Sepultura – Revolusongs

I can only assume that the first half of the word Revolusongs refers to the word “revolution” or “revolutionary.” Unfortunately, this album is neither. The boys from Brazil make their return to the public eye with this eight-song EP of fun but mostly unmoving covers.

The album kicks off with Hellhammer’s “Messiah”. Those not familiar with Hellhammer would most likely think this to be an original Sep’ tune. All the classic Sepultura trademark sounds are here — loud crashing rides, a loose snare, and that fierce, bassy Sepultura guitar sound. “So far, so good,” I thought to myself.

Insert sound of tires screeching to a halt here.

On track two, a cover of Massive Attack’s “Angel”, everything changes. The drums are now heavily gated and compressed, giving them an intentional drum machine sound. The guitars are low and clean for the majority of the song — even when cranked up, they remain mostly undistorted. And then there’s Derrick Green. I enjoyed “Messiah” so much that I didn’t take much time to examine the vocals. It wasn’t until track two where Green loses his growl and begins singing where the difference really became apparent.

With Massive Attack out of their system, I thought the boys might be ready to rock — but no, instead they drift into a version of Public Enemy’s “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos”. What the fuck? I really tried to give the band the benefit of the doubt by listening to the entire song. The first part is done in nu-metal style, with one guitar chunking and the other riffing over a sampled loop and a drum machine. During the middle section of the song, the guitars drop out and are replaced by an actual scratching DJ (DJ Zé Gonzales), and Green’s grunting style of rap is replaced by actual Spanish rap (rapper Sabotage). The only good thing I can think of to say about this song is some sort of racial peace is gained by bringing blacks, whites, and Mexicans together to all hate this song equally. I feel like throwing the CD away just from this one song and disassembling my CD player and scrubbing the insides with Mr. Clean, that’s how bad it is.

The next four tracks on Sepultura’s collection of “strange bands to cover” include Devo’s “Mongoloid”, Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song”, U2’s “Bullet the Blue Sky”, and Exodus’ “Piranha”. “Mongoloid” is mangled, “Mountain Song” is too fast, and “Bullet the Blue Sky” is too serious. “Piranha” is the only one with any bite, and the South American boys had to pull out a track almost twenty years old to get any momentum going. Too bad it’s at the end of the album and not the beginning.

The CDs untitled “hidden” track is 70 seconds long. The track begins with the opening riffs of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, and then switches to “Fight Fire With Fire”. The “Fight Fire With Fire” clip might just be the tightest 30 seconds on the disc. Unfortunately, they’re hidden behind the 40 worst. The “Enter Sandman” clip is so sloppy, so off time, and so off key for a song that every twelve year old knows how to play.

So, here’s my theory. I think that Sepultura is so tired of every review in the past six years reading, “Derrick sucks; bring back Max!” that they thought they would take the heat off of Green by releasing an EP where the entire disc sucks. The bloodhounds would be thrown off. Reviewers, comfortable with their “bring back Max” rants would suddenly have their game thrown off. “Green sucks … but so do these songs! Does not compute! Max couldn’t have saved this! DOES NOT COMPUTE!” Maybe the band’s plan was to try and make their upcoming May 2003 release look great by having it compared to this one. If so, then the guys are doing a great job.

Revolusongs, Sepultura’s version of the Garage Days Revisited EP, would’ve been better left in the garage. While everything here works great as a B-Side, little of it succeeds as stand alone material. Purists be damned, I can honestly say for the first time that Derrick Green is not the worst part of this CD; the songs are. Since Blabbermouth gave this EP 7/10, I’ll use the three points they didn’t use and drop a more honest 3/10 on it.

01. Messiah
02. Angel
03. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
04. Mongoloid
05. Mountain Song
06. Bullet The Blue Sky
07. Piranha

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