Sepultura - Roots
And this time, "Roots", the sixth studio album by the "Sepultura", released on February 20, 1996.
Let’s start with the fact that Dave Grohl noted that this album was the most powerful album he had ever heard, the album that made all the other stuff sound like a “flea fart”.
This is such an ingenious definition, that we must bring it to you in Dave's own words:
"The most powerful album I had ever heard. Made everything else sound like a flea fart"
Grohl also noted that this album set the standard for all of the "Foo Fighters" studio albums, for ten years.
This album continues with the line of the previous album "Chaos A.D.", Which included a change in Sepultura's musical direction towards Groove Metal, with the addition of Brazilian motifs.
This album is exactly as its name implies. A journey of an experienced and mature band back to it's "roots". A retrospective look of the band members on the Brazilian roots from which they came from. The band that started exploring the Brazilian heritage in tracks like "Kaiowas" from the previous album - "Chaos A.D.", went deeper into the Brazilian rhythms and the "tribal" and unconventional percussion instruments, on this album.
In order to reach the rooted Brazilian sound, the band is assisted by the Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown. The band's first encounter with him on stage, was at "Sepultura's" performance on MTV Brazil, in 1995, where the band performed "Kaiowas", accompanied by many musicians, including Brown.
Singer and guitarist Max Cavalera noted, that right at the end of the show he knew that Brown was the man the band needed to work with on the next album and that this was the musical direction that "Sepultura" needed to continue exploring.
And what an amazing combination of sound and style this album has. Something completely different that was not heard until that time. An authentic mix of heavy music with strong elements of Nu-Metal, Thrash Metal, Groove Metal, combined with Brazilian tribal music and Brazilian folk music. Just one big crazy madness.
The album features 16 tracks spanning over 70 minutes, including three instrumental tracks.
Three singles were released from the album. The first, is the opening track which is also one of the familiar songs of the band "Roots Bloody Roots". Max Cavalera noted that the words speak of the need to be proud of your roots, the heritage, the place you came from. He wrote the music so that it would sound as simple and repetitive as a "mantra," with the riff played on only one string. The title of the song is a homage to "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". Max is a big fan of Tony Iommi and he is his favorite riff writer. The clip was shot in Brazil, the country of origin of the band members.
The second track "Attitude" is the second single released from the album. The lyrics were written by Max's stepson, Dana Wells, who also came up with the idea for the music video. Dana was killed in a car accident shortly after the release of the album, and this tragedy was one of the reasons why Max would leave "Sepultura" and form "Soulfly". It is interesting to note, that "Soulfly" performs another version of the song, called "The Song Remains Insane". Over the years this song has become a kind of tribute to Dana Wells.
The third single released from the album "Ratamahatta", is also one of the band's most recognizable and powerful songs. This track best illustrates the combination of "tribal" and Brazilian rhythms with metal. The lyrics, all in Portuguese, tell of life in the pavilions, the slums of Brazil, and especially the stories of outlaws like Zé do Caixão and Lampião, a gang leader from the beginning of the last century, captured and tortured. The song features Brazilian Carlinhos Brown and drummer David Silveria who was then a member of "Korn".
"Ambush" was written as a tribute to Chico Mendes. An environmental activist who fights for the conservation of rainforests in the Amazon and advocates for human rights of Brazilian farmers and natives. He was murdered by a farmer on December 22, 1988. Another song on the album that deals with the destruction of nature and the extinction of animals as a direct result of non-conservation of the environment is "Endangered Species".
"Dictatorshit" just explodes on us with a fast and furious Crossover-Punk. The song refers to the military coup that took place in Brazil with the support of the United States in 1964.
The "angry" track "Cut Throat"ת is the band's revenge song against "Epic Records", which was "Sepultura's" record label up until the previous album "Chaos A.D". The song ends with four words whose initials form the word "Epic": "Enslavement, Pathetic, Ignorant, Corporations"