Sepultura – Nation

Every review of Sepultura’s first post-Max Cavalera album, Against, either began or ended by mentioning the fact that the band would never be the same again without Max. I swore that I would not fall into the same trap. Then, I heard the new album.

And so, to Sepultura, I say, drop whatever tribal sticks and stones you’ve gathered to make pseudo Brazilian music with, and run, don’t walk, to the nearest payphone. Call Max, and offer him all the rainforests in the southern hemisphere to rejoin your whithered shell of a band.

Was that too strong?

Sepultura’s Nation, slated for a March 21st release date, goes out of it’s way to prove what the last album already made painfully obvious – that the band will never be the same again without Max.

That being said, Nation isn’t half bad, it’s just not Sepultura. I got all the way through to the album by telling myself that this wasn’t Sepultura, but rather a really good Sepultura cover band. It just happens to be a cover band that three of the four original members are in. The whole album feels like an “A” student in school turning in a “C” paper.

Guitarist Andreas Kisser said about this album, “… we looked at this record where we were as a band, where the world was at the end of the millennium. It felt like a revolution starting for us. At its core, that’s what Nation is.” Uh, didn’t I hear that before, about an album called Roots?

Where the band suffers most post-Max is musically. There are no problems in the backbone of the band, with the drums actually excelling in several songs. Derrick Green’s vocals are passable – while you can say “it’s not Max,” he passes as a growler. The biggest problem with the music are the guitars. Kisser is a rhythm guitarist, plain and simple. If he records ten tracks, then whoopee, you’ve got ten tracks of rhythm guitar. The lead string work never jumps out and grabs you. Actually, not much
on the disc does.

Following the rules laid down by Rootsand Against, much of Nationspends a lot of it’s time talking about the political problems of Brazil, and paying homage to the native sounds of Brazil, so if you didn’t get enough of it over the last few Sepultura and Soulfly albums, here’s some more of it.

There are a few rallying songs included on the disc, including “Sepulnation,” and “One Man Army.” There are also plenty of collaborations – unfortunately, most of them don’t work well. Jello Biafra sings vocals on “Polotricks,” but to be able to hear and understand him they’ve turned down the music and slowed everything down.

Near the end I thought that maybe the album could have been saved by one good rebellion anthem at the end, but instead we’re treated to two songs which could put me asleep even if I were standing in a mosh pit. The next to the last song is “Water,” a slow, wimpy song that could easily pass for a Pearl Jam song (and one of their slow ones, at that). The last song on the disc is “Valtio,” a collaboration with Apocalyptica (yes, those piece of crap cello players who cover, among other things, Metallica tunes). Yawn. Wake me up when the revolution’s over.

You know, the rumor on the street is that David Lee Roth is getting back together with Van Halen. That means, according to my sources, that Hell has officially frozen over. That means it’s not too late guys! I’m sure Igor still has his brother’s phone number, give him a call! Make up! Do it for your country! Wait, that’s Brazil. Do it for OUR country!

I’m not a Derrick Green hater. Hell, I’m not particularly a Max Cavalera lover – I don’t even like Soulfly that much. I don’t like peanut butter and chocolate separately either, but I’m a pretty big Reese’s fan.

Folks, we’ve already seen Sepultura’s Master of Puppets, so to speak.

01. Sepulnation
02. Border Wars
03. Revolt
04. One Man Army
05. Vox Populi
06. The Ways Of Faith
07. Uma Cura
08. Who Must Die
09. Saga
10. Tribe To A Nation
11. Polotricks
12. Human Cause
13. Reject
14. Water
15. Valtio

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