Sepultura - Arise
Album Comparisons: Arise
Arise is considered by many to be Sepultura's masterwork. Featuring notably improved production values and a slightly more experimental sound than its predecessors Beneath the Remains and Schizophrenia, it showcases a vastly more assured and mature band than the one that recorded the debut efforts Morbid Visions and Bestial Devastation. Producer Scott Burns recorded the album at the Morrisound studio in Florida, allowing the band's sound to be properly captured in the studio for the first time. While I personally enjoy their sophomore LP Schizophrenia more than I do this one, there is no denying the role this fourth release played in really putting Sepultura on the map. In 1997, a remastered edition was released with additional bonus tracks. How does it compare to the original CD from 1991?

Arise

1991 original CD release

Arise

1997 remastered version

Arise

Dead Embryonic Cells

1991 original CD release

Dead Embryonic Cells

1997 remastered version

Dead Embryonic Cells

Murder

1991 original CD release

Murder

1997 remastered version

Murder

Subtraction

1991 original CD release

Subtraction

1997 remastered version

Subtraction

Altered State

1991 original CD release

Altered State

1997 remastered version

Altered State

Under Siege (Regnum Irae)

1991 original CD release

Under Siege (Regnum Irae)

1997 remastered version

Under Siege (Regnum Irae)

Meaningless Movements

1991 original CD release

Meaningless Movements

1997 remastered version

Meaningless Movements

Infected Voice

1991 original CD release

Infected Voice

1997 remastered version

Infected Voice
And the winner is: 1991 original CD release. This kind of music is pretty dense, and this album is no exception. Despite the obvious limiting employed on the remaster, the apparent sonic damage to the audio is arguably not going to be as pronounced as it would be for a genre which "breathes" a bit more in its playing and arrangements and which is typically recorded with more "space" in the mix. This kind of music, however, is made to be played LOUD, and when played at a higher volume the sonic difference between the original disc and the remaster becomes clearer. The high end does suffer, most noticeably (as usual) in the drums, and there is undeniable clipping present on album closer "Infected Voice" in particular. So in this case I'm going to go with the original. Of course, one could argue that at really high volume levels the presence of too much high end can actually be unpleasantly shrill, or that the lack of some of the higher end frequencies won't be an issue since the point is to feel the music, or even (somewhat facetiously) that most hardcore metal fans are probably half deaf from too many loud concerts and wouldn't hear much of the high end anyway. If you're not an audiophile, I suppose the remaster is fine. It still sounds pretty good and the compression utilized is light years away from the stupefyingly crushed walls of sound coming out of the metal industry today. The difference between 1997 and today is akin to comparing the force of a feather to that of a sledgehammer - there's still plenty of life in the VU meter on this one regardless of which of the two releases you're looking at. The 1997 disc includes four bonus tracks in addition to the original nine. One, "Orgasmatron," originally appeared on the European edition of the album and also on the "Dead Embryonic Cells" single, which I own on cassette.