I have to make another confession here – I have not listened to any newer stuff since Nation, nor had I listened to much of their stuff pre-Chaos AD. Sacrilege, to the max. Heh. A-Lex, like its predecessor Dante XXI, harks back to their thrashier roots. After the synth-y intro of A-lex IV/I, Moloko Mesto was a perfect example. I like the ‘tribal’ sound that Max brought into the band about the time of Roots, but, in my opinion, they didn’t sound too good when they tried expanding to taiko drums on the Against record. So, it was no surprise when the first tune from A-Lex blended in well with Arise which they played next.

As compared to my previous Sepultura experience in 1999, I thought Derrick Green sounded better this time – there is no doubt he is Sepultura’s voice now. We stood quite close to stage right which meant our left ears probably sustained some sort of permanent damage from the PA speakers! Next to us were some Brazilian students some of whom were in their yellow national strip, following which Andreas jokingly made a passing comment on how bad Brazil had done in the recent World Cup tournament. And no band would ever drop in Sheffield without doing the Photograph riff – albeit badly played in this instance! The new drummer, Jean Dolabella, deserves a mention. I thought he was fantastic (check out his YouTube page). Derrick would chip in on percussions at certain points of their set (it was obvious that it would signal the start of songs like Attitude and Ratamahatta!), but no Kaiowas in Sheffield, I’m afraid. It was good to see the set peppered with their much older stuff, like the Void/Schizo medley from Schizophrenia and Necromancer from Morbid Visions. It’s too bad that Derrick wasn’t also on guitars as sounded quite bare in parts with Andreas on his own playing the solos.

The encore included Conform from their current record before finishing their blazing set with the obligatory Roots Bloody Roots. Sepultura may be seen playing more of smaller clubs than stadia these days but rest assured their much-welcomed return to heavier stuff is likely to further retain their relevance in the thrash genre. Why do you think they’ve been around for 25 years now? No berimbau included.

[Photos of the gig can be seen on my Flickr page]

Sheffield Corporation 15.7.10 set: A-Lex IV / A-Lex I / Moloko Mesto / Arise / Refuse/Resist / Dead Embryonic Cells / Filthy Rot / What I Do! / Convicted In Life / Attitude / Spit / A-Lex II / The Treatment / Troops of Doom / Escape to the Void/Septic Schizo / [Def Leppard mess about] / Necromancer / Sepulnation / Slave New World / Territory / Biotech Is Godzilla / Inner Self / [Encore] Ratamahatta / Conform / Roots Bloody Roots

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