Released: n/a, Steamhammer/SPV
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.