Sepultura is among the most influential and important acts in the hard rock and metal communities today. The band has built that reputation over the course of more than 30 years and 15 albums. This even as the band has seen multiple changes in lineups and labels over that span. BMG revisited a handful of the band’s albums last week with its new retrospective box set, Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009. This five-disc set is an intriguing profile of Sepultura and its catalog. That is due in large part through its featured albums, which will be discussed shortly. Also of note in this set is its packaging, which will be discussed a little later. The set’s pricing rounds out the most important of its elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009. All things considered, they make the set an imperfect but still entertaining.
Sepultura’s new retrospective box set, Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009, is an intriguing offering from the band and BMG. It is an imperfect presentation but still entertaining presentation. That is due in part to its featured albums. The albums featured in this set are: Against (1998), Nation (2001), Roorback (2003), Dante XXI (2006), and A-Lex (2009). They are all records on which current front man Derrick Green serves. There are other band members new and old on these records, too. However, going back to the realization that Green is still the band’s front man (former front man Max Cavalera continues to focus mainly on his Soulfly project to this day) makes one wonder why BMG chose these records. That is especially considering none of the records in this set have been or are considered watershed moments for the band. They have not received the response that some of Sepultura’s early albums received. So again, the albums featured in this set are entertaining in their own right, but they are not the most standout additions to the band’s catalog. No information was provided about why the featured albums were chose in the initial press release announcing the set’s release, so again, only officials at BMG know the answer to that question.
While the general presentation of Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009 is a mixed bag of sorts, it is not the only element worth examining here. The set’s actual packaging is also of note. The packaging here is actually largely positive. This applies to its CD and vinyl presentation alike. The CD package is space saving to say the least. It is almost the same shape and size as the case for a standard single-disc CD. So, it will not take up much space either on a CD rack or even on a shelf. It should be noted here that the CDs are each placed inside their own cardstock quality insert complete with the albums’ original case art for front and back. There are no booklets with the CDs, which is disappointing, too, but not a complete loss considering the relative accessibility of lyrics for each album online. The vinyl collection places each album on a two-disc set inside a larger box that is designed in its own ergonomically-designed case. Having noted the positive of the set’s packaging in each of its presentations, it becomes clear that this element is a definite plus to the set’s overall presentation. It is just one more of the notable items in this set, too. The collection’s pricing rounds out its most important items.
The pricing for the anthology in each of its platforms is of note because of the marked difference in each. The average price point for the set’s CD platform is $38.24 while the vinyl box set averages $164.48. Keeping in mind that both sets are presented the same way (sans liner notes) but in ergonomically-designed boxes, the vinyl pricing seems exceptionally high. The CD platform on the other hand is relatively affordable. One can only assume that the vinyl set is so much more expensive than the CD collection because each is presented in a two-disc presentation versus the single-disc presentation of each album in the CD set. It is that much more proof that as much as some people want to believe that vinyl is so much cooler/hipper than CDs, the affordability of the CD set and the fact that the audio quality is of equal level on each platform makes the CD set’s pricing that much more appealing. Sure, the noted Revolusongs EP is apparently not featured as part of the anthology’s CD platform, but that is still beside the point. The pricing here (alongside the equally relatively affordable separate listings) works with the positive audio quality and general packaging to make the set positive overall. That is even considering the headscratcher of a reason for the inclusion of the featured albums.
Sepultura and BMG’s newly released box set, Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009, is an interesting new presentation from the two sides. The anthology features five of the band’s albums that span a time frame of approximately 11 years. Audiences will find that the albums are not considered landmarks for the band, either. To that end, it makes one wonder why the albums were chosen for the collection. That aside, they are still at least a good way for audiences to complete and/or build their library of the band’s expansive catalog. That is a positive in its own right and gives the collection at least some appeal. The ergonomic packaging in both the CD and vinyl platform is also a positive. That is because it is space saving for audiences across the board. The set’s pricing for its CD platform is also a positive. The average price point for the CD set, achieved by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers (it was not listed through Best Buy and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s pricing) is less than $40. The only retailer to exceed that price point is Barnes & Noble Booksellers, at $43.99. The vinyl set’s pricing is nearly $200. That is a negative considering that it offers the exact same presentation of that in the set’s CD presentation. To that point, the set does have its own positives, but also negatives. Keeping all of this in mind, Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009 proves to be clearly an imperfect presentation, but still entertaining at least to a point.
Sepulnation: The Studio Albums 1998-2009 is available now.
More information on Sepultura’s new box set is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more now at: