SEPULTURA WITH LES TAMBOURS DU BRONX
It's likely Sepultura fans will already be aware just who Les Tambours Du Bronx are. However, for the head scratchers out there, they're France's industrial-edged percussive tour de force, consisting of 14 drummers and a guy who embellishes their sound with samples/electronica. The multiple sticksmen are each equipped with a 225 litre Monostress drum and it seems their technique is characterised by beating the utter crap out of it for the duration in an impressive display of both unmitigated energy and stamina (you can literally see dents appearing all over the drums... which I guess explains why they need to replace them every couple of shows!) So then, sounds befitting of Sepultura's music? Indeed it is. And here we have a remarkable audio-visual document of their collaboration at the mammoth Rock in Rio fest from last year.
This is actually the culmination of previous collaborations as they initially joined forces at the Brazilian fest in 2011 on the Sunset Stage, and then at Portugal's Rock in Rio Lisboa a year later. 2013, however, saw them bestowed with the honour of appearing back in Rio de Janeiro on the fest's biggest stage, the World Stage. And deservedly so, for their combined forces engender an epically charged aural and visual feast. The sonically colossal sounds they emit demands a stage and audience this huge. I often find it difficult to get excited about live music DVDs. I've always attested there's no replacement for the lived experience and exhilaration you feel when actually witnessing the here and now of a live show. However, something about this one stirs my emotional core more than most others. It's a combination of some truly great camera work; no ridiculously speedy cross-cutting montages so there's just enough visual weight given to each camera angle in the editing; a fully resonant sound (across three options - 2.0 LPCM, 5.1 Dolby Digital, and 5.1 DTS); and, most importantly, an awe-inspiring, spine-tingling performance.
So just what makes this performance so special? Well, Sepultura have forever remained a formidable live act over the years, exercising the might of their metal muscle on stages across the globe for nigh on three decades. And, despite the "no Max, no Sepultura" naysayers, Derrick Green is an incredible frontman on all counts - always has been and still is, adding a more forcefully engaging dynamic to Sepultura's live shows that was perhaps lacking during the Max years. So, you take a band at the top of their game, put them on one of the biggest festival stages in the world, and add the percussive power of Les Tambours Du Bronx... of course it's going to be special! And remarkably so as watching the 20+ minute documentary on this DVD (which is basically a montage of footage following the guys around in the build up to this show, along with interview clips), the three rehearsals they had planned transpired to be just one due to the Frenchmen arriving in Brazil later than anticipated. From rehearsal footage, intercut with Andreas Kisser interview snippets, it's revealed that they had serious doubts at the start of the rehearsal whether it would work. He describes it as a "disaster" and declared: "Man, fuck, it won't work"! Obviously it did after a while, and the evidence is in the show.
So yes, the show itself. As I've already asserted, this is something truly special. As expected, it's a percussive-heavy experience, although Les Tambours Du Bronx slot into the Brazilians' music with what sounds like the utmost of ease, efficaciously emphasising the rhythmic core of Sepultura's staple sound (and new-ish, young drummer Eloy Casagrande's beats). Songs old and new feature in their sixty minute set, along with a hard-hitting cover of The Prodigy's 'Firestarter'. It's the older material that really sends shivers down my spine and it's also remarkable how it's stood the test of time; largely thanks to Sepultura's seminal and oft-imitated legacy across a whole array of metal subgenres (be those ephemeral or extant). Basically, if anyone has ever been in doubt regarding Sepultura's relevance in the current scene, and I'm mainly referring to the aforementioned naysayers, I urge you to grab this gem and spend sixty minutes of your life reaffirming just why this bunch of metal musicians are worthy of legendary status. For legends they are. And the rest of you - buy this, then sit back and enjoy what is undoubtedly set to be the best metal DVD released this year.
METAL VEINS - ALIVE AT ROCK IN RIO
Review by Mark Holmes
15th Sept 2014
1) Kaiowas; 2) Spectrum
3) Refuse/Resist; 4) Sepulnation
5) Delirium; 6) Fever
7) We've Lost You
10) Structure Violence
12) Big Hands; 13) Roots Bloody Roots
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...take a band at the top of their game, put them on one of the biggest festival stages in the world, and add the percussive power of Les Tambours Du Bronx... of course it's going to be special!"