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It’s another love-it-or-you-don’t release from the second era of Sepultura, this time a full-on live 2 CD set. Exactly what is a metal reviewer to think?
At this point, there is no way that the band is going to be hailed by fans of the Max-era as anything but a shell of their former selves, and that’s too bad. Sepultura post-Max has reeled off a few brutal gems of their own, but there’s no escaping the fact that singer Derrick Green in no way comes close to being the excellent vocal fit that Max was for the group’s sound, nor can he compete with the Brazillian thrash god’s previous four-string guitar assault. With this live document, listeners will hear that Green has the ability to deliver the tracks that he has recorded with the band with an aggressive competence, but his performance on the Sepultura’s older material falls considerably short of what fans expect to hear from these songs. Far short.
So although “Apes Of God” gets things off to a whiplash-inspiring start, “Inner Self/Beneath The Remains” is almost painful to listen to without cringing. “Troops Of Doom?” Forget it. Even with Jairo popping in for a visit, the track has nowhere near the impact that it possessed in a live setting as it did with Max at the microphone.
Certainly, “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” and “Bullet The Blue Sky” are intended to draw in a wider crowd and the fans of Sao Paulo certainly seem up for the diversity, but “Refuse/Resist” remains declawed and “Arise/Dead Embryonic Cells” makes one wonder why the group continues on with a bad parody of itself.
The low points are balanced by solid performances of newer Sepultura tracks like “Choke”, and it’s enough to make this a good record, barely. Old school fans however will likely avoid the imitation and wait for the real deal to re-emerge or stick with the records they already have. The recordings with Max are much too superior to the versions laid out on this live effort.
From "Weapons Of Mass Destruction" by Erin Fox