The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart

When Sepultura burst into the scene in 1985 with the Bestial Devastation split LP in 1985 I was an instant fan and had the pleasure of seeing them on their SOS tour on their Beneath the Remains U.S. tour with openers Sadus and Obituary.  This was a classic show and I spoke at length to Max, Andreas and Igor and they were super cool dudes and Andreas would always be in NY, for some reason, and would hang with him at L’amours, in Brooklyn, NY and he was cool.  They were my top band for a long time, until Max Cavalera left and I’m not here to get into why he left, but suffice it to say that once he left, for me, the band took the proverbial nose dive and I have fallen into the trap of buying each Max-less album, since the band always promises the fans a return to form, meaning their thrash sound and I’m a sucker every time!!

I feel that Sepultura’s best album, post Max was the 2003 Roorback album, Igor was still drumming with the band.  This album is one of the best in all the band’s history and was aggressive and thrashy as hell.  The rest of the albums have been pretty much average at best, Dante XXI, or below average, Nation.  What happened was Andreas Kisser decided the best route to take the band was to keep the band stuck in a below average Chaos A.D./Roots groove musical pattern, repeating the same mistakes over and over again.  Their last album, Kairos, was not a return to form, as promised, with the majority of the album stuck in mid paced boring, tired old riffs The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart is the same shit, just with a longer than usual album name.  And how many bands do you know have multiple concept albums??  Make this the band’s third one in the last 7 freakin’ years, this time tackling the concept of the 1927 film, Metropolis.

There are times when this album is actually better than the new Soulfly, but Soulfly, despite the average Savages, are still heavy and Max still embraces his death/thrash metal and Cavalera Conspiracy rules!  “Trauma of War” opens the album and is a kick ass thrash opener with the band in vintage top form.  Hell they even follow up with the awesome “The Vatican” and new drummer Eloy Casagrande inserting a little blast beating in there.   At this point I’m like, hey, maybe this album is a return to form, boy I was duped again-goddamit!  This kid drums his heart out on this album and he is in a career ending band-jump ship now, Eloy!  The rest of the album except for a small burst of speed, is stuck in the tired old groove/mid paced mumbo jumbo that the band has been dishing out for the last 15 yrs, minus Roorback.  Man I feel asleep to this crap.  I’m not sure if Kisser really likes thrash metal anymore?  I mean why give the fans like 2 good tunes and the rest is the same old tired rehashed midpaced garbage that has garnered the band no new fans?  Eloy is the standout here, he needs to be in a brutal death/thrash band, he’s a killer drummer.

The rest of the band does solid enough work, but it’s a yawn fest.  Hey the band also released an iTunes only version with the band covering the legendary Death “Zombie Ritual” song.  I urge you to seek this out and laugh your ass off.  The music is mostly solid, a little blah, but Derrick’s vocals are worthy of the price of admission, alone.  They’re awful.  Rather than try and harness a deathlike growl, which he has the capabilities of; he sings in mid-higher range and enunciates every word perfectly.  I swear when he says ‘Goblet of Gore’, I cringed, it sounds like he is doing a speech, rather than try and do some justice to one of the best classic death metal songs, in existence.

Other points, you want facts, I have facts, baby.  The U.S. is an especially unforgiving place for bands, and I understand that, I used to be in a band.  But Sepultura’s sales in the U.S. are terrible and have been for years.  The band gathers their bread and butter from European audiences, primarily.  When was the last time the band did multiple full fledged U.S. tours?  Everyone that I know that has seen them here, in the last 10-15 years, says they get the biggest response from their classic songs and the band cannot sell out clubs here.  Due to the nature of the music business now when tours are planned the promoters do pre-sale ticket advances and that is what helps plan and fund these tours.  When sales are bad tours get canceled, that’s why last summer’s Fear Factory/Misery Index/Voivod tour was canceled, sux-that would have killed! So the fact that Sepultura’s recent U.S. tour was canceled and the band said it was “visa problems”-please kind soul do not be fooled into believing this nonsense.  The band has been around for like 30 years and for crissakes if a small band, like Spanish gods & one of the greatest acts out there, WORMED, can get into the U.S., do not tell me for 1 minute a major act with management and a major label all of a sudden cannot get into the U.S.  The fact is the pre-sale ticket advances were not there and the tour was going to be a financial disaster and the tour was kaput, before you could even recite this ridiculous long album name 10x.

Hey Andreas-stop using the Sepultura name, you are tarnishing the band’s past legacy.  Avoid this unless you want the inserts, 2 good songs, or a nice thick beer coaster, that will leave a nice permanent ring on it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
November 25th, 2013


  1. Commented by: hebus

    Cavalera married yoko ono.thats why he left.and soulfly is just a joke.keep ripping off roots max.good job ya loser.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    second album this year to use Metropolis as its foundation. first was Cult of Luna’s Vertikal. well actually that came out in very late 2012 but that’s splitting hairs. I am off to check out Roorback but will skip on this!

  3. Commented by: F.Rini

    yeah, skip this at all costs. Roorback kicks effin ass. Thx for reading!/frank

  4. Commented by: Black death

    I bought this album after never listening to any Sepultura after “Arise”, and I loved it. I always heard they turned into some kind of shit hardcore band, but this album sounded like classic death metal to me…Derrick Green is a wonderful vocalist and while he doesn’t do growls, he fits the music well. The riffs are also very memorable, such as in “Manipulation of Tragedy” and “Obsessed”. Sure, there is a bit of hardcore, but anyone who hates hardcore as much as I do will be fine with just skipping those tracks, haha!!!

  5. Commented by: osh

    Glad your singing the truth brother. Almost wasted a few minutes of my time listening to this. Time way better spent on your review Frank!

  6. Commented by: F. Rini

    Osh-yeah, I’m glad I saved you some extra $!/Black Death-yeah, you know it’s not like sepul does not have any fans out there, but for me I just felt it was like listening to the same album over and over, like their last ones. And I do not mind some hardcore in there, I grew up in NY and love the NYHC sound, but for Sepul, just not the right mix for me. Hebus-I only go on facts and what I know and would not comment on Max’s marriage, but he has released alot of Soulfly albums that were pretty amazing, Prophecy, Dark Ages and Enslaved are incredible. thx to you all for your comments on here-we all appreciate your comments and reading the articles/ frank \m/

  7. Commented by: Mastodude

    Honestly, I think new Sepultura gets way more shit than they deserve. No, they’re not as good as old Sepultura, but neither is Soulfly, and both bands have put out some pretty shitty material since Max left the band in the mid 90s. However, I’ve taken it upon myself to give all the post-Max Sepultura albums a listen over the past few weeks and haven’t really been that disappointed. Nation was a piece of absolute garbage, but the rest of their releases haven’t been that bad. I enjoyed Against, Roorback, and to a lesser extent, A-lex and Kairos. Still haven’t given Dante XXI a listen, but everyone is telling me it’s their worst album, so I’m a little worried about checking it out.

    On to this new release, I really do think it’s one of the best they’ve released since Max left. Much better than the new Soulfly, too, which surprised me. Derrick gets a lot of hate for his vocals, but I’ve always thought they were cool (other than his cleans, Jesus those are terrible). He sounds absolutely ferocious on this release. Andreas hasn’t played this well on an album in years, the new drummer is fantastic, and I’m sure Paulo did something worth mentioning but who the fuck cares, lol.

    It was a lot easier for me to like this band after I stopped comparing it to the Sepultura of old and just accepted it for what it became after Roots, which was basically a mix of Hardcore Punk, Groove Metal, and occasional Thrash / Death Metal stuff. So what if it sucks compared to old Sepultura? It’s still better than half the shit that similar bands are putting out right now.

  8. Commented by: F. Rini

    Mastodude-thx for your well thought out response. Nation is the absolute worst post max sepul release. Dante XXI is not too bad, the opening track on that album is pretty cool. Yeah, at the end of the day I think people, me included just want the f’in band to release a non stop thrash fest, like yrs past. Enough of these groove oriented boring ass songs. Really! Cause when they kick into the thrash attacks, they sound killer-so i will agree with you on that. Just always wanting that part to be their main focus, but it has not been for some time now. In terms of still better than half the stuff out there now, I’ll have to politely disagree with you there. I think of bands like Warbringer, Skeletonwitch, Municipal Waste, Gama Bomb, Gravehill, Craven Idol ( I can go on all day), of bands that play thrash, blackened thrash or death/thrash metal-these bands destroy Sepultura, in terms of quality albums, thrashing hard etc. But to each his own, as they say. Happy new year dude. \m/

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Carrion Throne - The Feast of Human Vices EP
  • Kittie - Fire
  • Mad Hatter - Oneironautics
  • Serement - Abhorrent Invocations
  • Limbonic Art - Opus Daemoniacal
  • Bloodcross - Gravebound
  • Sentiment Dissolve - The Orwellian Dream
  • Replacire - The Center That Cannot Hold
  • Wormwood - The Star
  • Cavalera - Schizophrenia
  • Gatecreeper - Dark Superstition
  • Henry Kane - Circle of Pain
  • Grand Demise of Civilization - The Blaze of Abaddon
  • Anthropophagus Depravity - Demonic Paradise
  • Downcross - White Tower