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Quick, name the biggest-selling musical act that's ever emerged from Brazil. Antonio Carlos Jobim? Nice try. Milton Nascimento? Nope. Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and so on? Not even close. It's actually a Heavy Metal band named Sepultura.

Sepultura [1] are a metal band from Belo Horizonte that's been kicking around since 1984 and is one of the few Brazilian acts that's even more popular to the north in the USA. They've been active in quite a few subgenres of metal but they're most famous as one of the most important Groove Metal bands.

The band's members have included:

  • Max Cavalera - lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1984-1996)
  • Igor Cavalera - drums, percussion (1984-2006)
  • Paulo Jr. - bass (1984-present)
  • Andreas Kisser - lead guitar, backing vocals (1987-present)
  • Jairo Guedes - lead guitar (1985-1987)
  • Wagner Lamounier - vocals (1984-1985)
  • Derrick Green - lead vocals (1997-present)
  • Jean Dolabella - drums, percussion (2006-present)

The band was formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, who drew influences at first from popular eighties metal and rock bands like Iron Maiden, Motörhead, ACDC, Judas Priest and Van Halen, but later on expanded into more extreme metal acts like Venom, Metallica, Exodus and Sodom. After some lineup difficulties, Sepultura obtained a record contract and released their debut Morbid Visions in 1986. Visions remains the only pure Death Metal album the band ever released before their sound started evolving.

Guitarist Jairo Guedes lost interest in death metal soon afterwards and quit, replaced by Andreas Kisser. Not only did this create Sepultura's "classic lineup", but it also changed their sound as Kisser brought in more influences apart from death metal. With Schizophrenia, the band switched to a hybrid of Thrash Metal and Death Metal that earned them critical acclaim. Also around this time they began making waves in the USA, moving to metal label Roadrunner Records and touring the hell out of Schizophrenia and Beneath the Remains.

Recorded in the USA, their 1991 album Arise increased their popularity and showed the band's first exploration of other genres while still keeping their thrash/death sound. The real change came with Chaos A.D. two years later. On Chaos, Sepultura ditched the thrash/death fusion and instead dove headfirst into Groove Metal, combining Igor's groove-laden rhythms with churning riffs and a genre stew that included Industrial Metal, Hardcore Punk and Brazilian percussion. Thanks to Andy Wallace's heavy production and several successful singles ("Refuse/Resist", "Territory", "Slave New World"), Chaos became the band's breakthrough album, earning both commercial and critical success. Their similarly-acclaimed followup Roots continued with the Groove Metal direction but put more emphasis on the Brazilian percussion (supplied by Carlinhos Brown) and featured a collaboration with members of the Brazilian Xavante Indian tribe.

Max Cavalera left the band shortly after the album's release in 1996, for still unclear reasons, and instead formed his own band, Soulfly. He was replaced by Derrick Green. The new Sepultura lineup predictably created a Broken Base and carried on with modestly acclaimed but poorer-selling albums like Against, Nation, Roorback and the Concept Album Dante XXI. Igor himself left the band in 2006.

Max and Igor later got back together to form a new band named Cavalera Conspiracy which has caused an even more Broken Base as fans are now divided as to which band is the real Supultura and which is the Evil Knockoff which is further confounded by the fact that Sepultura's music is almost unanimously agreed upon by fans to have improved in recent years.


  • Bestial Devastation EP (1985) - split EP with Brazilian band Overdose.
  • Morbid Visions (1986)
  • Schizophrenia (1987)
  • Beneath the Remains (1989)
  • Arise (1991)
  • Chaos A.D. (1993)
  • Roots (1996)
  • The Roots of Sepultura (1996) - compilation of unreleased tracks, B-sides, alternate mixes, demos and live recordings.
  • Blood-Rooted (1997) - another compilation of more unreleased tracks, B-sides, remixes and live recordings.
  • Against (1998) - the first album featuring Derrick Green
  • Nation (2001)
  • Revolusongs EP (2003) - an EP of Cover Versions.
  • Roorback (2003)
  • Dante XXI (2006)
  • A-Lex (2009)
  • Kairos (2011)


 Inside the state

War is created

No man's land

What is this shit?

  • Start My Own: Max Cavalera formed his own band Soulfly when he left Sepultura.
  • Take That: "Cut Throat"'s last line goes like this: Integrity will free our soul from/Enslavement! Pathetic Ignorant Corporations!.
  • Word Salad Titles And Lyrics: The band initially didn't know much English, and even now can be really poor speakers. So they let Max, who knew the most English (i.e.: not much), name their songs by using a Portuguese-English dictionary. Thus we got "Show Me the Wrath", "From the Past Comes the Storms" (or its demo title, "The Past Reborns the Storms"), "Septic Schizo", "Sarcastic Existence" and some others.
    • However, Max's English has gotten much better since he moved to America. Then again, it would've been surprising if it stayed just as bad.
      • No word of "Ratamahatta" here? Even though it's sung mostly in Portuguese?
      • Parodied by Mamonas Assassinas, a compatriot, short-lived comedy Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly band, whose song "Débil Metal"[2] is sung on the style of Sepultura, with the vocalist doing a real good impression of Max while singing things like: "I just can't explain, it melts in my mouth/Dying to me now is popcorn".
  • Yoko Oh No: Andreas Kissers' wife after an 2010 interview with Max.
    • Some fans saw Max's wife as this during the breakup phase.
  • Scary Black Man: Derrick. Try not to be intimidated by this big guy.


  1. Portuguese for "grave" - the name comes from the Motörhead song "Dancing On Your Grave"
  2. a play on "débil mental" - lit. "weak of mind", used to describe stupid, crazy people
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