Reviews of Sepultura, Soulfly, and Motörhead
Roundup of new releases.
Published: November 19, 2013
The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart
It’s been 16 years since Max Cavalera left Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura amid a whole heap of infighting and formed Soulfly; with American man-mountain Derrick Green joining the Seps. Debate still blazes about which band is better. The fact that both groups have released albums around the same time will pour fuel on that fire. That guitarist Andreas Kisser is the only original Seps man left might make you think Cavalera’s band has this particular battle in the bag. Not so.
While Cavalera is without doubt the better vocalist, the furious spit practically flying out of your speakers, Soulfly’s songs are ultimately clunky and one-dimensional. There’s little in the way of dynamism from the band that he’s assembled, while Kisser and his two new cohorts rip and shred through every second of the Sepultura record with the ridiculously long name. In addition, songs like “Trauma of War” and “Tsunami” suggest that Sepultura actually has something to say, even if you can’t necessarily understand what it is.
So the new album from Motörhead sees the Brit band heading off into an all-new progressive rock direction, incorporating elements of jazz — and even a dab of folk.
Just kidding! Aftershock actually sees Lemmy and his crew sailing the same roiling waters they have since the Warted One was kicked out of Hawkwind for unruly behavior back in the ’70s. When opening track “Heartbreaker” kicks in, followed by “Coup de Grace,” you can’t help but think, “Don’t I know this song?” The answer: Yes — there are only about three Motörhead songs in total. That’s not a slight on the band though; Motörhead found its niche long ago and has found a way to get four decades’ worth of milk from that old cow. The great thing about sounding gruff and ornery from an early age is that the advancing years have very little effect. Lemmy doesn’t get old; he just gets a little more Lemm. mt
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