If you want someone to blame
for nu-metal but really don’t want to think about Rage Against the Machine, try Sepultura.
1996’s ‘Roots’ with it’s colossal fusion of death metal and tribal rhythms saw Brazil’s greatest ever rock band create an awesome stuttering rock archetype that
later combos could bastardise
and pass off as a cross between rock and hip-hop.
With original singer Max Cavalera long gone after an almighty row, his brother Igor and new frontman Derrick Green have been left to carry the burden of ‘Roots” awesome promise.
Whereas 1998’s, ‘Against’, saw Sepultura in transition, ‘Nation’ – plastered with Soviet imagery – is a firm statement of intent. Fiercely political and uncompromisingly direct, ‘Sepulnation’ and ‘Uma Cura’ have more than a touch of Henry Rollins and Fugazi about them while ‘Politricks’ even has a guest appearance by one-time Dead Kennedy Jello Biafra.
Therein lies the problem, however. Fundamentally the
world has got enough growly hardcore bands without Sepultura trading in their unique Brazilian perspective for a rather hackneyed American one.
‘Nation’ is not bad – it’s taut
and tense and if you buy it quick you’ll get to hear their logic-defying cover of Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. But it’s hard to reconcile ‘Nation”s obsession with the scourge of globalisation with Sepultura’s conversion from third world pioneers to just another angry hardcore band.
A return to their true roots surely beckons.