Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Lasting Impact: Sepultura - Roots

Man. Sepultura and me have some history. The first time I listened to this it had just come out and Radio 2(Think BBC1 mixed with BBC6) in Iceland played it in it's entirety. I was 13, and I was gobsmacked. This was up to that point, or at least until I heard The Chemical Wedding by Bruce Dickinson, the heaviest thing I had ever listened to. And it was on mainstream radio! The underlying political message has stayed with me ever since, and made me an even bigger socialist then my parents could(The other influence being Bill Hicks, but that's a discussion for another blog entry). Then there's the use of native instrumentations, which is peppered throughout the album and Native American singing in both Itsari and Canyon Jam.

I've previously written about an album of theirs, Roorback to be precise. But this time I want to write about an album that I think gets way to much flack for the most ridiculous reason. The main one being that it seems to be in to hate it, I suppose I could understand the reasons given. But then I listen to the album, and those reasons just seem, well stupid. First of all, it is very connected with the nu-metal movement, now I can sort of understand that reason. But nu-metal to be is more about rapping, hipping, hopping, generally raping of instruments and the like. But there is not one song here that is vaguely like that. Except maybe Ratamahatta. Then there's the fact that Jonathan Davis guests on LookAway, but so does Mike Patton! And everybody loves Faith No More. Ross Robinson produces it, now he was hired because Max Cavalera like his work on Korn's debut album, deservedly so. Korn's debut album is great and sounds great. It's got meat, it's muddy, it's got style that hadn't been replicated until Roots came out. Besides Ross also produced an album by Fear Factory, sound engineered WASP - Crimson Idol, and many many more(Oh and there is that one blip of Vanilla Ice, but everyone is allowed to make mistakes). The man knows how to get good sound from bands! Nu-metal seems to be just another label to throw at bands that the metal hipsters don't like without any foundation. It's a bit like when you hear old metalheads shouting "It wasn't published before the 90's so it's shit!".

Well fuck you old metalheads and metal hipsters.

Then of course there is the fact that this album sold millions of copies, and if there's one thing that metal hipsters(you'll find a lot of them on Metal Archives) hate, it's when bands reap from their hard work. One thing that their accused of is selling out because they don't sound like one of their old albums. Now this is an accusation I hate, it always seems like that bands are not allowed to expand on their sound. Yes, Beneath the Remains is a fantastic death metal album, Arise is a brilliant thrash metal album, Chaos AD is wonderful groove album, but Roots is just a brilliant metal album full stop. Some people like to say that they went all "groovy" on them with this one. This usually comes from the same people who love Pantera. They obviously didn't take their time and listened to Spit or Dictatorshit.

Andreas Kisser really does come into his own on this album, it is such a shame that he is not talked about more when the conversation of great guitarists comes up. Jasco is a fantastic finger picking tune by him.

Max's song-writing did reach maturation stage at this point, he definitely knows how to write anthems, but at the same time he also writes great straight up metal tunes. His lyrics could still do with some work, but generally he doesn't hold back and when he has a point he likes to hammer it in. In Roots Bloody Roots he sings:
Bring Me The Strength
Is Breeding Me This Way
To Get To Another Day
And All I Want To See
Set Us Free

Cut Throat:
You Promise This And Promise All
Deep Inside Nothing At All
In A War Of Filth And Greed
We Don't Need None Of This Shit

Both Igor and Paulo have their parts, Igor is one of the hardest hitting drummers around and also one of the most tribally rhythmic that I can think of(Scott Rockenfield being the another), and Paulo's fingers are fully exercised through the album when trying to follow both Igor and Andreas.

But then of course the event happened. Sepultura split. I'm not going to go into what or why it happened, but safe to say now we have two bands to enjoy. Even though it did take Sepultura couple of albums to get used to it.

In conclusion, I still listen to this album on a regular basis. Because it is good. It is without a doubt one of the major landmarks of Heavy Metal as we know it today.
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