Review: Sepultura – “Kairos” (Nuclear Blast Records)

SEPULTURA is back with their long awaited new album Kairos. The band has seen many ups and downs since Max Cavalera quit the band following the Roots album in 1996. In spite of a public war of words, mostly instigated by Max the band has soldiered on valiantly. They have released album after album of challenging and interesting metal. Even after losing a second Cavalera brother (Igor) a few years ago, the band has remained consistent and resolute. Some people will just never accept them without the founding brothers, but the truth is they have earned the right to keep the name alive. As proven by their recent American tour, they are not just interested playing the classic hits (which they played immaculately well), but they are still moving the sound of the band forward while keeping true to the name.

The meaning of Kairos comes from ancient Greek which basically marks a special, transformative moment in time. Right from the jamming opening riff of “Spectrum” the SEPULTURA we know an love announced it is back and in full effect. Tribal drumming, thrash riffs, terrible haunting growls and insane guitar solos all show up early on the record. Front man Derrick Green has long found a comfort zone with his gravely delivery and as usual he is at home in the pocket of madness. Andres Kisser continues to churn out great riff after great riff, proving over time to be Max’s equal in that department.”Kairos” is every bit as aggressive and evil as anything going back to the Chaos A.D. days. In addition to Kisser’s manic riffs, drummer Jean Dolabella has fully stepped to the plate and replaced Igor at the drum throne. Yes, I just said replaced. His drum performance is incredible and he deserves a lot of credit for putting a fresh take on the drum sound without losing the quality the fans expect. Another crusher of a song is “Relentless”. Again, if you loved the classic late 1980’s to the early 1990’s sound of the band this song is right in your wheelhouse. Chugging rhythms and screaming vocals with uplifting lyrics about payback galore can be found here. The solo is also amazing. A curious mid-album cover of MINISTRY’s “Just One Fix” is well done and faithful to the original except the meaner vocals. I just might have put it at the end of the album is all I’m saying. Other songs like “Mask” and “Seethe” just kill and are on par with recent releases from SLAYEREXODUS and TESTAMENT in the modern old-school thrash department. As usual bassist Paulo Sixto Pinto Jr. holds down the bass well, occasionally stepping up to shine in little ways. The fact that Green no longer plays guitar in the band says as much about Pinto Jr. as it does Kisser regarding the sound of the band. Other top tracks are “Born Strong” and “No One Will Stand”. The bonus track version of the album has a cool metal cover of “Firestarter” by THE PRODIGYSEPULTURA is back so please throw your horns and bow down in respect because you are not worthy.

RATING: 9.5 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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