Sepultura: Should they arise?
Sepultura. A band dogged by former glories who can never really live up to their past achievements. Despite the fact that they have released 5 albums, in the 13 year gap since Max left, every interview seems to be plagued with that question: "Will you ever reunite with Max?". Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy have been dogged by it as well, with CC capitalizing on their billing as a "part-reunion" and as the "real Sepultura", thanks to the involvement of his brother Iggor. However, most saw CC as just that, a "part-reunion", a prologue to a full-scale Sepultura reunion. They refused to recognize them as a full-scale band, more as a stopgap one. Interviews in the press tend to show that there's a lot of bad blood between Max and Andreas Kisser, with Max deeming the latest incarnation of Seps "the fake Sepultura" who "aren't fitting of the legacy", and both seem to be ignorant towards the other, not even acknowledging them. Despite all this, fans still seem to be concerned only with the reunion, but would it actually satisfy them? Would it be any good? The article will detail what I think would happen if Sepultura reunited, in a timeline format.
April 2009: Max, Andreas, Iggor and Paolo all meet in the same room to film an interview for inclusion on the upcoming 20th Anniversary reissue of Beneath The Remains, this is the first time they have all been in the same room and spoken in 13 years. The interview goes smoothly and Max and Andreas engage in small chat, basically catching up on the last 13 years.
June 2009: Iggor is spotted at a Sepultura gig in Belo Horizonte, in the front row. Derrick and Andreas spot him and invite him up on stage. Iggor then replaces Jean Dolabella for an impromptu jam and a rendition of "Troops of Doom" and "Convicted In Life", hugs and thank yous are exchanged and the gig ends in high spirits.
August 2009: Andreas and Iggor are spotted in a bar together, talking. Someone sees this and takes a picture on their camera phone and alerts Blabbermouth, who print a headline simply stating "Sepultura Reunion?". Andreas then states in an interview that the meeting was purely between friends and that the interview had rekindled their dwindling friendship, there will be no reunion and Sepultura will concentrate on touring A-Lex.
September 2009: The day every Sepultura fan has awaited since their original break-up. At the 13th annual D-Low memorial concert, Soulfly play a shorter than usual set, with no Sepultura songs, and when it is time for an encore, they only play one song with Iggor on drums, a cover of Inflikted by Cavalera Conspiracy. "I want you to meet some old friends of mine", he says after the song, at which point Andreas and Paolo appear on stage, taking over from Marc and Bobby. They then play a six-song set comprising "Attitude", "Roots Bloody Roots", "Beneath The Remains", "Dead Embryonic Cells", "Territory" and "Refuse/Resist". After their final song, Max states that they will play a reunion show at the upcoming Rock In Rio IV festival in January 2010.
December 2009: Max and Andreas come to blows over the setlist for the upcoming Rock In Rio show. Andreas states that he wishes to play some Green-era material, to which Max replies that he would do it if they played a Soulfly or CC cover, Kisser retorts that they aren't Sepultura songs, and Max replies with the same answer.
January 2010: The reunion show takes place. So many Sepultura fans turn out that the band are elevated to the status as Headliners and granted a longer than usual set. The gig itself starts out a bit rusty, but they soon find their feet, putting on an exceptional performance. The setlist spans all eras of Sepultura, but focuses more on Chaos AD and Roots, with 4 songs from each. There are 2 songs each from Arise and BTR, as well as "Troops of Doom" from Morbid Visions and "To The Wall" from Schizophrenia. They also include two from the Green era "Convicted In Life" and "Sepulnation", as well as a Soulfly cover "Arise Again", and a CC cover "Sanctuary". The band announce a week later that they will play 3 more special shows in Sao Paolo, New York and London before embarking on a South American tour and a subsequent small World tour. They state that this will be the only dates they will be doing.
March/April 2010: The dates are played without any major hassle. SPV/Steamhammer voice concerns that Sepultura have shirked their responsibilities for promoting A-Lex, stating they did not tour enough for it. The record company suggest including a song such as "Moloko Mesto" in the setlist, as a compromise, but Max disagrees, citing the fact that he did not want to advertise a product he had nothing to do with, claiming it would be "false advertising". SPV, the Cavaleras and Kisser start to argue again, and tensions start to show. In 2 separate interviews, the band lock horns with ex-vocalist Derrick Green. Green states that he was unhappy with the nature of the reunion and its timing, feeling that he was "tossed aside", due to him never being actually thrown out of Sepultura, as well as the aforementioned lack of promotion for A-Lex. In late April, Kisser states in an interview that the band will tour even more, touring the US as part of the Rockstar Energy tour 2010, and doing some European festivals in June/Early July. He also states that Green is still a member of Sepultura, and will resume working with him once this tour finishes.
September 2010: Sepultura begin work on a new album, tentatively entitled "Indigenous", with Max and Iggor. When asked the band state that all other incarnations were dead. Soulfly was put on hold indefinitely and Cavalera Conspiracy disbanded, while Kisser stated that "this version is the real Sepultura", stating that Green was no longer a member, and that "it's all about Max". He stated that if Max were to leave, he would be very open to having Green back, but he could not be classed as a member of Sepultura anymore. Green was dismayed by this, slagging Kisser for informing him of his sacking via a magazine interview. He also said he had no hard feelings towards Max and the rest of them, but had severed his ties with Andreas for good due to his mishandling of the situation. When asked, Max cryptically decsribed "Indigenous" as being "the past, present and future of Sepultura all in one".
January 2011: Details of "Indigenous" are released, including a tracklisting and a cover. The signs look promising, as if it will be a true return to their roots.
February 2011: The video for the first single "Execution Chamber" is released. Most people claim it is good, but nothing to beat their old stuff.
March 2011: "Indigenous" is released. It is a mixture of Soulfly, Green-era Sepultura and CC, but with individual songs designed as throwbacks to each era. "Execution Chamber" representing BTR/Arise, and "Indigenous Species" representing Roots plus others for Chaos AD and even Morbid Visions. Critical acclaim in the press is massive, hailing it "a true return to form!", and the album charts highly in Europe and the US, as well as reaching number 1 in Brazil, Finland and Japan. However, the fans seem to dislike it, they see it as an obvious attempt to cash in on their old stuff, but a pale imitation of the old classics. They say it still relies too heavily on the influences of Soulfly, CC and Green-era Sepultura and just reminds them of Inflikted. "It mixes all the old Sepultura albums, with their present-day influences. A good album, but by far the weakest Max-era one yet." says Terrorizer.
May 2011: The "Indigenous" world tour starts. After the initial chart success, the album plummets. No-one buys it and the press tend to start changing their view to a negative one. The whole thing comes to a head during a date in Helsinki, where Max states they would play another new one, (their fourth of the set, only 8 songs in, with another 2 being off Roots) and he is met soundly with boos and a chant of "More Old Stuff! More Old Stuff!".
August/September 2011: The tour finishes with some festival dates, and the band decide to take a few months off. Max resurrects Soulfly, and Cavalera Conspiracy, and Andreas works on a new solo album. Sepultura is put on hold for the foreseeable future.
January 2012: Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy do a co-headline tour, with Paolo guesting on some dates with CC. Andreas' new solo album is released to little acclaim.
March 2012: Soulfly release a new album, "Innerself", and embark on a world tour. Press state that Soulfly's new album is "one of their best, certainly as good as Indigenous". Andreas tours solo, to little fanfare.
July 2012: Cavalera Conspiracy release a second, self-titled album, Paolo fills in for Joe Duplantier on bass. Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy go on tour together, again. Andreas states that "work has begun on a new Sepultura album", Max knows nothing about such plans.
February/March 2013: Sepultura reconvene for the follow-up to "Indigenous" in a rehearsal space in Arizona. Andreas comes prepared with 6 ready-made songs for the rest to play along to. Max criticizes the quality of the songs, and Andreas' reluctance to let the rest of them re-work the songs, as he has a particular vision for each song. Max has a couple of riffs, which he works on with Paolo and Iggor to create into one song, and the band jam out another two songs. During the sessions, Max and Andreas have an argument and Max leaves, with Iggor soon following. Andreas then calls up Derrick Green to offer him the chance to return to Sepultura, at which point Green refuses (and resists?), stating that Andreas had burned his bridges with him, due to the way he treated him whilst reuniting with Max, and didn't want to be some sort of undignified back-up plan. Jean Dolabella, however, decides to accept the offer and takes up his position as drummer again.
April 2013: Max reunites "the original Sepultura" of him, Iggor, Paolo and Wagner Lamounier for a one-off show in Belo Horizonte, then states that Sepultura is "finally finished" for him.
September 2013: Andreas releases a new Sepultura album, simply entitled "Sepultura", stating that his new line-up is "the definitive line-up". After many auditions of singers, and a refusal from Alex Camargo of Krisiun, he finally enlists Joao Gordo, who had previously appeared on the song "Reza" from Against to sing. All 6 songs written by Kisser from the sessions with Max, as well as 1 of the Jam songs, are present. The album bombs, failing to sell at all and with lots of negative media coverage. A new Soulfly effort emerges three months later (with Max's aforementioned song and the other Jam song on it) and is a greater success. Both bands tour their albums, and Soulfly play to much larger audiences, and in bigger buildings than Sepultura. Iggor takes some time off, to pursue his DJing career, and Paolo remains on good terms with the Cavaleras, despite still being a member of Sepultura. He even appears sporadically with CC from time-to-time.
So, there you go, back at Square One. Now, it may seem a bit harsh on Andreas. He's always painted as the bad guy and as the loser in every situation, but if Sepultura were to reunite, I believe there would be in-fighting between Andreas and Max. And if they were to split AGAIN, Max would come out the better looking person, because he has a "legendary" status and is revered. He is the face of Sepultura to most fans, and I believe that he will always get the upper hand over his fellow bandmates from the fans due to this.
Also, in terms of the reunion, it would be great live. AMAZING live, but any album they produced could NEVER live up to the first 6 albums, in the fans' eyes. It pisses me off that fans mock Sepultura for not endlessly copying BTR/Arise, but know that if they did, it wouldn't match up to BTR/Arise, and would mock them for "taking the easy way out" by copying BTR/Arise, and "not showing any real integrity". No matter how good an album they pulled out of the bag, even if it was better than the first 6 combined, there would always be a big faction of people queuing up to detract from it.
In conclusion, do I want Sepultura to reunite? No. As good as it would be to see them live, it would come at the cost of Soulfly, and CC albums, as well as Sepultura albums, which are good already, but not as good as the Max stuff. It's not a case of "quantity over quality" because I firmly believe that the combined quality of the 3 bands would far surpass any Sepultura reunion album. But what of Sepultura now? Should they continue? They should, but probably not as Sepultura, the only remaining member of the original line-up is Paolo, who was let in the band "because he had a cool, expensive bass", as Max once famously said. They should probably just leave the Sepultura name alone, and write albums under a different pseudonym, because the albums they make ARE good. And before anyone mentions it, Cavalera Conspiracy should remain the Cavalera Conspiracy, and probably will. Max isn't reliant on the Sepultura name, and probably wouldn't want to rebrand the band, immediately raising expectations. They'd theoretically make more money, but at the cost of a band's integrity, and Max seems like the kind of man who wouldn't fuck with his band's integrity.
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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