Sepultura: Arise [1991]

Released March 20, 1991
Recorded 1990–1991 at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida,United States
Genre Thrash metaldeath metal
Length 52:20
Label Roadrunner
Producer SepulturaScott Burns

Arise is the fourth studio album by Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, released in 1991 through Roadrunner Records. Upon its release, the album received top reviews from heavy metal magazines such as Rock HardKerrang! and Metal Forces.[1]Arise is considered Sepultura’s finest hour among longtime fans.[2] While the music on Arise was mostly in the samedeath/thrash style as their previous album, Beneath the Remains, it was clear that the Sepultura sound was acquiring an experimental edge.[3]

The album presented their first incursions with industrial musichardcore punk and Latin percussion.[4][5] The tour (1990–1992) that supported the album was the group’s longest at that time, totalling 220 shows in 39 different countries.[5] During this trek, the album went gold in Indonesia—the band’s first music industry certification.[6] By the tour’s end, Arise had achieved platinum sales worldwide.

In August 1990, the band travelled to Florida, to work on the album. Scott Burns reprised his role as producer and engineer, and now with a major advantage: Sepultura were at his home base, Morrisound, a studio properly equipped to record their music style. Their label Roadrunner granted a $40,000 budget, which helped explain the album’s improved production values. That allowed Igor and Burns, for example, to spend a whole week just testing the drum kit‘s tunings and experimenting withmicrophone practice.

Although lead guitarist Andreas Kisser stated that Arise “took a lot of the same direction” as their previous LPBeneath the Remains, it was clear that their music had somehow changed.[3] Sepultura’s usual breakneck pace became toned down a bit;[4] drummer Igor Cavalera started using groove-laden rhythms. According to metal specialist Don Kaye, the album “represented the band taking their initial death/thrash sound to its logical conclusion.”[3]

Arise also found the band opening up to non-metal influences.[4] Bands such as Einstürzende NeubautenThe Young Godsand Ministry were already part of Sepultura’s listening habits, and slight touches of industrial music can be traced through the use of samples and sound effects.[5]Although Sepultura’s Extreme metal roots are prevalent throughout the album, tracks such as “Dead embryonic cells“, “Desperate cry” and especially “Under Siege (Regnum Irae)” display very experimental sounds, incorporating melody, acoustic guitars and weird sound effects; wich were relatively innovative and rare features for adeath metal band at the time. A trademark of a later phase—Latin percussion and “tribal” drumming—made its first appearance on the song “Altered State”. The band’s old love for hardcore punk is evident on “Subtraction” and “Desperate Cry”.

Just one day after finishing the recording of Arise, the band embarked on a small headlining tour with extreme metallers Obituary and Sadus.[10] That was the start of the longest promotional tour of Sepultura’s career, a worldwide affair that would span two full years.[5] In January 1991 they were invited to play for at the Brazilian music festival Rock in Rio 2 where their performance was watched by a 70,000-strong crowd.[11][12]

Before heading out of Brazil on a mid-1991 European tour, Sepultura performed one more concert in São Paulo, the country’s largest city. It took place at Praça Charles Miller (in front of Estádio do Pacaembu), on May 11.[13] Local military police expected 10,000 to attend. 30,000 showed up instead, making crowd management nearly impossible. Six people were hurt, 18 were arrested and one was shot dead. A week before, a young man was stabbed to death at a Ramones concert in São Paulo, during a brawl between headbangers and skinheads.[14] These events were followed by a huge mainstream media backlash throughout the country against rock music.[15]

Sepultura’s three-month tour with thrash metal groups Sacred Reich and Heathen was a critical success. For the first time they appeared on the cover of best-sellingBritish heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and major pop weeklies such as Melody Maker and NME published long feature articles on the group. While in Spain Sepultura recorded their Under Siege video, which included their Barcelona concert and interview footage with all four members of the band.[16] After Europe, they toured North America with grindcore pioneers Napalm DeathNew York City hardcore punk group Sick of It All and Sacred Reich.[17] Sepultura wrapped up the year doing a briefGerman tour with NWOBHM legends Mötorhead and Florida death metal group Morbid Angel in December.[18]

Sepultura then managed to secure a slot in two of the most sought after rock tours of 1992. One was done with ex-Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne,[19] who was promoting his multi-platinum solo album No More Tears while the second tour was with industrial metal stalwarts Ministry and influential noise rock unit Helmet.[20][19] Both of these American acts had just released the most successful records of their careers – namely Psalm 69 and Meantime.[21]

remastered version of Arise was released by Roadrunner in 1997, with added notes by music critic Don Kaye and four bonus tracks: a cover version of Motörhead‘s “Orgasmatron“, a rough mix of “Desperate Cry” and two previously unreleased songs.[3] A previously unavailable photo shoot from the Arise period was also included in the expanded CD booklet.

Arise garnered praise from a wide variety of sources. By the time of its release, major Brazilian newspapers were already aware of the band’s existence, and advance copies sent to them were generally met with positive reviews. Artur G. Couto Duarte, writing for O Estado de Minas, described Sepultura’s soundscapes as “stories describing barren worlds where disease, hunger, torture and death reign supreme”. Folha de S. Paulos Sérgio Sá Leitão pointed out Sepultura’s increasing compositional skills, drawing attention to how the band’s occasional use of restraint benefited their songs as a whole.[11]

The international pop press also took notice of Brazil’s premiere metal group. Top British weeklies such as the Melody Maker and NME wrote lengthy articles on the band, praising them. A Melody Maker journalist wrote: “Sepultura is […] a Brazilian metal band which seems to be in the verge of getting big – maybe even bigger than Slayer, their only true rival.” Genre-specific magazines also reacted positively to the group. Germany’s Thrash elected Sepultura the best band in the world, defeating major contenders Metallica and Slayer. Sepultura were also prominently featured on the biggest metal publications of the time, such as Kerrang!Rock Hard and Metal Forces.[1]

Arise was the first Sepultura record to enter the Billboard charts, at number 119.[24] It was also the first to gain a music certificationArise went gold in 1992 for selling 25,000 copies in Indonesia.[6] By 1993, the album had sold 1 million units around the globe.[7] In 2001, it won a second certification: silver in the United Kingdom, for selling in excess of 60,000 copies.[25]

Throughout the years, Arise has been continuously praised by the music press, not only as a landmark release of Sepultura’s career, but of extreme metal in general. In November 1996, Q magazine stated that “Arise remains their thrash high water mark, sounding like an angry man throwing tools at a urinal while reading the Book of Revelations.”[26] Allmusic contributor Eduardo Rivadavia considered Arise as “a classic of the death metal genre.”[27] The album also appeared in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2006), edited by writer Robert Dimery.

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. Arise” (Max CavaleraSepultura) 3:18
2. Dead Embryonic Cells” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 4:52
3. “Desperate Cry” (Andreas Kisser, Sepultura) 6:40
4. “Murder” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 3:26
5. “Subtraction” (Kisser, Sepultura) 4:46
6. “Altered State” (Kisser, Sepultura) 6:34
7. Under Siege (Regnum Irae)” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 4:52
8. “Meaningless Movements” (Kisser, Sepultura) 4:40
9. “Infected Voice” (Kisser, Sepultura) 3:18
10. Orgasmatron” (Michael BurstonPhil CampbellPeter GillLemmy) 4:15
11. “Intro” (Sepultura) 1:32
12. “C.I.U. (Criminals in Uniform)” (Katherine Ludwig Moses, Sepultura) 4:17
13. “Desperate Cry (Scott Burns Mix)” (Sepultura) 6:43

Track 10 was both a bonus track for the Brazilian release and a b-side of the “Dead Embryonic Cells” single. Tracks 11–13 are only available on the 1997 remastered re-release. Track 10 was also a bonus track on the European Picture Disk Release.


1. Arise

[Lyrics: Max]

Obscured by the sun
Apocalyptic clash
Cities fall in ruin
Why must we die?

Obliteration of mankind
Under a pale grey sky
We shall arise…

I did nothing, saw nothing
Terrorist confrontation
Waiting for the end
Wartime conspiracy

I see the world – old
I see the world – dead

Victims of war, seeking some salvation
Last wish, fatality
I’ve no land, I’m from nowhere
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Face the enemy
Maniac thoughts
Religious intervention
Problems remain

2. Dead Embryonic Cells

[Lyrics: Max]

Land of anger
I didn’t ask to be born
Sadness, sorrow
Everything so alone

Laboratory sickness
Infects humanity
No hope for cure
Die by technology

A world full of shit coming down
Tribal violence everywhere
Life in the age of terrorism
We spit in your other face

War of races
World without intelligence
A place consumed by time
End of it all

We’re born
With pain
No more
We’re dead
Embryonic cells

Corrosion inside – we feel
Condemned future – we see
Emptiness calls – we hear
Final premonition – the truth

Land of anger
I didn’t ask to be born
Sadness, sorrow
Everything so alone

Laboratory sickness
Infects humanity
No hope for cure
Die by technology

We’re born with pain
Suffer remains
We’re born with pain
Suffer remains
We’re dead

3. Desperate Cry

[Lyrics: Andreas]

Sacrifice is pleasure
When life ends in pain
Conceive the last mistake
Which belongs to all

Creation of insane rule
All we hear:
Desperate cry

Death the coldest wind
Seeps into your pores
A nation born of hate
Forgotten distant time

Creation of insane rule
All we hear:
Desperate cry

Endless empty maze
Despair, distress and silence
A poison vacuum, infinity
Life, lies, deceit

Mute souls end in silence
Oceans tainted with blood
Empty promises of hope
Buried deep, infected ground

Creation of insane rule
All we hear:
Desperate cry


4. Murder

[Lyrics: Max]

Chaotic violence in my eyes
This whole world moves backwards
Peace, another sign that lies
Life today is not worth the pain

On the radio, another homicide
Inmates suffocate in jail
Severed heads of revolt
I wish I’d never been born

Same hand that builds – destroys
Same hand that relieves – betrays
Same hand that seeds – burns
Same peace that exists – here lies

I can’t trust anymore
Criminals within the law
I have something to say
Where I live, don’t believe in another day

Heresy and graft
Same religion that saves – damns you!

5. Subtraction

[Lyrics: Andreas]

First generation born
A plague was created
The cure is in my mind
Solitude is all I see

Powerful nations repress feeling
Buried beneath the fear
Making you a coward
Buying your safety

Grey shadows fill your head
Stealing your last breath
Scared of the future
Prophecies of chaos

Subtraction of personality
Within the human race
You’ll always be

Green castles from the past
Bleed in sands of war
No man is immortal
History is no more

Confused leaders behind our backs
Stifling our ideas
Misunderstand signs of progress
Minds of time regress

Searching for an answer
To understand myself
Trying to save our world
While they kill the Universe

Green castles from the past
Bleed in sands of war
No man is immortal
History is no more

Subtraction of personality
The Earth will never
Be born again

6. Altered State

[Lyrics: Andreas]

Fear in my subconscious
Terror invades my speech
Faith in my own words
No one knows the nameless

Warm winds and burning tears
Spirits outside bodies

Endless repression by majority
A master without command
Strange new dimension disturbing my brain
Censored ideas, counterfeit answers

Shining blast, no perception
Altered state, no reaction
Shining blast
Altered state

Slow talk, fast thoughts
Ancient scriptures
Controversial lines
Knowledge changes

Running in the wrong direction
Crossing with blind eyes
I’m closer to myself
Sanity can’t invade

7. Under Siege (Regnum Irae)

[Lyrics: Max]

The dual substance of Christ
The yearning so human
Of man to attain god
Has always been a deep

Inscrutable mystery to me
My principle anguish and source
Of all my joys and sorrows

Religion domain is all I see
Suffocate the scum with mediocrity
Lying and changing your fate
Anno domini ends – misery

From my youth onward
Has been the incessant
Merciless battle between
The spirit and the flesh
And my soul is the arena
Where these two armies
Have clashed and met

Holy wars unleashing bloody raids
The sacred earth without a face
Consumed by murderous sinners
Psychotic leader

Living in a dying age
Persecute the human race
Triumph of death in the wasteland
Blood signs your epitaph

Religion domain is all I see
Suffocate the scum with mediocrity
Lying and changing your fate
Anno domini ends – misery

8. Meaningless Movements

[Lyrics: Andreas]

Born with remorse
To a cold barren place
Battle between minds
Hungry for words of prey

Contradictory truth
Secrets in lies
Meaningless movements

Icons review their sins
Faith cheaper than thou
Doubting your ideals
Torment shreds your brain

Fearful fantasy respects the unknown
Turning your heart red
A requiem to celebrate… you

Words I can not understand
Shrieks in my moment of pain
Imposter hides behind a mask
My words against your lies

Turn my head
To see what I know
A shadow without form
Painted on the wall

Born with remorse
To a cold barren place
Battle between minds
Hungry for words of prey

One moment’s mistake
False steps in the ground
Laws made by the blind
Ruling reign of light

Contradictory truth
Secrets in lies
Meaningless movements

9. Infected Voice

[Lyrics: Andreas]

Fear ties you up
And you don’t grow
Being wrong and lost
No one admits the defeat

Conscience is fair
Unfaithful words
Betrayal and greed
Past thoughts to win alone

Envy – still strong
Hatred – still alive

From beyond – an empty world
Infected voice – a scream alone

Infected voice!

My throat is dry
A last cry tries to escape
Guilt and frustration
No time to turn around

Looking behind I’m not alone
Are they friends or enemies?
Going insane without a cure
Scarring my eyes, visions lost

Remorse for the human race
Fear of becoming them
Envy the strongest feeling
Hatred still in their heart

Envy – still strong
Hatred – still alive

From beyond – an empty world
Infected voice – a scream alone

Infected voice!

10. Orgasmatron

I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.

I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob you and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in my pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the politician, and I decide your fate

I march before a martyred world, an army for the fight
I speak of great heroic days, of victory and might
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.

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