Sepultura‘s second studio album, Schizophrenia, released in 1987, stands as a pivotal moment in the evolution and history of thrash. Sepultura injected a unique flavor and some added melody into thrash metal, setting them apart from their American and European counterparts, many of whom were just emphasizing speed and aggression over anything else at the time. Don’t get me wrong, speed and aggression are must haves in thrash, however, what Sepultura brought us were just some incredibly original rhythms and groove in cuts like “Escape to Void” and “To The Wall” that made for a much more novel listening experience back in the day.

You likely already know that the record is a clear classic. It’s relentless onslaught of aggression from start to finish, with razor-sharp guitar riffs, ridiculous drumming and the distinctive vocals of one Max Cavalera. Now, with Sepultura essentially finished as a band, the Cavalera Brothers, Max and Iggor have re-recorded this seminal record.

Many have asked, in a variety of different forums, why the re-recording? I actually asked that question myself when I first read the news. There are only a few thrash records that stand out as much as Schizophrenia did that came out in 1987. But then I actually listened to the record. My first thought was “Hey – I can play this in my car now without it sounding like an 80s cassette tape that’s been played way too many times!” Secondly, as went through one track to the next, I realized that what the Cavalera brothers have given us is really a superior product.

The drums, especially the toms on “Escape to the Void” just sound so much better and clearer in the mix. Additionally, you get more than just the cymbals in the highs on your speakers. The resonance on the cymbals also come through much more clean.

As you can hear with “Escape to the Void,” and the rest of the re-recorded tracks, the band kept really everything the same when it comes to the songs. It’s the same dark vibe, those same basic type of effects on the vocals and the same intensity and morbid atmosphere. But this time around, the entire record sounds just a whole lot better. It’s modern production values with song structures remaining the same.

Tracks like “Inquisition Symphony” allow you to hear the bass a bit in the mix and you get much more of the higher tones with increased clarity coming out of your speakers. Cuts like “Septic Schizo” also feature a much improved bass line that is mixed quite well with the drums. Max‘s vocal on this is also completely killer. This is a standout performance from him on the mic as there is touch more clarity in the delivery.

Listeners will notice a few key differences between the original and the re-recording, beginning with “Intro” where the sounds coming through are bit more muffled, a bit more subdued. “The Abyss” has a few more effects on it and doesn’t have quite the clean acoustic sound heard on the 1987 version. Also the tenth song on the original, “Troops of Doom” is replaced by “Nightmares of Delirium,” which is a song we’ve never heard prior to this newest release. It’s a total banger by the way with a ridiculous solo found at about three minutes into it.

“R.I.P. (Rest in Pain)” is one of the songs that sounds just so much better here. Same with “Septic Schizo” and “Screams Behind the Shadows.” The Cavaleras really knew what they were doing here and, as such, they give us an elevated product that is likely going to win over a whole new generation of listeners.

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