SEPULTURA Gig review

SEPULTURA Gig review
Support Acts: NIGHTLORD

London O2 Islington Academy, 30th June 2011

Review by Yiannis (John) Stefanis

Twenty seven years ago In Belo Horizonte, capital city of Minas Gerais/Brazil, two young brothers decided to form a band by the name Sepultura. The story is pretty much well known; the group rose to fame in the early-mid 90s through the release of seminal albums such as “Beneath The Remains”, “Arise” and “Chaos A.D” and even kick-started the whole Nu Metal movement by releasing the still much revered opus “Roots”. Even though these two brothers have chosen to use another outlet, namely Cavalera Conspiracy, these days in order to release all their creativity and frustration, the Brazilian legends are still quite capable of releasing good quality releases such as “Kairos” – the album whose promotion is the reason why the quartet is once again on the road.

Originally I was assigned to do an interview with the band’s frontman Derrick Green, an activity that was eventually cancelled due to the band’s quite hectic schedule, so I will be honest in saying that I was not particularly in a great hurry to arrive at the O2 Islington Academy. Once I did arrive, around 20:50, I just managed to catch the second opening act Nightlord performing their last two songs and what I got from them was that they are a classic sounding Thrash Metal band with much emphasis on lead guitar melodies – something that the crowd that had gathered to see them at the front few rows was quite appreciative of. Just before the band left the stage an announcement was made that a headline show at the London Underworld was scheduled for this coming November – a show that I am pretty sure that quite a few people from tonight’s crowd are planning on attending.

When I first entered the venue, I was slightly alarmed by the amount of people present, but ten minutes before the band hit the stage, I found out that I could hardly find any space to move my feet – evidence that the band’s popularity has survived the lack of presence by any of the Cavalera brothers. Following a classic early 90s intro, the band kick-started the proceedings with the classic opus “Arise” – the first composition of many to demand the crowd’s participation at the moshpit. The sound was spot on, Andreas Kisser (guitars) was head banging as demon, ‘newbie’ Jean Dolabella (drums) was impressive in his timings and Derrick Green was a commanding figure at the front of the stage. Only Paulo Jr (bass) seemed slightly ‘restrained’ but as the show progressed, he became more enthusiastic and involved. “Chaos A.D” ensures that the levels of energy remain high, while the first composition from the new album to be performed, the same-titled “Kairos”, proves that the Seps are still capable of creating classic sounding Thrash in anno 2011.

Even though the mid-90s were not too kind for the band, Sepultura still feel the need to ‘honour’ it in their live performances and that is how you find songs like “Choke”, “What I Do” and “The Treatment” being presented to us straight after the much loved opus “Convicted In Life”. “Kairos” is way too good of an album to be represented by only one song as the massive mid-tempo riffs of “Relentless” manage to prove in no time and it is only after the band’s classic opus “Troops Of Doom” is being performed that you understand how old-school the band’s twelfth album really sounds to people like myself who were lucky to grow up parallel to the career of this great outfit. More classic material such as the medley “Septic Schizo/Escape To The Void” is being performed before we are all quite surprised by the b-side gem “Meaningless Movements” and the quite successful cover to Ministry’s “Just One Fix”. The closing part of the band’s main set consists of riff-orientated Thrash material, starting from the newly recorded “Seethe” and “Territory”, during which Derrick Green shouting to us “London, listen up; this is your fu*king territory”, all the way to “Mass Hypnosis” and “Policia” – a song that was not part of the set list but was performed at the audience’s request. The band left the stage only after performing the much-loved “Inner Self” – a song that was greeted by a massive moshpit, and when they returned a couple of minutes later, they did so in order to finish us off with splendid renditions of “Ratamahatta” and “Roots Bloody Roots”.

I am sure that If I was given the opportunity to talk to every single person that attended this show I would not find a soul that left the O2 Islington Academy feeling anything but sheer joy at what they experienced during this one and a half hour set. Ok, so the highly rumoured reunion with the Cavalera brothers, something that I am sure that many people are wishing/praying for, has not materialised, but what does that really mean to us? As the band’s new effort “Kairos” and tonight’s quite successful show proves, this ‘version’ of Sepultura is quite capable of creating good quality music, which is all one can ask of a band that’s been around for twenty seven years! If the Seps are visiting your town as part of this tour, don’t make the mistake of staying home – you’ll live to regret it!

Set List:

Main Set:
1. “Intro”
2. “Arise”
3. “Refuse/Resist”
4. “Kairos”
5. “Convicted In Life”
6. “Choke”
7. “What I do”
8. “The Treatment”
9. “Relentless”
10. “Troops Of Doom”
11. “Septic Schizo/Escape To The Void” (medley)
12. “Meaningless Movements”
13. “Just One Fix” (Ministry cover)
14. “Seethe”
15. “Territory”
16. “Mass Hypnosis”
17. “Policia” (after the crowd’s request – not part of the original setlist)
18. “Inner Self”
1. “Ratamahatta”
2. “Roots Bloody Roots”


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