Sepultura, is the Brazilian precious baby among all national Metal bands. They contributed to the creation of Brazilian Death Metal back in 1985.

The original lineup was composed by the brothers Igor (drums) and Max Cavalera (guitar), Paulo Jr. (bass) and Wagner Lamounier (vocals guitar). In 1985, Wagner left to form the band “Sarcofago”, Jairo Guedes replaced him on guitar, and Max took over vocals.

The band was officially created in 1984 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a sound that combines Death Metal and Thrash Metal with elements of indigenous tribal music, Afro-Brasilian or African, and other styles.
Sepultura gained respect and fame in the 1990s with albums such as Arise and Chaos A.D and became a strong influence for countless Death Metal, Groove Metal and NU metal bands.

The name Sepultura came about when Max translated a Motörhead song, “Dancing on Your Grave”.
In 1987, Jairo leaves, and Andreas Kisser takes his place, resulting in the classic line-up that would last ten years.
Currently, the vocals are done by the American Derrick Green and the drums by Eloy Casagrande, with Andreas as the only guitarist. However, most ardent Sepultura fans consider that the work made after 1996, when Max Cavalera left the group, is not “Sepultura”.

I am among these for the simple fact that Max is behind the genius in Sepultura’s music and identity, and when the group split, he took away what made Sepultura in the first place: its soul.

It is hard to name my favourite album, but if I were forced to choose one, it would be Chaos AD, released in 1993, not only because the song called Territory is one of my favourites but also because this album is where they felt this urge to talk about the reality in Brazil at that time and they also initiated an immersion on Brazilian culture and mixed ethnicity.
The song “Territory” talks about a real situation and real war between rich farmers who owned vast properties that were not cultivated “Latifundiarios”, against the “Sem terra” (no land men) poor people who counted in a plan created by Brazilian government to divide the land, and give portions of these uncultivated areas located in these huge farms (areas sometimes larger than a small European country), to the people allowing them to work the land and survive.
The long-awaited “Reforma Agraria” never happened as it was meant to, leaving millions of people with no place to live or land to work on to earn their bread.
This resulted in massive waves of people leaving the rural areas to go to big cities and find themselves in the infamous “favelas” and a precarious way of life in extreme poverty. There were also real armed conflicts between the “Sem Terra” and farmers, resulting in big losses of human lives.

Roots was technically born with the encounter between Sepultura and the Xavantes tribe; however, the idea of integrating regional sounds, instruments and burning hot Political references started in Chaos AD and was fully developed in Roots. Therefore, Roots was somehow a continuation of Chaos Ad.
The song “Itsari” was recorded in 1995 at Aldeia Pimentel Barbosa in Mato Grosso, near Rio das Mortes. The remainder of the album was recorded in Malibu at the Indigo Ranch studio using advanced instruments to make the recording as raw as possible.

The video for the song “Roots Bloody Roots” was recorded in Salvador and shows again a reference to a cultural mix with a “batucada” percussion group playing along with Igor, and these percussion groups are typical of Afro-Brazilian culture from Bahia.
The “Attitude” video clip opens with a “Berimbau,” a musical instrument composed of a bow, one chord and a hollow ball used in Capoeira dance, also a typical Afro-Brazilian dance that mimes fighting moves. The
Attitude video also had a special appearance by the Gracie family.
“Ratamahatta” was a clip that stood out from the rest since it was animated using computer graphics. Ratamahatta has Carlinhos Brown singing as a special guest, and David Silveria, the drummer for Korn, plays the percussion.

Fun fact: The Album cover from Roots, the image of the Indians, was “borrowed”, basically photocopied from a 1000 cruzeiros bill by Max.

What happened next in 1996, after the release of Roots and Max’s departure, is what I considered the end of Sepultura. The band that carried on with Andreas trying to take on vocals to replace Max (but later replaced by Derrick Green), Igor on drums and Paulo on bass was something different.

Igor Cavalera left the band in 2006.

I may write a different page for the other band that kept the name Sepultura. Still, most fans will agree that Sepultura resulted from the common work of that precise combination of musicians and a great part coming from Max’s talent and visions, so although the name was kept, the band is not the same.

I do not wish to bring on this page the reasons that led the band to split because there is a lot of material on this subject, and I think it was a sad chain of events and not only what happened in 1996 with the death of Max’s stepson Dana Wells.

If you want to read in detail about their beginning and the band’s first albums, you can check this article on the “Revolver” website or read the book “My bloody Roots” by Max.

Here is the discography with all the albums until Max’s departure in 1996, including “Under a Pale Gray Sky”, recorded live in the Brixton Academy, London, on December 16 /1996, right before Max’s departure, but released by Roadrunner Records in 2002.

Morbid Visions
Released November 1986. Sepultura’s debut album featured Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar, Jairo Guedes on lead guitar, Paulo Jr. on bass and Igor Cavalera on drums

CD Track Listings:

  1. Intro / Morbid Visions (4:39)
  2. Mayhem (3:17)
  3. Troops of Doom (3:23)
  4. War (5:34)
  5. Crucifixion (5:03)
  6. Show Me the Wrath (3:54)
  7. Funeral Rites (4:24)
  8. Empire of the Damned (4:26)

Released October 1987

Sepultura’s second album featured Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar, Andreas Kisser on lead guitar, Paulo Jr. on bass and Igor Cavalera on drums

CD Track Listings:

  1. Intro (0:32)
  2. From the Past Comes the Storms (4:56)
  3. To the Wall (5:38)
  4. Escape to the Void (4:41)
  5. Inquisition Symphony (7:15)
  6. Screams Behind the Shadows (4:50)
  7. Septic Schizo (4:33)
  8. The Abyss (1:02)
  9. R.I.P. (Rest in Pain) (4:38)
  10. Troops of Doom (3:18)
  11. The Past Reborns the Storms (5:08)
  12. Septic Schizo) (4:34)
  13. To the Wall ) (5:31)

Beneath the Remains
Released April 7, 1989

Sepultura’s third album featured Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar, Andreas Kisser on lead guitar, Paulo Jr. on bass and Igor Cavalera on drums.

CD Track Listings:

  1. Beneath the Remains (5:13)
  2. Inner Self (5:09)
  3. Stronger Than Hate (5:51)
  4. Mass Hypnosis (4:25)
  5. Sarcastic Existence (4:45)
  6. Slaves of Pain (4:03)
  7. Lobotomy (4:58)
  8. Hungry (4:29)
  9. Primitive Future (3:09)
  10. A Hora e a Vez do Cabelo Nascer (2:23)
  11. Inner Self (5:11)
  12. Mass Hypnosis (4:22)

Released April 2, 1991

Sepultura’s fourth album featured Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar, Andreas Kisser on lead guitar, Paulo Jr. on bass and Igor Cavalera on drums.

CD Track Listings:

  1. Arise (3:18)
  2. Dead Embryonic Cells (4:52)
  3. Desperate Cry (6:41)
  4. Murder (3:26)
  5. Subtraction (4:48)
  6. Altered State (6:33)
  7. Under Siege (Regnum Irae) (4:53)
  8. Meaningless Movements (4:40)
  9. Infected Voice (3:19)
  10. Orgasmatron (4:15)
  11. Intro (1:32)
  12. C.I.U. (4:17)
  13. Desperate Cry (6:43)

Chaos A.D.
Released October 19, 1993

Sepultura’s fifth album featured Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar, Andreas Kisser on lead guitar, Paulo Jr. on bass and Igor Cavalera on drums.

CD Track Listings:

  1. Refuse/Resist (3:20)
  2. Territory (4:47)
  3. Slave New World (2:55)
  4. Amen (4:27)
  5. Kaiowas (3:43)
  6. Propaganda (3:33)
  7. Biotech Is Godzilla (1:52)
  8. Nomad (4:59)
  9. We Who Are Not as Others (3:42)
  10. Manifest (4:49)
  11. The Hunt (3:59)
  12. Clenched Fist (4:57)
  13. Polícia
  14. Chaos B.C. (5:12)
  15. Kaiowas (3:47)
  16. Territory (4:48)
  17. Amen (8:42)

Released March 12, 1996

Sepultura’s sensational sixth album featured Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar, Andreas Kisser on lead guitar, Paulo Jr. on bass and Igor Cavalera on drums.

CD Track Listings:

  1. Roots Bloody Roots (3:32)
  2. Attitude (4:15)
  3. Cut-Throat (2:44)
  4. Ratamahatta (4:30)
  5. Breed Apart (4:01)
  6. Straighthate (5:21)
  7. Spit (2:46)
  8. Lookaway (5:26)
  9. Dusted (4:03)
  10. Born Stubborn (4:07)
  11. Jasco (1:57)
  12. Itsári (live) (4:48)
  13. Ambush (4:39)
  14. Endangered Species (5:19)
  15. Dictatorshit (1:25)
  16. Procreation (Of the Wicked) (3:39)
  17. Symptom of the Universe (4:16)

Under a Pale Gray Sky

Disc one

  1. “Itsári (Intro)” 1:27
  2. “Roots Bloody Roots” 3:37
  3. “Spit” 2:27
  4. “Territory” 4:59
  5. “Monólogo ao Pé do Ouvido” (Chico Science cover) 1:21
  6. “Breed Apart” 4:01
  7. “Attitude” 5:54
  8. “Cut-Throat” 2:53
  9. “Troops of Doom” 2:46
  10. “Beneath the Remains/Mass Hypnosis” 4:00
  11. “Born Stubborn” 4:15
  12. “Desperate Cry” 2:21
  13. “Necromancer” 3:15
  14. “Dusted” 3:59
  15. “Endangered Species” 8:27

Disc two

  1. “We Who Are Not as Others” 3:57
  2. “Straighthate” 5:10
  3. “Dictatorshit” 1:35
  4. “Refuse/Resist” 3:52
  5. “Arise/Dead Embryonic Cells” 3:09
  6. “Slave New World” 2:42
  7. “Biotech Is Godzilla” 2:43
  8. “Inner Self” 4:36
  9. “Polícia” (Titãs cover) 2:35
  10. “We Gotta Know” (Cro-Mags cover) 3:52
  11. “Kaiowas” 6:12
  12. “Ratamahatta” 5:24
  13. “Orgasmatron” (Motörhead cover)

Sepultura has sold approximately 50 million units worldwide, winning several gold and platinum disks in countries such as France, Australia, the United States and Brazil.