“Roots Bloody Roots” is a song by Brazilian band Sepultura. It was released in February 1996 as the lead single from their sixth album Roots, released in 1996. The song is the band’s best known and remains a concert staple to this day, usually being performed on encores. A music video was filmed for the single which features the band performing in an underground cave as well as on the streets with a tribe of percussionists. This video can be found on the VHS We Are What We Are, which was later released on DVD as part of Chaos DVD.
The song also appears in live form on the band’s live releases Under a Pale Grey Sky and Live in Sao Paulo. Another live version appears on the limited edition digipak version of the band’s 2000 album Nation. Former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera has also played the song live numerous times with his other bands Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy. Recordings of their version can be found on the limited edition versions of the albums Soulfly and Prophecy, as well as on the DVD The Song Remains Insane.
The music video was directed by Thomas Mignone and won the Kerrang “Video Of The Year Award” in 1996, as well as a nomination for the MTV Brazil “Best Rock Video” Award. Filming was done in the catacombs underneath the city of Salvador, where the Brazilian slaves were sold. The video is distinguished from other heavy metal imagery by its atypical use of the natural beauty of Brazil, including its traditional capoeira fight, Timbalada percussionists, and indigenous people, as well as native tribes playing the drums in their tribe uniforms. The video also shows scenes of Catholic churches.