It has been three years since Sepultura have set foot on Australian shores, a small hiatus in a career that has already spanned beyond 30 years, but one that has felt like a lifetime for many Australian fans. Returning back to Brisbane to a much larger venue then their 2015 show, and with trash metal favorites Death Angel along for the ride, this night set itself up to be a night to remember from the outset.
From Crisis to Collapse started things off and were honestly a welcome surprise. As a band that fused several genres together they were able to sound like nothing else out there and were able to grip the crowd from the get go. The band had all the polish of an established touring band and their music was catchy enough to have the crowd moving quite freely for them. Engaging the crowd at this level as a first band is generally a difficult task, but these guys did it with ease. This is definitely a band to keep your eye on.
Death Angel took to the stage second and put on a performance that could have been considered the best of the evening. Whether it was the dual guitar dynamic of Rob Cavestany or Ted Aguilar who took it in turns to shred the stage on fire, or the charismatic Mark Osegueda bouncing around the stage there was always a ton to take in.
What was really great to see about this set in particular was what happened each and every time the music stopped. Their performance while playing was phenomenal, but it was the artistry and professionalism gleamed from Osegueda’s addresses between songs that was really refreshing to see. If the passion that these guys have for their music didn’t come out during the performance then it was definitely made apparent through these moments.
They covered a varied selection of songs from their catalogue during the set, but it seemed like the band didn’t have as much time onstage as they may have wanted as the set itself felt a bit rushed. The crowd didn’t seem to mind though with circle pit going crazy – but like all good things it eventually had to came to an end.
With the room still in darkness and prior to the band even emerging on stage, the rabid chants of “Sep-Pul-Tura!” began ringing out, soft at first but louder and more thunderous with each pass. This continued until Sepultura themselves finally assumed their positions on stage at which point it was replaced with booming cheers instead.
Perhaps the first thing that was really immediately noticeable was Derrick Green’s imposing figure and how it casts an impressive shadow over the crowd any time he takes the stage. Mirrored only in power by his thunderous voice, he certainly carves a stoic figure at the front of the stage. Coupling these attributes up with his tenacity and each time he plays his stand alone drum you have a very powerful force driving the band. It was in fact this power that saw him knock over the drum the first time he took to it, knocking it clean off it’s stand.
To his left, Andreas Kisser showed exactly why Sepultura has been a powerhouse for over three decades. Effortlessly skirting through thirty years worth of rifts, Kisser played off every cue from the fans, and knew all the right moments to come forward and showcase his ability. Unfortunately, his guitar was sat a little low on the mix which meant that it was drowned out by the tremendous bassline and drums, but it didn’t bother the fans who were throwing their bodies all around the pit to each and every song. Paulo Jr. and Eloy Cassagrande rounded out the band and both performed well on their respective instruments, but were overshadowed in their intensity by the display being put on by Kisser and Green.
While this night, and the tour more broadly were celebrated for being Green’s twentieth year in the band, there wasn’t much talk or fanfare with the crowd in between songs. The band instead opting to put energy and emphasis into their performance, which turned out to be a much better decision in the long run as it allowed the band to put on a musically tight performance with a stack of energy.
Having more of a focus on their latest album Machine Messiah, the band still dedicated a hefty portion of their set to the older albums too, striking a perfect balance of new and old. Keeping some of the classics for part of their encore was another stroke of genius too, but ensuring that the show finalised on a high point with maximum energy.
Sepultura are a band rooted in history. While many people might yearn for an earlier lineup, this show highlighted that the band is in some of the best form of their already lengthy and storied career. Completing the lineup with Death Angel did nothing more than enhance an already successful night and the crowd reaction for the whole evening proved that it was a success and that these bands always have and always will have strong following in Australia.