizo”,and”Rest In Pain” are excellent,brutal tracks,if not as memorable as “To The Wall” or “From The Past Comes The Storms”.In fact,it is very hard to give this album only 4 stars,but the production muffles part of music quite noticeably,and Max’s vocals,while fitting to the music,are weak compared to the aforementioned performance on “Arise”.Still,”Schizophrenia” is a must for all metal fans,and beats the living crap out of most other underground albums.While Sepultura would create arguably the best thrash CD ever in “Beneath The Remains$Q,”Schizophrenia” is often overlooked and equally worth your time.For those wanting to hear TRUE metal,buy this and understand what it’s all about.