Founded by teen brothers Max and Igor Cavalera in 1984, Sepultura (the Portuguese word for “grave”) is the most successful metal band from Brazil, they sold over 3 million units in the USA and almost 20 million worldwide. Neither of the Cavalera brothers are still part of the band now. Max left the band in 1996, after the release of their most successful album “Roots”, while Igor left in 2006, after the release of the album “Dante XXI”. Jean Dolabella, drummer of Diesel (later changed to Udora) and drummer for Andreas Kisser 2009’s solo album, join Sepultura for the following two albums “A-Lex” (2009) and “Kairos” (2011). Jean was a drumming teacher at the Pro-Music School in Belo Horizonte, he left Sepultura in 2011. Jean was replaced by 20 year old Eloy Casagrande who previously played in Andre Matos – the solo band of ex-Viper, Angra and Shaaman singer. Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo also made a guest appearance on the album on the song called “Obsessed” and guitarist Andreas Kisser has taking over the microphone on the Chico Science & Nação Zumbi cover “Da Lama ao Caos”. The album was produced by Ross Robinson, who also produced Sepultura’s fabulous and most appreciated “Roots” album.
The upcoming thirteenth studio album it’s scheduled for release on October 25 and will be released by Nuclear Blast, the same label which released on September 30 “Savages”, the ninth album by Max’s Soulfly. Being on the same label already created tensions between the two bands. Referring to Sepultura Max declared “that the band shouldn’t even be called SEPULTURA” and regarding to the new collaboration with Ross Robinson, Max said “Ross hadn’t done anything good in a long”. I’m not so convinced about this, but I’m damn sure that “The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart” it’s definitively one of the Sepultura’s finest album.
It’s quite funny to still consider Derrick Green “the new guy” after 15 years and 6 albums – now 7 – while Max was part of the tribe for “only” 12 years and 6 albums. On the other hand, I think it would be a huge mistake to compare “The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart” with “Roots” or – much as tempting would be – with “Savages”. As very first impression, Sepultura has returned to their thrash/death flavored roots of “Beneath the Remains” and “Arise”, but benefiting from Ross Robinson’s brain, the album have a more darker, sometimes industrial fueled flavor which obviously reminding us of the unavoidable “Roots” album. It’s kind of one step back to get two steps forward. It’s very intense, very brutal, pretty straight-forward metal in the vein of their previous “Kairos”, but with more colors and noises, more Brazilian aromas and grooves. Eloy Casagrande sometimes it’s not subtle enough, maybe a little bit choppy with his machine-gun like rolls, but definitively he is the perfect drummer for this band and he have great perspectives. The cymbals and hi-hats sometimes are sounding quite raw through the record, but that gives kind of live vibe to the production.
Derrick Green is rough and brutal, maybe still a little bit without personality, without any particular own flavor, but he’s doing his job consciously, spitting and screaming, here and there whispering menacing. Paulo Jr. have some fabulous bass grooves while Andreas Kisser deliver some remarkable solos and chainsaw-like minimal riffs. He’s not that riff-factory as Max was, but he’s right on point, doing a good job without having some outstanding, unforgettable riffs on the menu.
01 – Trauma Of War
02 – The Vatican
03 – Impending Doom
04 – Manipulation Of Tragedy
05 – Tsunami
06 – The Bliss Of Ignorants
07 – Grief
08 – The Age Of The Atheist
09 – Obsessed
10 – Da Lama Ao Caos
The album have some key moments and songs. My favorites are “Manipulation Of Tragedy”, “Tsunami”, “The Bliss Of Ignorants”, “Grief”, “Impending Doom”, “The Age Of The Atheist” and “Da Lama Ao Caos” – which is almost the whole album, so, Sepultura really delivered this time and no true fan can complain or say anything about their new album. Although there will be always narrow minded individuals who still can get over the fact that the Cavalera brothers left this band by their own will, by their own decision.
“Trauma of War” opening the album with a fast, grinding thrash type of butchery. “The Vatican” have a tasty little intro, but the song explode into another Slayer-like extermination, it’s very intense, very brutal, totally uncompromising. “Impending Doom” bring to the surface some twisted off industrial flavors and smart changes of grooves, the song grinding slowly, but it’s pretty merciless and eventually grind you to the ground. Can hear it through clearly the Ross Robinson type of sound and concept and it fits perfectly the Sepultura spirit, no doubt, bringing Robinson back to this project was the best choice.
“Manipulation Of Tragedy” merge some tribal grooves with trash rooted intensity, it’s the song where Eloy Casagrande really proves his qualities, the combination of intense hammering and smooth grooves are truly impressive. “Tsunami” it’s a brutal groove/thrash metal Tsunami meant to blow you away literally, it’s a very dark and tumultuous take with a fabulous solo part and menacing echo at the end.
“The Bliss Of Ignorants” it’s build upon some hypnotic tribal rhythms and grinding, industrial flovered riffs, I love the grooves and the bass work of Paulo Jr. throughout. “Grief” it’s the moment of (dark) blues, a very atmospheric take with dark grooves and expressive build-up and noises throughout, slow, but really intense s*it!
“The Age Of The Atheist” it’s a more classy Sepultura song, brutal, but smartly flavored with Brazilian grooves and intense guitar work. It makes kind of good snapshot of the whole album including some Robinson type of breaks and industrial flavors too.
“Obsessed” starts with some really cool drumming, but then turns into a typical brutal thrash monster, quite an intense song throughout, but nothing really special, the guest appearance of Dave Lombardo is not as impressive as I expected.
“Da Lama Ao Caos” feels like a hardcore-punk manifest. Love it!
There’s also a hidden track, really lovely stuff, but leave you to discover it for yourself!
Just as I said, one of the best Sepultura albums, brutal, intense, but colorful as only Sepultura can be, incorporating those tribal/Brazilian rhythms and flavors in the most intense metal.
Buy it or steal it, mandatory!!
Sepultura – Official Site