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  • Sepultura’s Roots went bravely where no other metal album had gone before. It mixed Afro-Brazilian drums and tribal rhytms/music with downtuned nu-metal guitar and death metal vocals. An astonishing achievement. However, there are some things I have to say about Roots as a whole…It’s not the masterpiece people say it is. It was released at a great time, rivaling and overtaking most other musical accomplishments of 1996(metal, anyway). Slayer had just released their very own Spaghetti Incident?, Pantera made one big mess of album in Trendkill, and KoRn’s abysmal follow-up Life Is Peachy was out too. Amidst this, Sepultura released Roots. If you compare it to Metallica’s Load, well…we’ll just leave it at that. Nonetheless, it lacks the flare of previous releases. Beneath The Remains was a classic, Arise was a masterpiece, and Chaos A.D. was experimental and brilliant. Roots isn’t. Better than other metal releases of the time, but not an opus everyone makes it out to be.Chaos A.D. mixed the tribal elements with the music fairly well, but managed to thrash and burn like hell, with riffs occasionally slowing down enough to hurtle skullward. Many don’t consider that album very highly, but it took the tribal stuff pretty far without commercializing it. On Roots, it’s almost a gimmick. All the band members cut their hair and put on makeup. Solos are removed from songs, messy, or nonexistent-only to be replaced with percussion interludes and brazilian tribes singing. The speed isn’t too slow, but it makes Chaos A.D. sound incredibly fast, and Arise sound lightspeed. The change from Chaos to Roots was completely uncalled for, regardless of the tribal stuff on Chaos. The tight playing is sacrificed for a sprawling 72-minute noisefest. Another thing-there’s a lot of profanity in here! Not one or two words, mind you. The album’s drenched in it, and there’s no PA sticker!Some songs are still good, and the album does the whole nu-metal thing much better than anyone of KoRn’s ‘influential’ pieces of garbage. Highlights: “Roots Bloody Roots,” “Attitude,” “Ratamahatta,” “Spit,” “Born Stubborn,” “Jasco,” “Itsari,” “Dictators**t,” and the Canyon Jam.I recommend this to Sepultura fans and nu-metal fans. It’s not thrash metal, so don’t expect vintage Sepultura here. Try to enjoy the experience. Roots truly kick started nu-metal, and opened the world to tribal metal. If you don’t like it, check out Chaos A.D. for a thrashier approach, and Arise, Beneath, and Schizo for intense, brutal, aural insanity. Peace.

    Posted on January 6, 2010