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Sepultura
Roorback
August 2003
Released: 2003, SPV/Steamhammer
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Sepultura are a band I have been dissatisfied with since the release of ROOTS. Since then, their continual down-tuned churning riffing has bored me immensely. Sure, ROOTS (1996) had a few good moments, even AGAINST (1998) had some decent tracks. It was their last studio album NATION (2001) that really put the nail in the coffin for me. When ROORBACK arrived, I was in no rush to listen to it. I reluctantly put it on and I was not as disgusted as I expected I’d be. This is still no ARISE, CHAOS A.D. or BENEATH THE REMAINS. Unfortunately Sepultura seem like they will never return to their glorious thrash metal roots, or even just heavy metal.



ROORBACK begins with two strong tracks. The first is the near thrash song “Come Back Alive” featuring some nice drumming from Igor. “Godless” follows this up and had me thinking this album might slay. Sadly the next few tracks didn’t keep my attention at all. It wasn’t until track 6, “Corrupted”, that I took notice again. The one sounds like it could have been on CHAOS A.D. The monotony of songs like “Corrupted”, the punk-metal of “Mind War” and “Activist”, etc. made me lose interest many times throughout the CD. “The Rift” begins like another “roots” song, but picks up and turns into quite a scorcher. Vocalist Derrick Green is being a little more experimental on this album, which is a good thing. He’s not only screaming yet mixes some other ideas and clean vocals like on the weird track “Bottomed Out”. This one begins with as close to a “ballad” as you’ll get from Sepultura followed by slow, plodding riffing. My version of the CD contains a bonus track and video for “Bullet the Blue Sky” which is a cover of an older U2 song. Who knew that Sepultura liked or was influenced by U2? If you’d rather hear them covering their metal influences check out the EP REVOLUSONGS for covers of Hellhammer and Exodus along with some un-metal and the same U2 cover. That said, they do a wicked job on this one and the video for the song is pretty cool with Derrick running around like a savage.



I don’t care if it’s a pipe dream but my hope remains that Sepultura will tune their guitars up, stop trying to re-write the song “Roots, Bloody Roots” on every second song, and play some fucking speedy thrash metal!



The release date for ROORBACK is August 26th for USA, Canada and Australia so if you feel so inclined, you know when to head to the CD store!
Track Listing

01. Come Back Alive
02. Godless
03. Apes Of God
04. More Of The Same
05. Urge
06. Corrupted
07. As It Is
08. Mind War
09. Leech
10. The Rift
11. Bottomed Out
12. Activist
13. Outro

Bonus Material:
Bullet The Blue Sky (U2 Cover)
Bullet The Blue Sky (Video)

Lineup

Andreas Kisser - Guitar
Igor Cavalera – Drums
Paulo Jr. – Bass
Derrick Green - Vocals


Next review: » Sepultura - Roorback
Previous review: » Sepultura - Nation

Sepultura
Roorback
August 2003
Released: n/a, Steamhammer/SPV
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Fact: Sepultura are not going to do a rerun of their famous and classic albums ARISE and CHAOS A.D. Big brother Cavalera is not coming back to the band in the foreseeable future, so now we have Mr. Green on vocals instead and that’s reality. The first two albums with Mr. Green (“AGAINST” -98, “NATION” -01) behind the microphone are very weak and thin both vocally, song-wise, and the production feels quite boring as well. ROORBACK feels stronger, more vital, and Mr. Green sings a bit more varied compared to the other two records. I think we finally have to accept the fact that Max is not coming back and accept Mr. Green as the new singer. Mr. Green has grown into the band and has gained self-confidence on stage both as a singer and as a frontman.



Sepultura have changed record labels from Roadrunner Records to SPV and this is the first release on the new label. Andreas/Derrick/Igor has written all the music. Andreas/Derrick has written the lyrics except for the U2 cover “BULLET THE BLUE SKY” as a bonus track. There are 12 tracks on this new opus. On “ROORBACK they have worked more on the arrangements and it feels like a going back to the old sound. There are also a lot of tempo changes in each song. The only minor thing with the band today is that they only have one guitarist in the band – Andreas. It feels a bit empty with just one guitar when you are used to two, the band needs two guitarists always.



“ROORBACK” was produced by Steve Evetts and co-produced by the band. It was recorded at AR AR – Studios in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Steve has managed to get out the absolute best from the guys and it sounds very much like the old days. The whole band seems to glow and they are giving all they’ve got. You can sense where the band is headed right from the start. “COME BACK ALIVE” and “APES OF GOD” are both fast, heavy, brutal thrash/heavy metal just like in the old days with an impressive Igor on drums. “GODLESS” and “MORE OF THE SAME” delivers heavier thrash metal but the speed is not so fast. On “URGE” there are some hints of the incredibly boring tribal stuff….this is not my favorite track on here. “CORRUPTED” is fast, aggressive, and heavy, just like they should sound. “AS IT IS” starts out like a ballad - very slow and calm before the tempo rises and then goes back to be a bit slow and grinding. “MINDWAR” and “THE RIFT” are again what Sepultura should sound like. “LEECH” and “ACTIVIST” are both fast thrash/heavy metal with a very aggressive Derrick on vocals. “BOTTOMED OUT” is another ballad-like song. In this track Derrick shows off that he has a broader vocal range then previously shown. Also in this song you can hear tribal influences at the end of the song. As a bonus track there is the cover of the U2 song “BULLET THE BLUE SKY” that Sepultura does an excellent cover of. Derrick impresses a lot and the video for the song are also very nice.



This is a really good album no.3 by Mr. Green and the boys. It’s a strong album almost all the way. My favorite songs are the more harder songs like “COME BACK ALIVE”, “CORRUPTED”, “LEECH”, “THE RIFT”, “ACTIVIST” and of course the cover “BULLET THE BLUE SKY”. The band is back on the right track and I’ll hope that they keep up this good work on the next album. You should not count out Sepultura yet, this Brazilian-American band has a lot more to give.
Track Listing

Come Back Alive
Godless
Apes of God
More of The Same
Urge
Corrupted
As It Is
Mindwar
Leech
The Rift
Bottomed Out
Activist
Outro
Bullet The Blue Sky (Bonus Track)

Lineup

Derrick Green – lead vocals
Igor Cavalera – drums
Andreas Kisser – guitar
Paolo Xisto – bass


Next review: » Sepultura - Roorback
Previous review: » Sepultura - Nation

Sepultura
Roorback
September 2003
Released: 2003, SPV
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: JP

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.
Track Listing

Track-Listing:

1. Come Back Alive
2. Godless
3. Apes of God
4. More of The Same
5. Urge
6. Corrupted
7. As It Is
8. Mind War
9. Leech
10. The Rift
11. Bottomed Out
12. Activist
13. Outro
14. Bullet In The Blue Sky

Lineup

Derrick Green-vocals
Andreas Kisser- Guitars
Paulo-Bass
Igor Cavalera-Drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Sepultura - The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart
Previous review: » Sepultura - Nation





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