Venue: Irving Plaza (New York, NY)
Opener: Diecast, Sworn Enemy, Suicide Silence
Label: SPV Records
The chilly New York evening was going to get hotter very quickly inside Irving Plaza where tonight Sepultura from Brazil would be making a long overdue concert appearance. The group would be in support of their latest release “Dante XXI” on SPV Records, and they would bring with them Sworn Enemy, Diecast and Suicide Silence as their support. Here are some of the night’s happenings in case you missed the show.
We walked in just as Suicide Silence was mid-set and while that is not the best way to absorb a group for the first time in full I had to say that they were clearly intense about their performance. The amount of people in the venue for their set was limited but those who were pressed up to the barrier and ready to rock were certainly enjoying themselves. Their material seemed to go over well based on the lineup of the show. Diecast would be up second and this surprised me for the original roster order I saw showed them pre-Sepultura but something changed and here we are watching then instead of Sworn Enemy. They were tight and on the money so to speak as they supported their latest release on Century Media Records entitled “Internal Revolution”. Diecast would deliver new tracks like the stellar “Fade Away” and also showcase the new rhythm section that they had brought on to the bands roster. Joining Stoddard, Kita and Kolaitis would be Dennis Pavia (drums) and Brad Hornton (bass). Sworn Enemy would come up next and it was not going to be an easy night for them as their drummer Paul Antignai had taken ill. As a result of this he would not be performing tonight and that left the band in a difficult situation on home ground. Filling in tonight would be Corey Pierce of God Forbid who had been asked to do this on very short notice. Unfortunately, this was not working out and there were stops and starts all around. I did not feel this as the fault of the GF basher for there are few drummers who can learn another player’s whole set in five hours time. After a few tries he left and the drummer from Suicide Silence sat in. He seemed more accustomed to the material and was doing fine but myself and some others felt that this was a real lackluster performance as a result all around. Their being down a man should have had them precede Diecast since there was no way to see if the last minute solution would work or not. While it did not I do give them credit for not cancelling altogether and disappointing their fans.
When it was time for Sepultura to perform the venue would be a little more than half-full but the band arrived to a louder than hell response from these people. It sounded a lot fuller despite these gaps in the crowd. As a Metal fan, I admit to never following the band in the past but I did like a lot of the material on the new release “Dante XXI” for it has some killer moments. Lead singer Derrick Green is a commanding presence on the stage and was full of energy as he ran between guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist Paulo and at all times directed screams of approval from the attending fans. He has done well for the band over the years he has stood in place of former lead singer Max Cavalera, but of course, he also leads a different Sepultura in both musical direction and members since then. Tonight the band would not only be supporting their new album, but they would also be presenting introductions to their new drummer Jean Dolabella. Due to personal reasons, long time founding member Igor Cavalera decided to leave the group in June 2006. Of course this left them sad for a time but the show must always go on in this business. Dolabella was sure kicking some ass tonight and no one seemed to mind that he was in place of Igor for the chanting, singing and mosh pits showed the audience was still having a great time. Kisser was excellent and ripping up the strings on every tune tonight and all the while it was all held together by Paulo. Historically speaking, Paulo is the only original member left in the group since their beginnings in 1982. This factor made me wonder if the empty spaces in the venue were caused by his absence as well as the continued change in musical direction. The band has been showing off a thrashier side of late. Of course, it was a Monday night and Blind Guardian had just played the Thursday prior to this show yet those two bands are drawing different crowds in most cases. While the group is truly handling the mantle of Metal in a great fashion I think that there were signs of division in the purest of their diehards who have lived through a number of changes in the band over the years. Performance wise they were tight and the new material went over well, and was neatly packed against their older and classic numbers. The set contained a healthy dose of each to leave little disappointment.
Rumors have circulated about the Sepultura name being taken over again by the Cavalera Brothers after this tour ends and about their reunion on the stage of Ozzfest in 2007 but guitarist Andreas Kisser has spoken very publicly about this being false information. Another highlight of the show for me was the chance meeting of Floor Jansen from the Dutch Metal band After Forever. Floor was friends with the band and made a trip all the way to NYC just to see them perform here. Not bad since this was apparently her first visit to the City as well. Watch for her band as they release a new album on Nuclear Blast Records sometime in 2007.
Photo Notes: Our apologies for the photos not being as good as you are accustomed to but the venue was not allowing flash and our settings just never work well enough with blue or red light being the only color primarily focused on the opening bands.
1. Dark Wood
2. Refuse Resist
6. Slave New World
8. Crown E Mitter
13. Buried Words
14. Troops Of Doom
15. Beneath The Remains
17. Arise – encore
18. Necromancer – encore
19. Roots Bloody Roots – encore