Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
Written by: PP on 22/07/2011 04:46:35
Much can be said about Sepultura with or without the Cavalera brothers, but it's such a lengthy argument that there's no point getting into it in a review of the newest and 12th Sepultura album, "Kairos", which ranks as one of the better modern Sepultura albums alongside "Dante XXI" released five years ago. It's a record that further pushes Sepultura away from their core Brazilian thrash metal sound towards a brand of muscular and complex metal that, while not retaining much from their old self, still retains the breath of originality which has always surrounded the band. Think about it - Sepultura are like day and night from the Bay Area scene, the crossover bands, and especially the revivalist bands of late, staying on their own path to produce metal that fits their idea of the genre: unassumptious and ambitious, but in a ballsy, ass-kicking way.
If there's one predominant characteristic about "Kairos" that stands out from it when viewed from a distance, it's that the whole album feels like a headbanger's wet dream come true. The sheer amount of muscular, down-tuned, but oddly catchy riffs is impressive, each feeling like they were designed purely and completely with the intention of causing as much unintentional brain damage as possible due to involuntary head movements that undoubtedly will occur when listening to the brute force riffing in songs like "Spectrum", "Dialog" or "Structure Violence".
A number of songs on the album feature a complex mixture of simple-but-hypnotic riffs, that sound like they were perhaps influenced by Meshuggah, but the record isn't without its screeching thrash metal solos (think Slayer style here) or high-tempo affairs appeasing the thrash metal circles either. However, as the album progresses, it becomes clear that at least on "Kairos", Sepultura are at their best when they reach into the slightly progressive and more straight-up metal of a band like Machine Head. It's interesting to note how the speed drops considerably, and yet the songs become ever more inviting to waving your head around like a retard in public. It's also in these tracks that vocalist Green spits out some of his most intense primal roars, such as in the title track "Kairos" or on "Seethe", both pieces which speak to the inner caveman living inside each of us male members of the mankind.
As a finishing bonus, Sepultura add a hardcore / thrash metal cover of The Prodigy's "Firestarter" (though only on the deluxe edition), which actually turns out much better than you'd expect, paying homage to the original song closely while also successfully thrash-metallizing it to sound like Sepultura. It serves also as a fitting finish to what might be one of the catchiest macho metal albums in recent memory, and another highlight on an illustrious career.
Download: Kairos, Dialog, Structure Violence (Azzes)
For the fans of: Machine Head, Cavalera Conspiracy
Release date 24.06.2011