Let's pretend that this album was released right in between 'Arise' and 'Chaos A.D.'. The majority of the content here is not far removed from that of 'Arise' except that this album is a couple of notches slower. Tempered, if you will.
The production is a bit heavier here and not as dull as 'Arise'. There was always something about that album that I found to be extremely boring. There wasn't anything particularly gay about it nor was there any dramatic change in style from the last album. If anything, they toned down some of the busier aspects and went for more of a straight forward approach while maintaining the fast tempo of the previous albums, which is probably where they fucked up, in my opinion. I would have rather have heard a few more slower, heavier tunes on that album which is something the band remedied (to an extent) on their next album, 'Chaos A.D.'.
Had this album been released in right after 'Arise' and before 'Chaos A.D.', I'm fairly certain that there wouldn't have been many naysayers, but the fact that the majority of Sepultura's output post-Roots has been popularly reviled and misunderstood almost guarantees that it doesn't have a chance in hell. Sepultura certainly haven't reached as far back as 'Beneath the Remains' or 'Schizophrenia' for their creative inspiration here, but if you wondered what an unreleased album sandwiched between 'Arise' and 'Chaos A.D.' would have sounded like, here you go.
I have to say, I actually like this album. A lot. I realize that I'm one of the few people on Earth that feels that Sepultura have been criminally misunderstood and overlooked throughout the last decade or so, largely due to the absence of Max Cavalera, which, in hindsight is not that much of a loss after all. Derrick Green has a much more hateful and commanding delivery than Max ever did and it's a shame that because of blind nostalgia, most people will never come to appreciate that.