SEPULTURA – Roorback

Roorback is the third Derrick Green-era album from Brazilian legends SEPULTURA. Perhaps their most explicitly political work to date, SEPULTURA cover a wide spectrum of socially conscious themes from political corruption to social control. The album’s sound can predominantly be characterized as a combination of their newer, sludgy riffing style with a more straight-ahead, hardcore sound. A handful of thrash riffs rear their head but their appearance plays a minimal role. Green’s voice has grown exponentially since his debut on Against. His roar is louder and more convincing than ever and fits in well with the material. Igor Cavalera continues to prove that he is one of best drummers in extreme music by making the drums an integral part of the distinctive SEPULTURA sound. His wide array of skills includes a strong-armed sense of tempo, tasteful and technical fills, and a talent for tribal rhythms. After reaching legendary standards in extreme music, SEPULTURA have set a very high bar for themselves. Roorback is unfortunately not one of their best. None of the songs are bad in any major way really. The songwriting is solid and dynamic and the individual performances are still strong but the major problems are that the album fails to really dominate from beginning to end and there are some songs that kinda just float there without really going anywhere (i.e. “Godless” and “More of The Same”). There is an EP’s worth of really strong songs though. Songs like “Come Back Alive,” “Mind War,” and “The Rift” really jump out with tons of energy and aggression. “Urge” has a good sense of tension throughout with a strong chorus that roars to break the silence. “Activist” is a nice closer with its fast tempo and sense of finality. The 2-CD version of the record includes the band’s cover EP, Revolusongs. Almost every major old school thrash act on the planet has done one of these. Without restricting themselves to just hard rock or metal, they traverse a nice selection of genres (i.e. trip hop, hip hop, alt rock). The songs give Derrick Green a chance to showcase his vocal range, a range that former frontman Max Cavalera could never duplicate. The real gem is their cover of U2’s “Bullet The Blue Sky.” It shows where SEPULTURA could possibly go with their musical direction if they wanted to. Also included for good measure, the video for “Bullet The Blue Sky” is included. It’s probably one of the best (and most tasteful) videos to come from a metal band. Green’s leading role really takes advantage of his larger than life stature. Roorback may not be Arise or Beneath The Remains but it’s still better by leaps and bounds than what most of the underground has to offer at the moment. (SPV)

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