Extraneous. A one word definition of what school was like for me as a youth. Working now as I do in a junior high school I see that it is a definition which still fits. That feeling of painful irrelevance coupled with know-it-all perspective endemic to the age bracket results in far too many under-achievers. Those who choose to just disengage, to wing it or just do the very least required for academic survival. I was one of those students who frequently received the non-accolade “Could do better with effort” on report cards. Occasionally, interest piqued I would turn in an (almost) excellent report or get an (almost) perfect score on a test. I made it through school and I am sure that many students like me will also survive this system. It is a shame though, that the system and why not just say it, society broadly, seems incapable of the best practices for realizing the innate excellence of our youth.
Post “Roots” Sepultura is like one of the above mentioned students. After the widely under appreciated “Against” (which yours truly thinks is actually a rather excellent album), from “Nation” to “A-Lex”, these once A-list-ers produced predominantly unremarkable albums which always had a few good songs and occasionally excellent ones. The problem has never been with sound, nor musical progression. In fact, the sum of post-Max Cavalera Sepultura parts – circular riffs, Derrick Green, powerful rhythmic elements, tribal drumming, guitar solo freak-outs and sinister psychedelia – is a rather listenable brew. The problem has been that the songs have been on the whole not particularly memorable.
Enter Kairos. I held no expectations for this new platter. I have gone through the motions each time, read the reviews, battled my inner self over whether or not to drop the cash on an LP version. After listening, I can only say that this is Kisser and co.’s finest album in fourteen years. It is evocative of past eras of the band and just when it feels as though they are about to settle into a rut, they make a left turn.Out soon. Vinyl release scheduled, but being on a European label, be prepared to take it like a man (or just be tough or whatever) and suck up the VAT, postage and currency inflation. Currently priced at between $36-50 locally here in Japan, you would have to be hard core supporter to get this on wax (after all, the same loot could buy the new Black Dahlia Murder, Pestilence and Premonition 13 albums combined. Just sayin’). Is it worth it? Let your budget decide.