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Released: 2003, SPV
I’ll state my bias and history up front to put it in context. I was a huge Sepultura fan. Note the past tense. ARISE was a tiny bit of a let-down. CHAOS A.D. was very disappointing and ROOTS is when I gave up on the band. In fact I didn’t even bother buying it. So here we are almost ten years later since I have paid the band any real attention.
The problems that contributed to my loss of enjoyment of Sepultura are still here unfortunately. The cover is cool, an ominous shadowy figure representing some metaphorical world government I suppose but Sepultura left wing politics are so heavy handed and unsophisticated as to make it laughable. Another dumb title, Black Propaganda’ would have been better, I feel. The logo is totally gone and the song titles and lyrics are the one-dimensional protest themes that I have come to really dislike. The bands name no longer represents for what they once stood.
The design of the package is pretty nice to look at although there are no pictures of the band but we get lyrics and notes. The production is pretty decent. I’m not a fan of the thin, warbling guitar tone but it is well done for the modern style. The vocals are a bit far back in the mix and they use studio effects to take the natural power out of Green’s voice BUT I understand that is the popular style these days so it is well executed and achieves the desired effect.
Musically this is so far removed form what interests and excites me I automatically was unimpressed. I must admit, it is well done for the style but many things about this rub me the wrong way. For songs that are supposed to enrage, excite or entice people to angry action they bore and preach. The least enjoyable track is ‘Bottomed Out’ as tune that describes the band perfectly…it starts an acoustic, soft rock song with heavy vocal effects and drops into a monotone shouting with virtually no riffs. The faster songs like ‘Corrupted’ show a glimmer of the life that was once there but again the lack of ferocity in the drumming or guitars were just boring. The opening cut ‘Come Back Alive’ has the same formula…lifeless guitars, shout-scream style of vocals and the drums buried way back in the mix so to render them powerless. Overall I feel this is a heavier album than the last two and has fewer hardcore elements but it is still just…boring.
Collectors and longtime fans will be pleased to know there is a limited edition with the fairly rare covers EP. This version comes with a bonus track from that covers EP a tune from some band called U2, who I know virtually nothing about and have never heard the original. It ain’t metal is all I know! I won’t be seeking it out because ROORBACK is yet another below average album from a formerly great band who now sit in the huge seething mass of below average bands. Better than NATION and AGAINST…but only barely.
1. Come Back Alive
3. Apes of God
4. More of The Same
7. As It Is
8. Mind War
10. The Rift
11. Bottomed Out
14. Bullet In The Blue Sky
Andreas Kisser- Guitars
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