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Revolusongs Review

by Johnny Loftus

This Brazil/Japan-only EP from São Paulo's toughest metal band includes eight "Sepulturyzed" versions of songs from artists as disparate as U2, Devo, and Public Enemy. While heavy, thrash-influenced cover versions of well-known material might have become camp in lesser hands (and is a bit of a cliché in the metal genre), the veterans in Sepultura treat the songs as seriously as they do their own. This envelops the EP with a visceral quality that the songs' individual resonance can't shake, forbidding most of the material to exist simply as snarky heavy metal cover songs. Sepultura applies a chokehold from note one of Hellhammer's "Messiah," and doesn't take its knee off the listener's chest until the brutal death throes of Exodus' "Piranha." In between, the foreboding slow-motion groove of Massive Attack's "Angel" is replicated without remorse, vocalist Derrick Green's bloodcurdling growl replacing the spacy flow of Horace Andy on the original. The contributions of DJ Gonzales and Brazilian rapper Sabotage on "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" save what would have been a decent, yet toothless cover of the Public Enemy classic, but the band fails with a listless take on Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song." Fortunately, this is the only real low point. Devo's "Mongoloid" is cheap and easy fun, while Green and the band tear and snap at U2's cynical, apocalyptic "Bullet the Blue Sky" with jaws that would swallow Bono whole. Concluding Revolusongs is a throwaway bonus track marrying "Enter Sandman"'s riff with the lockstep thrash of "Fight Fire With Fire" from Ride the Lightning. It's unclear whether its inclusion is a nod to Metallica's Garage Days Re-Revisited or simply a studio gag. But with Sepultura still recovering from Max Cavalera's departure, Revolusongs is definitely a chance for Green to get a vocal workout while continuing to ingratiate himself with what's left of the band's fan base.

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