Triumphant return to the UK for their 25th anniversary

Saturday’s line-up was due to be headlined by mall-rockers Bullet For My Valentine. But recording commitments and a late decision to play Sonisphere instead mean that Sepultura gallantly step into their vacant slot for their only UK show this year. If you didn’t know that, you couldn’t tell: Sepultura are one of the biggest draws of the weekend, packing out every inch of the main arena, with the audience spilling out into the merchandise area. It’s insane.

The room darkens, and the crowd lamely attempts to chant “Sep-ul-tu-r-a” (which doesn’t work whichever way you try it, but full marks for trying) Then with a clatter of drums, singer Derrick Green leaps to the front of the stage and slams the snare drum, sending the crowd mental. There are so many lights and so much smoke it’s a bit like watching some very loud shadow puppets as they disappear and reappear in view. It makes for a mesmerising show, for those in the audience. Everyone on the floor is occupied solidly moshing to classics and material from their excellent new album, ‘A-Lex’. And it’s all at a face-melting pace and getting faster as it goes on.

It’s fair to say Sepultura haven’t had an easy ride recently. With the departure of drummer Igor Cavalera, the only original member still around is bassist Paulo Jr. But if they felt the need to prove anything to their alienated British audience, they certainly went all-out to do just that. Without even pausing for breath they rip through six songs in a row before addressing their fans no further than the odd “Are you fucking ready for this?!” Hell, yeah.

It’s guitarist Andreas Kisser who speaks, hailing the masses with “Hello UK! Twenty-five years of history; thanks to you all!” Cue much cheering and waving from the crowd. Twenty-five years is forever in the music industry, but from the reaction here, you truly believe that in one form or another Sepultura will be around for a while longer. Derrick Green takes the opportunity to announce their intention to play a few old favourites like ‘Arise’ and rare B-sides, much to their hardcore fans’ delight, as the circle pit in front of the stage spins into action again. “Your recognise that one? You’re lying!” Green jokes as they briefly blast a few teaser bars, and a few voices yell their replies. It’s definitely a show for the fans, and Sepultura know it. They know how to work their rabble.

Point proved, Sepultura have returned triumphant after such a long time and after so many changes, to completely slay their audience. Here’s to the next twenty-five years.