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Sepultura Unveils The "Machine Messiah" In Bristol

Photo of Sepultura

Band Photo: Sepultura (?)

It's not yet festival season, which means metal fans are currently being treated to a number of tours at the moment, many of which come in big packages. It was only last week that Venom Inc. kicked off their tour in Bristol with Suffocation, Nervosa and Aeternam and it was in the same city that Brazilian metal titans Sepultura began their headline run of Europe, bringing with them a lineup with something for everyone.

Opening the show was American deathcore outfit Fit For An Autopsy. Fans of the style more likely than not enjoyed their set and those with a love of all things extreme no doubt will find something to like in their music, while those who tend to shy away from deathcore probably wouldn't have been converted by their sound. They're a highly energetic band, which can only be admired, who have been going for ten years already, thus possessing the rare combination of youth and experience. Not for everyone, but not bad.

Up next was New Orleans natives Goatwhore, now in their twenty first year and promoting their seventh studio album, "Vengeful Ascension." Appropriately for a band with such a variety of metal in their sound, Goatwhore's live show can be compared to a plethora of sub-genres, from the frenzied power of thrash to the dark, black metal like figure of frontman Ben Falgoust, to the intimate, punk rock like banter between the group and the fans. Despite being in a support slot, the quartet dedicated a large chunk of their set to "Vengeful Ascension," which seemed to go over well with the crowd, where Goatwhore shirts were a common sight. Fans were clearly delighted and newcomers like myself were won over by their performance. I look forward to seeing them again in the future.

Hailing from the Bavarian town of Landshut, it was time for the final support band of the evening, Obscura. The band's brand of technical death metal with philosophical lyrics could be described as "thinking man's brutality," with a style that will impress serious music students as much as headbangers. Quite surprisingly for a niche brand of metal, Obscura's music is pretty catchy and their friendly, almost polite stage manner makes them all the more likeable. Even those who aren't too keen on the style such as myself, are easily converted by Obscura's unique and intelligent take on death metal.

Finally, we come to the main attraction. Originally from the city of Belo Horizonte and with over thirty years of material, Brazil's most beloved export; Sepultura. Like Goatwhore, Sepultura decided to promote their new album heavily, opening with two songs from their latest opus, "Machine Messiah," namely; "I Am The Enemy" and "Phantom Self," with more songs from the record including "Resistant Parasites," "Sworn Oath" and the title track. 2018 marks twenty years since vocalist Derrick Green released his first album with the band, "Against" and to celebrate, the band pulled out the songs, "Boycott," "Strike" and the single, "Choke" from the record, which have all aged quite well.

Of course, the classics can't be shrugged off either and Sepultura have plenty of them, including from their essential 1993 album, "Chaos A.D." such as "Refuse/Resist," "Territory" and "Slave New World," as well as the title track from the preceding album, "Arise." After thanking fans for the excited reception they were met with throughout the show, the night was capped off with a return to their "Roots" (yeah, I know, that was bad) and performed a superb rendition of "Rattamahatta," before closing out the show with "Roots Bloody Roots."

This is the third time I've seen Sepultura in the space of about five weeks and the fourth time in under a year and it's been interesting to see "Machine Messiah" take on a life of its own, winning over fans who at first weren't too keen on hearing such a heavy amount of new material. Once again, Sepultura prove to all in attendance why they're still here after so many people predicted doom; a smart approach to song writing and a blistering live performance.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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