Sepultura: Max Cavalera (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, berimbau, percussion); Andreas Kisser (acoustic & electric guitars, sitar, percussion, background vocals); Paulo Jr. (bass, timbau grande, percussion); Igor Cavalera (drums, timbau, djembe, percussion).
Additional personnel: Carlinhos Brown (vocals, berimbau, timbau, wood drums, lataria, xequere, surdos); Mike Patton, Jonathan Davis (vocals); David Silvera, Ross Robinson (percussion); Xavantes tribe, DJ Lethal.
Recorded at Indigo Ranch, Malibu, California and live in the "Aldeia Pimentel Barbosa," Mato Grosso, Brazil on November 5, 1995.
Japanese limited edition.
On its sixth album, Brazil's most famous head-banging outfit takes a page from the nu-metal book but, more importantly, combines its brutal thrash-metal sound with indigenous music from its homeland, occasionally utilizing the percussion and chants of the country's Xavantes tribe to powerful effect. The biggest standouts are the lively, acoustic-guitar-driven "Itsari" and the epic closer "Canyon Jam," both improvisations with Xavantes musicians that make for welcome contrasts to the record's intense bombast. Elsewhere, Brazilian percussionist Carlinhos Brown drives the rhythm-laden "Ratamahatta," a track that exemplifies the quartet's distinctive brand of "tribal metal."
ROOTS marks a big step forward for the thrash-metal genre because of the way Sepultura matches its carefully controlled mayhem with the dynamic nature of its influences and collaborators. Faith No More singer Mike Patton, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, and Limp Bizkit's DJ Lethal all pop up on "Lookaway," a dark, grinding tune with Eastern-inspired vocals. As a whole, ROOTS is a visceral synthesis of groove and aggression, especially when drummer Igor Cavalera lets loose with flurries of tom-tom fury. ROOTS also closes a major chapter for the group, since after recording the album, vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera departed to form Soulfly.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (3/21/96, p.98) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Sepultura play a violent game of sonic overload....the band uses its catharsis as a creative force, funneling torrents of noise into a tunnel of hate..."
Spin (4/96, p.110) - 6 - Reasonably Good - "...takes the rain-forest chants and street drumming flavor that flickered through the firestorm of CHAOS A.D. even further....Sepultura's ethnography...[is] about sound--heavy bloco drumming and crushing guitars were made for each other..."
Q (7/01, p.91) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".
Q (3/96, p.103) - 3 Stars - Good - "...it's constructed of ferocious throat bending and huge riffs that support their growling menace, while simultaneously doffing a cap to their ethnic ancestors..."
Melody Maker (2/17/96, p.34) - "...the aural equivalent of being caught in a midfield by a PCP-fuelled defensive line from the Pittsburgh Steelers....this is [not] a mere metal barrage....There's ruthless rap attacks...the murderous electronic whining...the tribal chants and Brazilian ragga metal duets..."
NME (Magazine) (2/24/96, p.46) - 7 (out of 10) - "...a host of strange and traditional instruments has given Sepultura new formats for their extreme displeasure..."
- Roots Bloody Roots - (studio)
- Attitude - (studio)
- Cut-Throat - (studio)
- Ratamahatta - (studio)
- Breed Apart - (studio)
- Straighthate - (studio)
- Spit - (studio)
- Lookaway - (studio)
- Dusted - (studio)
- Born Stubborn - (studio)
- Jasco - (studio)
- Itsari - (studio)
- Ambush - (studio)
- Endangered Species - (studio)
- Dictatorshit - (studio)