In 1996 Brazilian quartet Sepultura released ‘Roots’, an album which would become a game-changer in heavy music genre and spawn many copycat bands in the process. But unfortunately, and to many fans’ surprise, co-founder and frontman Max Cavalera exited the band not long after the release which left many faithful followers wondering if they would ever hear the much loved album tracks in a live setting ever again.
Max went on to form another successful metal project, Soulfly, while his brother and Sepultura bandmate continued on with the remaining members. Fast forward to 2017 where the reunited Cavalera brothers, who had been making albums and touring the globe under the moniker Cavalera Conspiracy, have taken it upon themselves to revisit their most celebrated works and after taking the Return to Roots Tour around the globe it’s now Australia’s turn to experience this amazing album in full for the first time.
The show tonight is being held at Eatons Hill Hotel and an abundance of fans have shown up in full force even making the trek from hours away. Direct support for the tour comes from Welsh Hip Hop/reggae/metal crossover band Skindred, who have carved their own name in the industry and earned themselves legions of fans. The lads instantly have the room pumped as they walk onstage to a remixed version of the imperial march from Star Wars. Skindreds reggae grooves and heavy riffs are infectious and have the entire audience jumping around and having a good time.
Frontman Benji Webbe’s diverse vocals, eccentric stage persona and unique crowd interaction lock in your attention throughout their set and shows not only is there no other band like them but they can hold their own as a support for some of the world’s biggest metal acts and are worthy headliners on their own tours. Mind blowing stuff!
After a brief change-over the fans quickly head back inside to reclaim their spots in preparation for something they have waited years to experience, the chance to see the Cavalera brothers Max and Igor play the Roots album for what could be the last time.
The venue erupts as the band kickstart their set with ‘Roots Bloody Root’s which for many of the punters here tonight was the anthem of their youth.
Max seems to be in really high spirits tonight as well as he often breaks his metal persona to crack a smile at his adoring fans which really shows that after all these years he still loves what he does and the people who have come to see him. At only three songs in, the crowd is pulsing and moving in unison like a wave, not willing to let one note of songs like ‘Attitude’ and ‘Cut Throat’ escape the eardrums. Max has every punter’s attention has he commands his legion to jump at his will sending all corners of the room into a frenzy.
Every song hits hard and almost doesn’t give you a chance to rest, with each classic Roots track being played one after the other it is testament to a timeless album that still has the same effect on people as it did 20 years ago. The setlist moves along to big single ‘Rattamahatta’ which sends the room batshit crazy and was another big single from the album and a highlight of the set with Max stalking the stage and singing the call and response verses with the fans. Hearing every voice in the room scream out the lyrics in unison back at him was definitely an experience and to be part of that moment was almost worth price of admission alone.
Throughout the night Max gives his brother Igor multiple shout-outs, and rightfully so as he is still one of the best drummers in the industry and a powerful force of nature behind the kit, giving a lot of today’s players a run for their money and shows he is the man behind the intricate grooves of the band’s music that cannot be replicated easily without his level of skill.
As the night draws to a close and the Cavalera’s tribe exit the building you cannot help but still feel the buzz in the air from the many satisfied fans who got the chance to revisit the many songs from their youth., While Cavalera Conspiracy have a new album in the works and show no sign of slowing down, this was a rare one of a kind experience that will probably not happen again and I feel bad for anyone who missed out.
Pics by Dan Maynard Photography