Sepultura at the Academy – Review and Photos
There have been numerous anniversary tours floating around the last few years, but none of them can be as brutal as Brazil’s own heavy metal export Sepultura. After a successful show here last year, they’ve returned once again to do what they do best. With line-up changes and thirteen albums under their belt in thirty years, this is most certainly a time for them to celebrate. The queues form early in the afternoon with not just Irish fans, but numerous Brazilian fans too (accompanied with multiple Brazil flags). Before we can see one of South America’s most famous musicians, there are some support acts a little closer to home to see first.
First to perform are English-based band Black Skies Burn, who are unfortunately very difficult to listen to. The vocalist sounds as though he had not warmed-up before taking to the stage, and therefore his vocals were very rough for the first three of four songs, and did not improve much after that, leaving it a very poor vocal performance. Instrumentally, there is nothing too impressive or creative going on, and so their time on stage becomes very repetitive. As well as these things, the subject-matter of their songs is absurd, making it difficult to take the band seriously. There are a few fans of the band in the crowd; however, the majority don’t appear thrilled or excited by them. Sadly, it’s not an enjoyable performance, and one can only hope for a stronger second band; and that’s exactly what happens.
Warpath is an Irish-based metal band who is no stranger to tearing it up when they need to, and no exceptions are made here. They blast through their upcoming EP The Ambience of War in its entirety, and it’s evident from the crowd’s response that once their EP is released, there will be a new group of Warpath fans ready to buy and share their work. Vocally and instrumentally, they sound like they have well-developed their style, and know exactly how to perform. Warpath play a solid set that has not only showed this crowd who they are and what they’re about, but also proved that Ireland’s metal scene is not only growing, but is also as strong as it has ever been.
After blowing minds at Bloodstock Festival in the UK on Sunday, Sepultura now take to the stage in front of a much smaller crowd with just as much passion. With this being their thirtieth anniversary tour, one would believe there would be something for every Sepultura fan, whether they’ve been with the band for thirty years or one. Material is performed from 1986’s ‘Morbid Visions’, all the way up to 2013’s ‘The Mediator between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart’, so there was definitely something for everyone! After opening their set with ‘Troops of Doom’, the band continue with the likes of ‘Propaganda’, ‘Convicted in Life’, ‘Choke’, ‘Sepultura under My Skin’ and ‘Arise’, which all go down a treat. As well as barbarous mosh pits, there are also some dancing pits when the band decided to play some marimba style music (10/10 the last thing you would expect to see and hear at a Sepultura show). Along with the dancing and madness, they also played two covers, with one being totally exclusive to this show: U2’s ‘Bullet the Blue Sky’ and Titãs’s ‘Polícia’. (I’ll leave it to you to guess which one was the Dublin exclusive). Musically, they’ve never sounded better, with frontman Derrick Green’s vocals (and drumming) sounding top-notch. With enthusiasm and energy like theirs, you would never guess they have been around for the past thirty years. They finish their set with ‘Refuse/Resist’, before returning to the stage for a savage five-song encore, including ‘Biotech is Godzilla’, ‘Ratamahatta’ and the ever monstrous ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ which produces the most hectic pits and sing-a-long of the night.
Towards the end of the night, Green says that this show has been ‘the best of the tour’, and it’s totally believable. It’s energetic and fun, but also hectic and brutal all at once. Sepultura’s shows are unique in every sense of the word, and those at the show definitely hope for their return to Dublin sooner rather than later.
Review by Shauna Collins
Photos by Pedro Giaquinto