Depending on what your definition of nu-metal is, Sepultura's Roots is either one of the most adventurous albums in the genre's canon or a record that's simply too groundbreaking and singular to exist within the same milieu as Limp Bizkit and Disturbed. Max Cavalera thinks the latter is the case.
In a new interview with Chile's iRock, the Brazilian musician said that he thinks his final album as Sepultura's founding frontman is way heavier and musically unique than it sometimes gets credit for, and that it shouldn't have been tagged as a "nu-metal" album upon its release.
"I don't think they gave the record a real chance," Cavalera said, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. "To me, Roots is a very heavy record. I think some of the stuff like 'Straighthate', 'Spit', 'Ambush' and 'Endangered Species' was so frickin' heavy and it's fast and it's brutal. I think it's because it got tagged ... It got really popular; it got trendy. Some people connected it with 'nu metal'.
"I don't think Roots is a 'nu metal' record. In fact, I think it's very opposite — it's really kind of more caveman. It's simpler — downtuning but simpler riffs. Very heavy percussion."
He continued: "On its own, in its essence, to me, it's a special record for sure. I won't say it's my favorite 'cause that's like choosing your kids; it's not right. I don't wanna choose between Sepultura records; I like all. But to me, Roots feels like ... It's an idea. It was born at the right time. And it was just a crazy idea that I had in my mind, to record with Brazilian indians and to bring that to metal. And I think that was very ambitious and very courageous.
"Cause not many people do that with their career; not many people gamble everything and make a record with crazy ideas like that. Cause so much can go wrong. A lot of bands like to play it safe — 'We just make this record for the fans, and we're good.' And we're just not that kind of band. We like to push the envelope. We like to go forward. And we always never really tried to make the same record. To me, it was an exciting record."
We see Cavalera's point, but we still consider it an essential part of the nu-metal canon.