Showing posts with label Soulfly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soulfly. Show all posts

Nov 10, 2017

The Classic Lineup of Sepultura Needs to Reunite Already

by Robert Dean

With no disrespect to Derrick Green who’s been holding it down as lead singer for the last twenty years, it’s time. For the members of Soulfly who’ve endured whatever it is that Max Cavalera puts them through, you know the deal. You know where this is going, everyone does.

As the original members of Sepultura get older – some of them creeping over fifty, when is it finally going to be a time when they can reunite? If The Misfits can play shows with Danzig in a festival capacity, any “never gonna happen” song and dance is moot. Dudes, it’s time to cash in.

As I watched Max and his family band shuffle through the classic Nailbomb record the other night, this notion of the classic-era lineup of Sepultura being in a weird “I’m not touching you” vortex is frankly stupid. These Nailbomb shows, which were clearly facilitated by his kids, were cool, but more of a novelty than a milestone of the past; granted, Nailbomb was a great concept and good record, but against the greater Cavalera canon, it’s middle of the pack.

What struck me about the event was that my city, Austin, Texas didn’t show up. Generally, we’re a bought in musical community. Most shows have a decent turnout and the crowd is typically 100% singing along and giving the band on stage everything. But, the Nailbomb show was different. The bars weren’t moving and the merch guys weren’t doing laps. Soulfly is a national act, this wasn’t an ill-managed local gig with a bad promoter. The venue, Come and Take It Live was ½ empty.  

You’ve gotta be deep with early Sepultura to know these songs and show up with $30 on a Sunday night to want to see it live. I guess Austin and to a greater degree, San Antonio weren’t feeling this tour stop. That’s fine, not every show can be a sell out. Granted, we did have a mass shooting down the road earlier in the afternoon, so that could have factored in with people’s desire to not be trapped in a room with hundreds of other bodies.

When I saw Max and Igor do the Roots record a year prior, the room was ¾ full. But, the venue holds 500 bodies. You do the math. For an elder statesman of metal, that sucks. I have no idea what Sepultura draws these days. I can’t imagine it’s much more. 

The fact remains that if the four original members of Sepultura reunited, they’d be selling out rooms triple the size and have a healthy demand for festivals that earn enough money in one appearance that equate a whole year’s worth of club shows. At what point does ego parlay actual reality? 

All we want are the tracks from Roots, Chaos A.D., Beneath The Remains and Arise. Everything else is whatever. In Sepultura and Soulfly’s current incarnations, these tracks make up for at least ½ of their respective sets. There are even a collection of videos on YouTube comparing the band’s renditions of classic songs when they’re booked on the same festivals. 

Dudes, you’ve been getting asked for over twenty years when you’ll reunite with Max and Igor. It’s time to set egos aside and cash in. You’re getting older and soon, that fire will diminish. Let the people who love those iconic four records hear those songs live. We’ve seen them played by this incarnation or that, why not move forward past your bullshit hangups? 

There’s a legacy and demand that people crave. There’s no one saying you can’t continue the club shows with the regular lineups. Honestly, we don’t want new records from the classic lineup. The ship has sailed. We want an hour of the hits in exchange for our cash. Everyone wins. 

It’s time. How many tours can you justify playing for mediocre crowds who want to hear the same songs? Let us buy you dinner. 

Feb 20, 2017

The Cavalera Brothers Return to their Roots in Austin

by Robert Dean

Twenty years ago, when Sepultura released Roots, it was a milestone in heavy metal. On the surface, it was unique to see a band embrace their cultural heritage instead of trying to be completely Americanized. Sepultura was from Brazil, and they wanted to make a statement that they were from a rhythmically different side of the planet. Their traditions gave them different time signatures, a deeper reliance on drums, a different feel of timbre. Roots showcased heavy metal as world music, and it changed the game.

But, as their signature record gained stream and bands around the world copied the crushing style, Max Cavalera bailed on Sepultura. The classic lineup of the band was over. And in the years since, Cavalera has gone on to form Soulfly, while the remaining members of Sepultura keep busy with recording and touring. Iggor, Max’s brother, stayed in Sepultura for some years later, but eventually left the band he and his brother formed all those years ago. 

With the 20th anniversary of the seminal Roots record coming to pass into 2016, the Cavalera brothers, along with Soulfly alum Mark Rizzo and Tony Campos hit the road to celebrate. As bad blood flows black as night after all of these years, getting the original lineup today proves a Misfits-style quagmire, but hey Glenn and Jerry patched it up for two shows, so who knows what the future holds.

The Roots tour made its way through Austin last night, and the vibe was exactly what I wanted from some vintage metal: very drunk and very excited. With lots of head bobs and beer guts, the folks who came up on the Roots album were in full force. Everyone might be a little older, but the excitement was just the same. As for the Cavaleras, it seemed like Max was a little skeptical, and going through the motions of the set, as this is the second leg of the tour. But, as he saw the reactions of the crowd, and felt the appreciation coming back from chants and interaction, he livened up as the songs went by.

As they pulled out the drums and held tribal jam sessions, or crushed their way through Dusted, or even the encore of songs like Procreation of The Wicked, Children of The Grave or Ace of Spades, it was evident to anyone that the band went from another night on the road, to enjoying the room full of people who wanted to do nothing more but pour their hearts out back to them.

Those songs may be old, but they carry weight. Root Bloody Roots, Cutthroat, Attitude are metal classics. While they don’t crush with the sheer brutality of the newer bands, it doesn’t matter. Hearing these songs in their entirety was just satisfying. There’s a level of appreciation when a band tours on a classic album and that wasn’t lost last night at Grizzly Hall. Austin came out to say thank you to the Cavalera brothers for giving us such an incredible record that stands the test of time, two decades later. 


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