Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Introduction to 2006's Dante 21 Also Written as "Dante XXI"
Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura did not experience musical weakness for long after their worst album Roorback in 2003 at the first writing of this review. In 2006, they released their studio album called Dante 21. The album lyrically describes the Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. This would also be the last album to have drummer Igor Cavalera. This album was a fine way for him to leave the band after being with them for 22 years. Although the album's title is expressed with Roman numerals, I wrote the number 21 to make it easier for readers.
Dante XXI Front Album Cover
Dante 21 Songs 1-7 Including the Very Strong Song City of Dis
After a dark, short intro track comes the song called "Dark Wood of Error." The song’s message is very critical of US, UK, and UN policies toward the world. The song tries to suggest that these policies do not really solve the problems of the world and they stand in the way of personal ambitions. There is a drum solo by Igor in this song which we have not heard from Sepultura to this point. The song called "City of Dis" has a lyrical approach that is philosophical in nature. Sometimes our opinions need to be expressed no matter what the cost is. Having faith in ourselves is a way to battle the corrupt ways of the world. The song is basically trying to state that we must fight hard to not be a victim in this bloody, chaotic world system. I notice a hardcore shouting vocal approach by Derrick Green. He proves himself to be a decent vocalist after the departure of Max Cavalera. The song called "False" is fast and it features some System of a Down style grunts and shouts. Technically, it is Sepultura that may have influenced System of a Down because those guys started to play professionally in 1994. "Fighting On" is a song in which the title says what it implies. We each are responsible for the direction of our lives and the way that it turns out. From the time that we are born until our last breath we fight on for our principles and values. Sepultura has not stopped writing songs with meaningful lyrics and I certainly won’t stop writing about this band. There are four short tracks or intros on this album so the album ends rather quickly.
"Dark Wood of Error"
"City of Dis"
About the Songs Ostia and Nuclear Seven
"Ostia" is a song about the flaws of mainstream politicians that so many people are now resentful of. These politicians are enacting policies that makes it seem like they are leading a nation to decay. During the time that Max Cavalera was in Sepultura, he made them sound like a death metal band in terms of the vocals. Derrick has a harsh voice that sounds more in the style of hardcore thrash. The song called "Nuclear Seven" is about seven nations threatening to use the worst of weapons that could pose a major threat to the world. The best way out of this predicament according to the song is to be shows the right way so that we could grow. This is thought of as a sinful world but actually the cause of wars is due to the need to dominate and control other nations.
Analysis of the Songs Crown and Miter and Still Flame
"Crown and Miter" is a song that tells the story of what humans sometimes have to through to get to a better place mentally and emotionally. We have to learn how to be compassionate and as the songs says: “there is a way out.” And that way is salvation. The last song called "Still Flame" has the constant chants of “Opia lympia.” As the song is a slow, heavy song to end a much better album for one of the best Brazilian bands of all time. Maybe they don’t need to have Max Cavalera come back after all. They have finally adjusted well enough without him at this point.
Rate the Album Dante 21 by Sepultura
The final score for this album would probably be 80 points out of 100 as it is still not as good musically as Arise or Chaos AD.
Did Sepultura think that they could make it this far as a band even after Max’s departure? One thing is clear and they wanted to continue without Max and they didn’t stop but kept moving forward. By this point in their career, Sepultura was incorporating more short instrumental parts in their albums and it feels like a groovy thrash metal style as opposed to the death metal style that we were familiar with during the Max Cavalera years.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian