Even though the Cavalera brothers have visited these shores with clockwork regularity since that fateful night in Brixton 20 years ago, when the band that most of our minds conjure when we hear the name Sepultura imploded, anticipation levels have rarely been this high for the pair since then as it is tonight.
It’s not good news for THE HYENA KILL , though. The Manchester two-piece do a nice line in riff-fuelled alt-rock but are treated like nothing more than a distraction for the baying metalheads. They will have their day, just not tonight. Mind you, it’s hard to imagine too many bands upstaging MAX AND IGGOR CAVALERA  tonight. The level of goodwill for the pair as they step onstage and launch into Roots Bloody Roots is evident in one of the largest pits this venue has seen in a long time. And, for the most part, tonight is a reminder of just why Sepultura and the Roots album are held in such high esteem. If you were hearing Attitude, Ambush or Straighthate for the first time in 2016 it would still knock you for six, the rhythmic power that made those songs so unique back then remains overwhelming. The set also makes a mockery of the idea that Roots was the catalyst for the worst of nu metal, with the vicious Spit having much more in common with Discharge than it does Crazy Town.
There are a few cracks. While Iggor remains the powerhouse he always was, Max seems to run out of steam, vocally particularly, halfway through. The debut of performance of Lookaway is long-awaited, but ends up a bit of a non-event without Jonathan Davis and Mike Patton trading vocal ticks over it. Marc Rizzo is a great guitarist and performer but how you would love to see Andreas Kisser up there putting his original personality on the songs. A bit more of the third-world aesthetic that Sepultura brought over originally wouldn’t have gone amiss either. These are minor gripes, though, especially when the night ends with Max and Iggor onstage alone and just jamming through Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Motörhead and classic Sepultura tunes like they would have done back in Belo Horizonte all those years ago. The Cavaleras never really left their roots in the first place.