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149 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 12, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

If Sepultura's album Chaos A.D. established the band as more than just another death metal outfit, Roots expands both its search for identity and its quest for sheer aural destruction. Frontman Max Cavalera explores his past in "Roots, Bloody Roots" and "Endangered Species," and plays with a remote Brazilian tribe on "Rattamahatta". Elsewhere, Sepultura experiments with minor-key dynamics and atonal harmonics, imbuing their wall of noise with an oppressive sense of mystery. They also extend their musical horizons, adding clattering tin drums and what sounds like a jew's-harp to "Breed Apart," and garnishing "Lookaway" with DJ scratching, half-speed vocals, and a gothic, chiming mid-section. --Jon Wiederhorn

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Roots Bloody Roots
  2. Attitude
  3. Cut-Throat
  4. Ratamahatta
  5. Breed Apart
  6. Straighthate
  7. Spit
  8. Lookaway
  9. Dusted
  10. Born Stubborn
  11. Jasco
  12. Itsari
  13. Ambush
  14. Endangered Species
  15. Dictatorsh*t

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 12, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B000000H5K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,294 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gunther Haagendazs on July 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In the year 1996, the Brazilian Metal Gods Sepultura (Grave) decided to make something different. They set out to invent something called Tribal Metal, which they had previously tampered with on Chaos A.D. (1993). Tribal Metal consists of attitude, anger (most of the time), a variety of ideas, tribal drums/percussion and of course knowledge of your Roots. It was something that managed to bring people together; with the exception of those that stick to Beneath the Remains and Arise (good albums) and refuse to evolve fearing its selling out or whatever.

Max, Andreas, Igor and Paulo Jr. ventured into the Brazilian forest to spend time with the Xavantes Tribe in which they recorded the live song Itsari. The influence of what they did shows throughout the album. This results in not being the average Metal Album however. There is also some slight punk influence/atmosphere of rage on Cut-Throat, Ambush, and Endangered Species not to mention the short thrash song Dictatorsh*t. There is a small Acoustic song by Andreas Kisser called Jasco. Roots doesn't focus on Guitars as much like they did in previous releases. The amount of solos diminishes although doesn't become absent. The solos just are not that great but they don't drag the songs down.

Instead the album focuses on the Tribal drums of Igor Cavalera. I myself am a drummer/percussionist and highly enjoy weird sounds, different styles among other things. An example would be that Igor uses a rusted Propane tank and a Djembe on the kick@ss song known as Dusted, Or the Berkimbau that Max uses on Attitude. (one of the best songs) Sadly, though Max has overplayed the usage of the Berimbau after the 3rd time of doing so in Soulfly.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A. Stutheit on July 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Even though "Chaos A.D." was Sepultura's bravest and most innovative album (because it premiered a song which was an instrumental consisting entirely of acoustic guitars and tribal drums), I still consider "Roots," Sepultura's sixth, their most experimental and creative work. This 1996 album was also Sepultura's last with frontman Max Cavalera; he would leave the group and go on to front a solo band, Soulfly. And, until 2004's "Prophecy," "Roots" was also more experimental than anything Max would make in Soulfly.

In addition to the aforementioned tribal drums and acoustic strumming, this album also features a Jew's harp, maracas, a Brazilian tribe, tin drums, and DJ scratching. But creativity came with a cost. "Roots" is still a heavy metal album, but the death metal is long gone, because (as was the case with "Chaos A.D.") these riffs are tinged with punk. Plus, since Max adopted Korn's downtuned guitars and had guest appearances, some fans think this album helped usher in nu-metal. I, however, still believe that the experimental aspects of "Roots" made it innovative. And Max may have been partially influenced by nu-metal, but he was equally as influenced by his own heritage/upbringing. (Max is from Brazil, thus explaining the Brazilian tribe, maracas, and tin drums.)

"Roots, Bloody Roots" is the first single, probably the heaviest song on "Roots," and is one of Sepultura's best known songs. It remains a staple of their live shows, and the success of this song has influenced some Soulfly songs (like "Prophecy.") Plus, Max has even adopted this song as his own, and played it during some Soulfly concerts. The album opens with the sound of crickets chirping, then this song launches into heavy, de-tuned guitar bluster.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mrblack on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When we talk about Sepultura we can make a difference between two eras: the trash/death metal era and the tribal/trash/groove/core (weird, isn't it?) era. Roots stands in the middle, the inflection point. It has elements of trash and death metal but the experimentation with tribal rythms and instruments is starting to have more presence. Well, I must say that this is the last album with the mighty Max Cavalera. The end of an era as I said.
To the Sepultura purists, this album is a shame; to the newcomers, this is their the best album. I'm not saying this album can comapre to the earlier albums (Beneath the remains, Arise, Chaos AD) but it's good because of the risk they took to make something different in music.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Alla Koholick on April 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Sepultura's Roots went bravely where no other metal album had gone before. It mixed Afro-Brazilian drums and tribal rhytms/music with downtuned nu-metal guitar and death metal vocals. An astonishing achievement. However, there are some things I have to say about Roots as a whole...
It's not the masterpiece people say it is. It was released at a great time, rivaling and overtaking most other musical accomplishments of 1996(metal, anyway). Slayer had just released their very own Spaghetti Incident?, Pantera made one big mess of album in Trendkill, and KoRn's abysmal follow-up Life Is Peachy was out too. Amidst this, Sepultura released Roots. If you compare it to Metallica's Load, well...we'll just leave it at that. Nonetheless, it lacks the flare of previous releases. Beneath The Remains was a classic, Arise was a masterpiece, and Chaos A.D. was experimental and brilliant. Roots isn't. Better than other metal releases of the time, but not an opus everyone makes it out to be.
Chaos A.D. mixed the tribal elements with the music fairly well, but managed to thrash and burn like hell, with riffs occasionally slowing down enough to hurtle skullward. Many don't consider that album very highly, but it took the tribal stuff pretty far without commercializing it. On Roots, it's almost a gimmick. All the band members cut their hair and put on makeup. Solos are removed from songs, messy, or nonexistent-only to be replaced with percussion interludes and brazilian tribes singing. The speed isn't too slow, but it makes Chaos A.D. sound incredibly fast, and Arise sound lightspeed. The change from Chaos to Roots was completely uncalled for, regardless of the tribal stuff on Chaos. The tight playing is sacrificed for a sprawling 72-minute noisefest. Another thing-there's a lot of profanity in here!
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