Video Void: Five rare early Sepultura videos

I don’t know how these survived the last three decades, and it appears just barely judging from their condition, but whoever unearthed these erstwhile Sepultura videos deserves the highest of fives. You can take your histrionic corpse paint wearing and wannabe bible-tearing black metal and shelve it, because for their time, Sepultura took some serious risks. From the early application of face paint to the hazardous fire intro in April 1986, these videos show the influence a group of Brazilian teenagers had on an entire genre without premeditation. It’s totally raw, evocative and more than anything, it looks like they’re just having a good time.

Live In Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 1985
The earliest video in the collection plays like the metal version of the original Night of the Living Dead: bleached, grainy and obscure. The reoccurring close-ups of Max perfectly capture the passion of a young metalhead and Tormentor/Jairo T solos with the hormonal frenzy of emerging puberty. Tracklist is “Warriors of Death,” “Bestial Devastation,” and “Necromancer.”

Post-Show Interview, 1985
This video is mostly for posterity, as the audio is basically inaudible, but it does showcase just how young they were while producing such powerful music. Note Igor’s swastika shirt in the background.

Live In Brazil, 1986
We get some great crowd footage here that shows a blend of impassioned thrashers and stunned onlookers who progressively convert throughout the video; it’s like the metal version of Marat/Sade. Igor looks great doing his best impression of Animal from The Muppets and the director takes humorous interest in the unimpressed guy wearing the D.R.I. shirt at 10:36. Track List is “Bestial Devastation,” “Antichrist,” “Living In Fear (Kreator Cover),” and “Warriors of Death.”

Live at Esporte Clube Ginastico – Belo Horizonte, MG – 4-19-86
Not only do the first several minutes of footage violate just about every known fire safety law, it looks and sounds like the narrative basis for Rosemary’s Baby. While the audio quality isn’t great, the video reflects Sepultura’s continual maturity as they perform with more confidence and experience than previous; the poor sound also masks how out of tune they are towards the end.

Live at Mineirinho – Belo Horizonte, MG – 5-12-86
Opening up for Venom and Exciter, this is the emergence of the Sepultura we’d come to know. The crowd absolutely loves them and sports charismatic “invisible oranges” in their honor at 16:20. Highlights include great versions of “Troops of Doom,” “War,” and Igor using what appears to be a crate or luggage as a drum throne.

-Aaron Maltz