Max & Iggor Cavalera – Return: Beneath Arise Tour
Metropolis, Fremantle WA
March 17th, 2019
“Now I can feel the end. Premonition about my final hour…..”
Wow. What. A. Night. When promoters, Destroy All Lines dropped the news that the Cavalera brothers would return down under to perform their Beneath the Remains/Arise show having only 12 months previously toured their epic Return to Roots show (our review here), a lot of metal punters were decidedly stoked and had this date marked in their calendar! Whilst Roots is great and all and that nu-metal feels transformed later into the beginnings of Soulfly every true Sepultura fan (and we’re talking Cavalera Sepultura fan of course) knows that it was their Beneath the Remains and Arise thrash albums that were their most epic. The band’s most brutal. Whilst it’s bizarre to think that the former album is now 30 years old, it is still as much loved today as it was then (I imagine), and judging by the great crowd for a Sunday night in Fremantle, WA, the metal fraternity were ready to indulge in some old school Sepultura classics performed, rightfully, by the leader and frontman of the band’s heyday, Max Cavalera and his brother and drummer, Iggor. And deliver they did, ripping into a dozen tracks spanning both albums as well as a few other Sepultura favourites and a cover or two thrown in for good measure.
Before we salivate more over the Cavalera’s epic performance, a quick summary of local support act, Depravity. These guys were monstrous to kick off proceedings. Their eclectic mix of death/thrash/black metal is face melting. No other way to describe it. The quintet smashed their way through a killer set, the majority from last year’s full-length debut, Evil Upheaval. Max Cavalera has always loved his extreme metal and whether or not he had a hand in choosing this band as support, I’m unsure of but he would 100% approve. Meaty hooks, some technical prowess from Jarrod Curley and Lynton Cessford on guitars, the finger bleeding plucking of bassist, Ainsley Watkins, coupled with behemoth front man, Jamie Kay and his guttural growl and the immense talent of drummer, Louis Rando, a legend in these parts. Depravity set the scene for an intense night for those inclined to take their luck in the mosh pit.
Enter the Cavalera brothers, surrounded by Soulfly musicians, Mike Leon on bass and Marc Rizzo, lead guitar. The roar is deafening before they even strike a note, the mosh pit suitably nuts as soon as Max Cavalera strikes that said chord, and we’re away with title track, ‘Beneath the Remains’. Thrashy, beefy, melodic, the crowd in unison with Max already, with an impressive light show to accompany the mayhem. Into crowd favourite, ‘Inner Self’, the frenetic energy is catching with Max Cavalera as enthusiastic as I’ve witnessed, bouncing up and down and enticing the crowd to bounce along with him at every chance. There is no respite either early on, Max ripping into more from Beneath the Remains album and only allows the band and crowd a brief breather as he introduces, ‘Mass Hypnosis’, again playing with crowd to copy his, still to this day, husky Brazilian, ‘from the depths of stomach’ vocals. They lap it up too within the confines of the three-tiered venue, roaring along in harmony or at least liquored harmony with the metal demi-god leading the way!
It’s not long before album, Arise, gets its turn to shine, again Max, relishing the chance to pummel the crowd with track after track, allowing them to assist with those lines of tracks we’ve all sung in the car, or the shower, or with mates in the backyard drinking a few beers. These tracks are legendary. ‘Arise’, ‘Dead Embryonic Cells’, ‘Desperate Cry’, the back catalogue of thrash royalty. Guitarist Marc Rizzo, filling the Andreas Kisser role with aplomb, even throwing his spin on a few classics, especially ‘Desperate Cry’ and ‘Altered State’. A much-underrated performer in the Max Cavalera career but nonetheless much loved by his devotees. At the rear of stage beneath the huge Cavalera banner, younger brother, Iggor Cavalera smashes away on his drum kit, his skills colossal and when allowed to expand his craft, such as the extended cut of ‘Altered State’, he does so with such care and gusto.
When the showcasing of the two albums concludes, following a Motörhead back to back cover session of ‘Orgasmatron’ and ‘Ace of Spades’, with Max now guitar less and head banging on stage like he, himself was a fan of what he was singing, the band trickle off stage, Max yelling back to crowd, “You’ll need to yell louder to get us back”! Of course, they (the crowd), do so and the band return fire as they track into the intro of Slayer’s, ‘South of Heaven’ harnessing yet another circle pit of pandemonium before they slew into ‘Troops of Doom’. ‘Refuse/Resist’ gets an outing, as does a rendition of ‘Roots Bloody Roots’, the sweaty heap in front of stage almost begging for mercy. Not to be done though Max Cavalera and co conclude with another medley of ‘Beneath the Remains‘ and ‘Arise‘ to cap off a simply epic set. Would another older track be more befitting finale? Maybe, ‘Escape to the Void‘ or ‘Policia‘?…probably, but fuck it, it is the Return Beneath Arise show so it is what it is.
It was 1994 when Max and Iggor Cavalera last set foot on a stage not attached to a shitty festival in Fremantle. Back then locals witnessed what would be classed around these parts as one of the all-time, “you had to be there” metal gigs in history (check out our gig throwback to that event right here). Some 25 years later I wouldn’t have thought, a now 49 year old Max Cavalera could emulate that show. Alas I’ve been proven wrong. Sure, the stage is smaller, the venue cosier, the beer a hell of a lot fucking pricier, the crowd now a splattering of dads, some teens and in-betweeners but fuck me, Max Cavalera and his brother, Iggor alongside Rizzo and Leon delivered something very special. This is a show not to be missed for the rest of Australia. It won’t be emulated again. This is a once off and if you love thrash, love that old school Sepultura, this is an amazing trip down memory lane. Dust off your skateboards, do some neck exercises and practice your windmills, Return Beneath Arise is one hell of a show.
Beneath the Remains
Stronger Than Hate
Slaves of Pain
Dead Embryonic Cells
Orgasmatron (Motörhead cover)
Ace of Spades (Motörhead cover)
Troops of Doom (With Slayer, ‘South of Heaven’ intro)
Roots Bloody Roots
Beneath the Remains / Arise / Dead Embryonic Cells
Review by Jim ‘Plugga’ Birkin
Revisit out chat with the metal man himself Max Cavalera right here
Max & Iggor Cavalera
Max and Iggor Cavalera – Return: Beneath Arise Tour
Tuesday 19 March – The Gov, Adelaide
Thursday 21 March – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Friday 22 March – The Valley Drive In, Brisbane
Saturday 23 March – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Sunday 24 March – The Basement, Canberra