Live Review | Sepultura + Malakyte + In Death @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane – October 4, 2014

Review by Stephen Goodwin
The Brisbane chapter of the Sepulnation (if that’s what one calls Sepultura fans collectively) is out in force tonight to catch their heroes at the Hi-Fi in West End.

Best of all for openers In Death, many have shown up early — the venue’s lower level feels cosily fullish even as the local five-piece punch out half a dozen or so of their best at a volume so piercing it almost hurts. They come off a little statuesque, but the impressively gravel-like death growl of frontman KrugTown and the chunky elegance of the band’s riffing certainly hit the spot.

Malakyte‘s vocalist Tommy Muz appears a one-man-mission for fun as he leaps into the mosh almost every song. His razoring wail puts me in mind of King Parrot’s Matt Young, but it’s the galloping rhythms and frenetic guitar solos of the white, flying V of Laggy Von Laggy that cement the appeal of their thrashy speed metal. The punter who travelled all the way from Geelong expressly to catch them undoubtedly left delighted.

It’s 11 years since Sepultura last visited these shores, and the lengthy absence shows in the increasing antsiness of the crowd as the final switchover/soundcheck progresses.

Chants of “Sepul! Sepul!” float through the air, then as the house lights dim the band appears and immediately launch into The Vatican from The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart.

Of course, it’s standard to open with one of your newest — statement of intent and all that. But as soon as Eloy Casagrande drives in those double kickdrums and Andreas Kisser‘s guitar starts to lurch, the tune just takes off and the front rows collectively lose it.

Kairos quickly follows, giving man-mountain frontman Derrick Green the opportunity to double the percussion as he takes to a giant floor tom in between roaring the one-word chorus at the crowd. Then it’s all the way back to Chaos A.D. as the band haul the Propaganda out of the closet. Horned fists fly everywhere and more than one punter surfs the crowd as Brazil’s finest metallers lay in the heavy grooves.

In this manner the band crisscrosses their 30-year career to pluck out highlights both old and new. Notably perhaps, there’s nothing earlier than the balls-to-the-wall thrash metal and technical solos of Inner Self. There’s also a yawing space between the Roots-era material and Dante XXI’s Convicted in Life — mute testimony to the sometimes-tough territory the band trod after the departure of Max Cavalera in 1996. But they sound hella tight, they play with gusto as well as panache, and their appreciation of the fans is unfeigned.

Of the newest material, the circling groove of Impending Doom and Chico Science cover Da Lama ao Caos pack the most punch, though the latter is oddly under-appreciated by the crowd. Still the fans make up for it with an all-in call-and-response on Attitude and again when the band take a sharp punk-thrash detour into the Jello Biafra-penned Biotech is Godzilla.

Some 90 minutes after they began, Sepultura finally close their main set with a cracking version of Refuse/Resist. They’re soon back for a couple more, including the night’s absolute highlight: a rendition of Ratamahatta that turns spine-tingling when the band breaks it down into an extended double drum and bongoes solo between Casagrande and Green while the crowd claps in unison.

The quartet finish with a thick, squalling interpretation of Roots Bloody Roots; Green ordering the crowd to sing it even louder than him. To their credit, a thousand or so voices do a creditable job of matching his amplified roar.

Click Here for photos of Sepultura @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane – October 4, 2014

Acts: Sepultura, Malakyte, In Death
Venue: The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Date: October 4, 2014