Sepultura – “Sepulquarta” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Still Latin America’s biggest metal export, Sepultura have always brought their unique take to situations, and the global pandemic was no less. Beginning in April 2020, the band created a weekly podcast, giving viewers insight into the band’s history, taking question-and-answer sessions from fans and performing music throughout the lockdown from their homes. It wasn’t long before they had guests – 57 in total – many of which were musical collaborations with well-known names like Scott Ian, Devin Townsend, Alex Skolnick, Danko Jones, Phil Campbell, Rafael Bittencourt, Rob Cavestany…the list is almost endless but by the end they had 28 songs – more than a 3-hour concert. With no limitations to these sessions, many are unique one-off jams like ‘Ratamahatta’, featuring renowned Brazilian drummers João Barone and Charles Gavin, while never forgetting the central reason to keep the band and its fans strong in getting them through the tough times. Opener ‘Territory’ featuring the now disgraced Dave Ellefson (ex Megadeth) rages as it did with thick, roaring guitars, Derrick Green’s hollow roars and drummer Eloy Casagrande literally smashing the shit out’ve his kit – it may not be the Cavaleras, but this is good, really f–king good! Bands of the same thrash / groove era, Sepultura have toured with Sacred Reich, so it comes as little surprise that bassist / vocalist Phil Rind is the guest on ‘Inner Self’, which simply blasts out here with the same energy and power that these guys showed onstage in their youth, while the clanging melodies mid song are given a polished sheen before the final demolition ensues through an even faster solo and Casagrande keen to demonstrate he is more intense than any drummer in Sepu-history. Grinding in on ‘Slave New World’ with Trivium’s frontman Matt Heafy, the massive waves of ethno-groove are as overpowering as the bite from Casagrande’s thwacking snare and cymbal abuse, not forgetting Andreas Kisser’s off the wall guitar work – totally wild man. Like hungry beasts kept too long in their cages, the rage and roar of the mighty Sepultura is for all to see on the 15 amazing songs that capture this unique moment in history on the impressive “Sepulquarta”!