Some of the best metal bloggers are freaking out this week over the image of Behemoth with producer Ross Robinson that's making it's way through the interwebs. Nothing has been officially announced yet, but of course people are assuming that this means one of the best black metal bands in the world is letting the guy who produced Korn, Limp Bizkit and Vanilla Ice's nu metal record take the reigns. But even if Robinson actually is producing the next Behemoth record, there's no need to raise a stink. Behemoth have been a great band for many years and they've earned your faith in them to make good music.
Not only that, Robinson has produced albums for more good music than you remember, including At the Drive-In, Blood Brothers and the Cure. But his best work is on Roots, Sepultura's last good album.
With every release, Sepultura gets more tribal and less metal, probably to distract listeners from the fact that they no longer have Max or Igor Cavalera. But Roots was a perfect blend of Sepultura's groove metal stomp and tropicália rhythms. I love the heavy percussion of "Ratamhatta," plus the call and response verses with Max Cavalera and Brazilian music hero (and future Oscar nominee, for Rio) Carlinhos Brown. Listen closely to also hear appearances from Mike Patton and a didgeridoo.
Artists like Paul Simon, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel get lauded for dressing rock music in worldbeat rhythms and for giving traditionally non-Western music an international audience. I'd argue that with Roots and "Ratamhatta," Sepultura and Ross Robinson deserve as much acclaim as any of them.