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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
Apes of God
More of The Same
As It Is
The Rift
Bottomed Out
Bullet The Blue Sky (Bonus Track)


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

Next review: » Sepultura - Roorback
Previous review: » 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


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


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



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

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