Although Sepultura’s ’96 Brazilian-metal fusion disc Roots remains a landmark for heavy music, its legacy became diluted when the band split into two warring camps shortly after its release. Frontman Max Cavalera took Sepultura’s heart and soul (not to mention most of their fans) with him when he formed Soulfly, but his old mates kept the name and quickly re-emerged with American hardcore singer Derrick Green at the helm.
On their second disc with Green, the group continue to prove themselves worthy of the brand name, if little else. Like Cavalera, they’ve slowed things down a bit since Sepultura’s early-’90s death-metal days, but their vision of tribal metal seems painfully unfocused next to his. Worse, they mimic Soulfly by inviting loads of celebrity guests along, including Hatebreed singer Jamey Jasta, New York dub-reggae singer Dr. Israel, and the semi-esteemed Metallica tribute string quartet Apocalyptica. Even with Jasta and noted East Coast hardcore producer Steve Evetts along, the band offer up only two speed-metal maulers: " Revolt " and Jasta’s " Human Cause, " which clock in at a combined two minutes. The rest of the disc is a somber affair sprinkled with touches of Brazilian percussion and some impressive guitar trickery from Andreas Kisser. Green is an impassioned vocalist, but by the end of the disc his sloganeering becomes as tedious as the band’s awkward attempts at experimentation.
(Sepultura headline the Palladium in Worcester this Friday, March 16. Call 508-797-9696.)
Issue Date: March 15 - 22, 2001