With so many concept albums being so crappy last year (i.e. Judas Priest Nostradamus and Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His Douchebag Friends), Sepultura take a stab at it again with their new album A-Lex. Their previous album was also a concept album based on The Divine Comedy and called Dante XXI, so this is not uncharted territory for them (and yes I still love that video and song “Territory”). This album is one heavy mother fucking album. With only one original member (bassist Paulo Jr. ), most fans have not followed Sepultura’s career without the Cavalera’s but they are sadly mistaken.
The album is lyrically based on the novel and Stanley Kubrick adaptation to film A Clockwork Orange. A-Lex literally translates to “without law” and it is also the protagonist of the novel. In the novel and film, Alex leads a life of crime and violence. He ends up being brainwashed by the State using a technique called Ludovico’s which is very similar to the Pavlov’s dog experiment with the added drug injection. That is it is used to associate things and for Alex they associate two of his favorite things classical music and violence. However, he ends up being defenseless, as well as harmless and ends up getting his ass kicked. He tries to kill himself after trying to being manipulated and the technique is reversed so that he can revert to his violent ways. Then he ends up being bored with the whole violence concept, thinks about settling down and starting a family. At the same time, he realizes if he were to have children of his own that they would lead a life of destruction and violence like his own. The whole concept is that violence may be part of our nature, but more importantly is our ability to decide at free-will. Now can you tell what this album is about, no way.
But this is some of the best metal I’ve heard in a while. Just like the book, the album starts off with some heavy violent thrash metal. As soon as the guitar kicks in, you know that you will have your ass handed to you on a platter. The mid range has enough to hair to it that you will start headbanging right away. On “A-Lex 1” it sounds like he is getting his gang together and then on “Moloko Mesto” is where the violence begins. Some of the most intense metal I’ve heard similar to Slayer and Pantera, but not as predictable as most of the metal today.