“Dead Embryonic Cells” is Sepultura’s second single, as well as the second of three to be released from the album Arise. A music video for the song was produced and can be found on the VHS release Third World Chaos. The video features footage of the band performing in the wilderness accompanied by imagery from the album.
At this stage in their career the band had recorded little material to be used as B-sides, which is why the Arise singles are so similar. This single and the next, “Under Siege (Regnum Irae)” have exactly the same artwork (a detail of the Arise album cover artwork by Michael Whelan) and B-sides.
The song appears on the Liberty City Hardcore station in both Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. The station notably features Max Cavalera as the radio DJ.
Sepultura vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera explained to Holland edition Aardschok/Metal Hammer in April 1991: “You can compare this song to ‘Inner Self’ from Beneath The Remains. It starts real slow and menacing, but ‘Dead Embryonic Cells’ has a lot more changes than ‘Inner Self’. The lyrics are about how the current, but also the future generations are born in a dead world. A world ruined by their own ancestors that lived generations before them. Andreas Kisser(guitar) does one of his typical psychedelic guitar tunes like the one he did for ‘Mass Hypnosis’ on the previous album [Beneath The Remains].”