CD Review: Sepultura – Sepultura and Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins – Alive at Rock in Rio

CD Review: Sepultura – Sepultura and Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins – Alive at Rock in Rio
Eagle Rock Entertainment
All Access Rating: A-

Sepultura - Sepultura and Les
Tambours du Bronx: Metal
Veins - Alive at Rock in Rio 2014
Whether assimilating the organic tribal rhythms of their native land into their swirling sonic maelstrom or harnessing the harsh abrasions of industrial beats for nefarious musical purposes, Sepultura has always been game for some adventurous percussive experimentation, even in the band's post-Max and Igor Cavalera era.

When the Brazilian thrash/death metal beasts stormed Rock in Rio in 2013, innovation and crushing brutality collided head on, as Sepultura teamed with disciplined French industrial percussion mob Les Tambours du Bronx for an intense, groundbreaking performance that grabbed a frenzied audience by the throat and never released its grip.

Available on CD, DVD or Blu-ray – the DVD containing an essential behind-the-scenes look at how this awe-inspiring collaboration was conceived – from Eagle Rock EntertainmentMetal Veins – Alive at Rock in Rio introduces the metal world to Les Tambours du Bronx, an ensemble known for intricate stick work and pounding the hell out of 225-liter barrels with axe handles or beech wood bats in perfect synchronization. Percussion isn't all they do, however, as Les Tambours du Bronx sprinkle in edgy samples and synthesized sounds to create an atmosphere of nihilistic, Ministry-like barbarism in "Fever" and a manic, thundering cover of Prodigy's "Firestarter."

Building an enormous, monolithic background of powerful drumming, the group, in lockstep throughout, provides energy and muscle in support of Sepultura's unbridled and relentless rage, which reaches a fever pitch on ferocious classics "Refuse/Resist" and "Territory," with Andreas Kisser's growling, surging riffs setting up fiery solos, such as the one that tears through "Big Hands," and drummer Eloy Casagrande matching Les Tambours du Bronx beat for marauding beat.

None of it compares to the riotous send-off that is the closer "Roots Bloody Roots," the chanting crowd having worked itself into a lather as the orgies of roaring vocals, rampaging rhythms and withering, corrosive guitar fury that erupt in sanitariums of sound like "Delirium," the charging "Spectrum" – from the visionary Kairos full-length – and a darkly sinister "We've Lost You" rise to blazing crescendoes.

There is almost unbearable tension between the two entities in this unforgettable and utterly unique live experience, as the push-pull dynamics Les Tambours du Bronx and Sepultura engage in are breathtaking to behold. At times, the drumming does threaten to overwhelm Sepultura, as impossible as that seems. Nevertheless, Metal Veins – Alive at Rock in Rio clearly separates itself from the pack, making other, more mundane concert releases seem tame by comparison.
– Peter Lindblad

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