SEPULTURA with HATEBREED and PUYA at the Warehouse (1 Jarvis), tonight (Thursday, April 19). $26. 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
with the death-watch on pro-
gressive Brazilian world-metal combo Sepultura now officially over, folks can return to the real issues, like pondering why Rio has unseated Hollywood as the plastic surgery capital of the world.
Having just delivered their second record featuring new vocalist American Derrick Green -- and not just any record, but the shit-kicking Nation disc -- Sepultura have demonstrated that there is life after lead singer Max Cavalera.
Granted, Cavalera's departure also robbed the group of its long-time manager, Max's wife, Gloria, while placing a strain on his relationship with his brother, Sepultura drummer Igor Cavalera, who remains in the band.
And yes, Max Cavalera's Soulfly debut outsold Sepultura's 98 Against disc.
But as affable Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser explains from Arizona, the clouds are lifting, thanks largely to Nation.
"Writing, recording and touring the Against album was very turbulent," Kisser confirms. "Life was chaotic because we had to organize everything from scratch.
"Now we feel much more confident, and Derrick was much more involved in the writing of this record. Lots of singers we auditioned tried to sound like Max, which made no sense to us, but Derrick really brought something new. And he loves Brazil."
While guest spots by former Dead Kennedys ranter Jello Biafra, dub-reggae boss Dr. Israel and Finnish string quartet Apocalyptica maintain Sepultura's sprawling global sweep, on Nation the foursome also pound out a handful of conscious agit-prop scorchers only once removed from stuff on 93's classic Chaos A.D. disc. Nation is also the first disc the group has recorded at home since 89's Beneath The Remains.
"To be at home near family and friends, and to be surrounded by the kind of culture you only find in Brazil -- not to mention soccer, beer, food -- was great," Kisser says. "Studios in Rio have improved, and where we were was five steps from the beach, so the environment surrounding us when we left the studio each day really allowed us to recharge for the next day."
Being a conscious metal group carries implications, as Sepultura discovered when they rolled into Tuba City, Arizona, for a gig. The band were contacted by the parents of a teenage girl who had committed suicide. Because she was a huge Sepultura fan, her folks hoped a meeting might bring some closure.
As a parent of two, Kisser can relate.
"I don't know what happened in that girl's life to make her do that," Kisser says. "They discovered that she already had tickets to see our show here. But the parents wanted to meet us because they said we kept her going as long as she did. That's a powerful thing.
"People always point to metal as being so destructive, and here we have a situation where there's a chance to show something positive coming from the music."
So, on a brighter note, what's up with the skyrocketing cosmetic surgery in Brazil? Kisser chuckles.
"The women in Brazil don't need plastic surgery. It's the best place for women in the world, in my opinion, heh, heh. But the boobs are especially popular.
"I myself prefer natural breasts. My own wife has thought about having implants, but I must say I don't encourage it. I like to touch and squeeze her just the way she is."