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Under A Pale Grey Sky… a masterpiece yet a fucking disgrace at the same time. This album is stuffed full of Roots and Chaos AD material, which will piss off most of Sepultura’s fans who are more into their earlier stuff. However, a lot of this Chaos AD and Roots matieral is much more listenable live then recorded, so a bonus there. But still, it’s not until track 9 when you actually hear some older thrash stuff.
So the set starts off with some acoustic / percussion intro which you may as well skip, to get to the first “proper” song: Roots Bloody Roots. This track is definitely the best out of the Roots material played on this CD. Then onto Spit where we actually hear Paulo’s bass for once, in the intro. Sadly this is the only strong point of this song. Things then pick up with the great percussive intro of Territory, followed by a slightly faster rendition of the song which is quite pleasing.
Track 5 sees the start of some terrible covers. Max covers a spoken word song of Chico Science which luckily is only short, and transcends into Breed Apart which sounds 100% better live. Another one of Max’s little percussion jams is fitted into the intro of Attitude, a track which is pretty average to my standards. The Roots material then continues on with a slightly faster version of Cut Throat played. At this point, one thinks this CD is getting rather boring, but luckily, Max yells “Do you wanna hear something fucking old…?” Of course we fucking do. The crowd goes wild as he announces that Troops Of Doom is the next song. Iggor manages to stuff up the drums in the intro, but that doesn’t matter. It’s still a fucking great version of a great song.
Beneath The Remains starts to play, with the great lead guitar riff sounding a little drowned out by rhythm guitar. It then finishes a little early and the drum intro to Mass Hypnosis starts. Mass Hypnosis, to me Sepultura’s greatest song, is absolutely fucked up and wasted on this CD as it is cut short, with no guitar solo. Next off, Born Stubborn, a low point of the CD, is followed by a yet again shortened version of an older song; this time Desperate Cry. To my surprise, a full version Necromancer is then played and it sounds pretty damn good. Two more songs off Roots are played afterwards: Dusted and Endangered Species. Honestly, they are not worth even listening to.
Onto CD two, which starts off with the rather Dull “We Who Are Not As Others”. Some more Roots stuff is announced, Straighthate and then Dictatorshit, the latter being quite dull and the first providing some entertainment for the first half or so. The Chaos BC remix intro is played to get the crowd going before a faster version of Refuse/Resist is played, a point where the CD really picks up in interest. The Arise / Dead Embryonic Cells medley is played next, and is by far the best thrash song played on this 2 CD set. From Chaos AD, Slave New World is next and nothing too special, followed by the equally boring Biotech Is Godzilla, which is actually a good song. Just not in this recording. Track 8 to my delight started off as what sounded to be a great rendition of Inner Self. To my disappointment, Iggor went off with his blast beat and sorta ruined the intro. Otherwise, not bad.
Now the CD starts to get a bit boring, with two average covers being played, Titas’ Policia and We Gotta Know, with some annoying poseur dickhead guest singing. Kaiowas “tribal jam” is played next and is interesting for the first time, but an utter bore to listen through more than once. Experimental song Ratamahatta, off Roots, is played next and is the only Roots song on this album to not sound better live than recorded. The concert finishes off with a cover of Motorhead’s Orgasmatron. Whilst it’s a great improvement of the original version, it’s a pretty average song to start with.
If you don’t know Sepultura very well, this CD is not the one to buy. I recommend this to more faithful Sepultura fans who are able to cope with a bit of poor production and a few playing errors. Overall, there are many disappointments and a setlist which leaves a lot to be desired for, but its certainly worth listen to if you have a good interest in the band.
Sepultura decided to release this live album in 2002, which should have been released in 1996 when it was recorded. In fact, they should have released a double live album around 1992, the same time they were making the Barcelona live VHS tape supporting Arise. There are several one time fans of this band that wouldn’t have bought this in 1996 out of disgust for what they had become. There are even more fans now that wont buy this after Sepultura made an even worse turn. Yes, Sepultura is now a hardcore band, and it’s sad but more than likely this is the last album Sepultura will put out that’s worth the money. This was recorded in London at the Brixton, and it sounds great, sound quality-wise. They perform the huge set great, no noticeable fuckups abound (though sometimes you can hear Max’s guitar drop in and out randomly, I’m sure half into the second disc he was pretty tired). Max keeps the vocals strong for the most part but you can tell he’s worn out near the end. Andreas gets the job done like always and belts out the leads. Paulo’s bass is quiet… still. Igor is probably the most on top of things out of everyone in the band. The drums pound away and are clean and crisp. Everything seems pretty much even.
The set list is three things: Huge, dominated by Roots material, and full of covers. Oh yea, and inconsistent. The first disc starts out pretty solid even though it takes until the 9th goddamn song to have something older than 1993. Wait a second it DOES take that long. I’m surprised because I was hearing some pretty cool music. Yeah Sepultura, while playing normally shit songs seems to improve and make them sound half descent. Roots Bloody Roots starts things off brutally, one of the better songs off of Roots. Spit and Breed Apart sound infinitely better live than in the studio. They make the concert one big fucking production; it was probably quite a sight to see live. Max does a little fiddling on a Brazilian string instrument for an intro to Attitude. The intro sounds awesome but it doesn’t quite save the song.
They go from nonstop Roots material ALL the way back to the first album with Troops of Doom. They play pretty much all of the Roots/Chaos songs the same tempo as the studio but when they take a trip back they speed the shit out of the songs. What they should’ve done is fucking speed up the Chaos AD songs as well so then it would be a full 23 song thrash album. Beneath the Remains/ Mass Hypnosis kind of pissed me off at first since it’s so short. It would’ve been so easy to play both songs but they had to cut some shit from each. Same problem with Arise/Dead Embryotic Cells. They play some more Roots shit and a shortened version of Desperate Cry which is always wonderful live. I was very pleasantly surprised when Max declared they were going to play Necromancer. It works very well live and is just as brutal.
Endangered Species is completely worthless to have on a live album. They plod around for a few minutes and then we have to sit through 4 minutes of guitar feedback and a simple little hihat beat. Maybe there was something cool going on during this onstage but, I guess we’ll never see that. They throw in We Who Are Not As Others and Straighthate, which aren’t necessarily shippable but aren’t the most interesting songs on here. They pick up the pace with the nice quick thrash assault of Dictatorshit. Then they give you a non stop thrash-fest for the next few songs. Refuse/Resist sounds brutal live (especially without any samples and shit) but they tack on some of Chaos BC to the beginning to pump up the crowd I guess. They speed it up proficiently as well. Speaking of speed, the Arise/Dead medley is a fucking fast monster that lasts all of 3 minutes. Slave New World thrashes you around for a bit, though the beginning sounds kind of stupid without the album effects, and then the insane blast of Biotech is Godzilla. Damn, Sepultura threw everything and the kitchen sink into this package. Though you can start to hear Max slow things down Igor certainly isn’t as he keeps everything together perfectly.
YES. They’re starting to play fucking SCREAMS BEHIND THE SHADOWS! Son of a bitch. They fucking tease you with that riff but then… wait YES. They play all of Innerself. My disappointment is swept away. “LETS DESTROY THIS FUCKING PLACE!” Nothing really to say about old school Sepul-songs played live, kickass. Then things start to come to a close. They start to fuck around with some covers like Policia, We Gotta Know, and Orgasmatron. They replace the cool bass middle part in Policia with some retarded hip hop drumming and We Gotta Know has some annoying guy from Strife, whoever the fuck that is. Kaiowas works very effectively live, with lots of added percussion at the end. Orgasmatron ends everything in Motorhead fashion.
Making this album a worthy listen is no easy task. It’s quite a feat for a band to take shit songs and make them listen able in a live setting. Congratulations Sepultura, you’ve succeded. You’re left almost exhausted after the album is done, which I’m sure the whole band was. Well worry not Sepultura, now that this show is over you can go relax playing nu metal and hardcore/metalcore music for the next 10 years.
Most fans of Sepultura lost faith in the band after the departure of Max Cavalera. Under a Pale Grey Sky is the last recording (recording back in 1996, released in 2002) where sepultura truely shines. The album showcases a nice blend between the bands older, more death/thrash metal style songs and their more tribal, heavy metal tracks. The album has a steady and consistant sound, until the later half of disc one where they play 'Troops of Doom' and 'Beneath the Remains/Mass Hypnosis'. While these songs may be classic songs and deserve to be played live, these songs are placed at the wrong time. They are placed right smack in the middle of more new-school Sepultura songs. The rest of the album strays away from older (post Beneath the Remains) material and devlves into the bands 'tribal' phase, which IMO isn't all that bad. The most impressive tracks from this album are 'Attitude' and 'Arise/Dead Embryonic Cells'. These tracks probably display the be and most constant sounds of the album. These are also the more likable tracks from the album. Any fan of Sepultura will enjoy this album for this is the last of good Sepultura... (IMO the only new release worth reviewing).