Twenty Eight hours from now and I should be watching Sepultura tear up the Club Academy stage in Manchester. I’ve been listening to the band since I first heard Beneath The Remains, their first major label release, whilst still at school in 1989.

I saw them twice with frontman Max Cavalera, the final time with Max was at the Manchester Apollo in 1996 – one of the bands last appearances in the UK with him.

I have no idea why, but between 1996 and 2011 I only saw them twice, both at festivals. I think it’s because the intervening releases weren’t as good in comparison to their early output.

In December 2011 I went to Hamburg to catch the second edition of Thrashfest, a European festival tour opened by Mortal Sin, followed by Heathen, Destruction, Exodus and closed out by Sepultura. I remember thinking “I’ll give Sepultura half an hour and head back to the hotel“. I was captivated. Derek Green’s delivery of the old stuff was immense. They’d come on in leaps and bounds since those two festivals in the preceding 15 years. Tomorrow will be my fifth time seeing them in 4 years, they are that good.

Subconsciously I think I was in the No Max No Sepultura camp, and if I was I’m glad to have been proven wrong.

Sepultura 2015 consists of one founding member – bass player Paulo Jr., and a “classic era” member who’s been there since 1987’s Schizophrenia – Andreas Kisser. Over time the other two founding members – the Cavalera brothers – have decided to leave and be replaced. It’s been 18 years since Max left, they are celebrating the bands 30 year anniversary (it was when the tour started, but now over 31 years). So by my maths the current vocalist has been in the band longer than the original (well actually second as Max didn’t sing in the earliest line up)

To me all this “so and so isn’t in the band so no band” keyboard warrior stuff is nonsense. I’d hazard a guess that every band so far featured in this blog doesn’t feature the original line up at some point in their career. There is NO original member in Napalm Death but they are hailed as all conquering heroes! Slayer, Metallica, Voivid, Obituary, Iron Maiden have all had members pass away, leave or be fired but they still go on with little hassle – apart from Slayer.

Since when should a band call it a day when a member dies or leaves? And why do so many “fans” feel the need to bang on about the fact they should call it a day? If you truly believe a certain band is no longer relevant in your life then just ignore them. Don’t buy anything. Don’t go and watch them. More importantly, don’t waste your time telling others they should either.

1991 album Arise might just shade it as my favourite Sepultura release, but ask me in a few weeks and it could well be Chaos A.D. or even Beneath The Remains!



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