Brazil Metal Act Sepultura Has Stood the Test of Time
Tasa Nugraza Barley
After 20 years, Brazilian heavy metal act Sepultura returns to Indonesia with a five-city tour in February, sending local metal fans into a moshing frenzy. Although they are not well-known among mainstream music fans, Sepultura is considered one of the best and most established heavy metal bands in the world.
The band will play Jakarta, Medan, Makassar, Surabaya and Denpasar. “The response from fans has been great,” said Ezra Simanjuntak, a spokesperson for promoter Sonic Horizon.
Ezra said Sepultura has a tremendous fan base in Indonesia, where enthusiasts have been longing to see the band live for decades and have been snatching up pre-sale tickets since last week.
Formed in 1984, Sepultura (which means “grave” in Portuguese) is one of the few acts that has been consistently dedicated to the death, trash and groove metal genres throughout its existence. The band has also delved into some industrial sounds, as well as the fusion sounds of nu (or neo) metal.
Sepultura, whose sound is not unlike American metal god Slayer, has shuffled through nine members in its almost 30 year history, and released 12 studio albums.
Their first album, 1986’s “Morbid Visions,” had hits including “Troops of Doom” and “Show Me the Wrath.” While later albums would tackle more political and social issues, “Morbid Visions” consisted of satanic themes common to the death metal dominion. “Morbid Visions” was not especially popular or critically acclaimed among either metal fans and critics.
But the following year, the band’s second album “Schizophrenia,” incorporated a slightly more accessible thrash metal sound, while retaining the macabre undercurrents of the death metal style, a synthesis that would define the band. With songs like “From the Past Comes the Storms” and “Screams behind the Shadows,” Sepultura was suddenly a popular underground selection among international enthusiasts.
In 1991, Sepultura played at the Rock in Rio festival for more than 100,000 metal heads. The band also that year released its fourth album, “Arise,” which contained the single “Dead Embryonic Cells.” The track and album were highly praised by fans and critics, and Sepultura earned the illustrious rank of one of the most popular heavy metal bands on the scene.
Sepultura’s latest album, “Kairos,” released in June last year, was another critical success. More than 2,500 copies of the album were sold in its first week of release in the United States. In total, Sepultura has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
Sepultura’s current line up consists of bassist Paulo Jr., guitarist Andreas Kisser, drummer Eloy Casagrande and American lead vocalist Derrick Green, who joined in 1997. Paulo Jr. is the only original member.
As they embark on their “Asian Relentless Tour 2012,” Sepultura seem ready to meet and blow the minds of their fans in Indonesia. After performing in Medan and Makassar, the band is scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur before going to Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali.
The promoter has posted a short video on its official Facebook account featuring Green, who greeted his Southeast Asian fans. “We’re coming to Indonesia and Malaysia. We hope to see you all there,” Green said. And Sepulturians are counting on thrashing out to the band’s classics and more recent material. “We plan on playing old songs and new songs, making the best time you can possibly imagine.” Green said. “We’ll see you there. ROCK ON!”
Sepultura’s Asia Relentless Tour 2012
Medan — Feb. 3
Makassar — Feb. 4
Jakarta — Feb. 9
Surabaya — Feb. 11
Bali — Feb. 12
For ticket info, visit Sonic Horizon Indonesia on Facebook.