Live Review: Max & Iggor Cavalera, Shatter Brain

20 March 2019 | 12:21 pm | Fionna Broddesson

"It was to be a crowdsurfing, fist-pumping concert for the ages."

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Fans of thrash and death metal need no introduction to the legendary Max & Iggor Cavalera, the brothers' legacy firmly cemented with the mighty Sepultura and associated acts such as Soulfly. After the sold-out success of their 2017 Return To Roots tour, there was a sense of occasion among the punters who packed themselves into The Gov on a hot and sweaty Tuesday night. This tour, Return Beneath Arise, promised the best of Sepultura’s seminal 1989 masterpiece Beneath The Remains and follow-up album Arise – widely regarded as the band’s magnum opus. It was to be a crowdsurfing, fist-pumping concert for the ages.

Tasked with igniting the chaos was Shatter Brain, who burst onto the stage with an impact akin to a punch in the face. Aggression was laid bare in a set that drew the crowd in and kept them there, playing tracks from their demo days and onwards, all the way to a cover of Slayer’s Seasons In The Abyss. A highlight was a new song from an upcoming full-length album. If you’re serious about heavy music you might wanna check that out.

Now that the fire was suitably stoked it was time to turn the clock back 30 years as the opening strains of Beneath The Remains rang out. Max & Iggor Cavalera made their entrance, being joined on stage by guitar maestro Marc Rizzo and bassist Mike Leon. Frontman Max was in command from the outset, pausing on guitar momentarily towards the end of the song to bask in the adoration of the crowd, before unleashing the next three tracks from the album in rapid succession. Slaves Of Pain and Primitive Future capped things off with the audience taking over the chorus amid Max’s constant incitement to “open the circle”.

After moments so heavy it seemed the atmosphere itself just might implode, the band left the stage. Smoke filled the room and Arise came over the loudspeaker. Everyone went mental. Dead Embryonic Cells gave way to Desperate Cry, Max’s favourite – so he told us. Altered State slowed things down and the lighters came out for the mother of all singalongs. Then Infected Voice got things going again when the crowd was goaded into destroying the place. Prolonging the glory was a cover of Motörhead’s Orgasmatron. And it wasn’t over yet.

It was time for the grand finale when Slayer’s Raining Blood merged into a murderous version of the classic Troops Of Doom. One crowd favourite followed another with Refuse/Resist next up. In a moment of madness, Tom Santamaria of Shatter Brain was invited back on stage to join in “a native song for a local crowd”, AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, which culminated in an onstage scream-off. You wouldn’t have believed it happened unless you were there to see it. The setlist ended in delirious mayhem with the mash-up of the tracks Beneath The Remains and Arise, delivered at blistering speed and finished with an ungodly scream and psychotic guitar crescendo.

Then, with nothing left to prove, the brothers took a bow and made their way into the night.