Review: Sepultura – Kairos

This review is a fairly strange one for me. I do realize that Kairos came out 7 months ago, so it’s not exactly timely. I accept that. The thing is, I have been a Sepultura fan since 1989, when I first heard Beneath the Remains. Songs like Inner Self and Mass Hypnosis grabbed me instantly, and wouldn’t let go…until 1996.

In 1996, while touring for the Roots album, Max Cavalera left Sepultura amid huge internal strife within the band, following the firing of their manager (Max’s wife Gloria) and the murder of his stepson Dana. Shortly thereafter, Max returned with Soulfly (a band I instantly loved and have ever since), and Sepultura continued on with Cleveland, Ohio singer Derrick Green. Sepultura…without Max? Inconceivable. I heard one verse of the song “Choke” from Against, the first album with Derrick singing, and I was done. Never even gave it a chance. It Wasn’t Sepultura without Max, and that was that.

So here I sit years later, and six Sepultura albums, seven Soulfly albums (Enslaved comes out in March 2012), and two Cavalera Conspiracy albums later. I finally wonder if I am over being childish and will give Sepultura a chance to stand on its own, without Max and Igor Cavalera. So I give their latest release, Kairos, a good listen or two.

The first thing I notice on the album is the constant through every Sepultura album, and that is Andreas Kisser’s tight, machine-gun riffs prevalent in every song.

The mix could have used more bass, in my opinion.You feel the rumble underneath, but the bass sound is just not as pronounced as it could have (should have) been. Derrick Green’s vocals and presence are the real highlight here. With a higher-pitched wail than Max, he stands on his own as Derrick, not “Derrick as Max”.

Some of the stronger tracks on Kairos are Mask (my favorite off the album), Born Strong, and the bonus track Point of No Return. The covers of Ministry’s Just One Fix (pretty solid cover) and Prodigy’s Firestarter (slightly different heavier spin on the song) are interesting inclusions on the album.

Overall, Kairos is a pretty solid effort, and has given me the inspiration to check out earlier Derrick Green-era Sepultura. I will never be able to compare it to the Max-era Sepultura (that music is too ingrained on my heart to like this version of Sepultura more), but judged on its own, not in comparison, it is definitely metal worth listening to.

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One Response to “Review: Sepultura – Kairos”

  1. […] fact that Sepultura has a different singer nowadays, and he ain’t too shabby (read about that here). So last Friday, I got to see them for the first time with singer Derrick Green. The stuff they […]

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