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Sepultura live at 2007's Metalmania.
Background information
Origin Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Genres Thrash metal, Groove metal, Death metal, Alternative metal
Years active 1984–present
Labels Cogumelo, Roadrunner, New Renaissance, Steamhammer
Associated acts Sarcófago, Nailbomb, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Udora
Paulo Jr.
Andreas Kisser
Derrick Green
Jean Dolabella
Former members
Roberto UFO[1]
Roberto "Gato" Raffan[1]
Julio César Vieira Franco[2]
Wagner Lamounier
Jairo Guedes
Max Cavalera
Igor Cavalera

Sepultura (Portuguese for "grave"[1]) is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte, formed in 1984.[3] The band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and ultimately groove metal realms during the late 1980s and early 1990s,[4] and their later experiments melding hardcore punk, industrial music and extreme metal[5][6] provided a blueprint for the groove metal genre.[7]

Sepultura have released eleven studio albums so far, the latest being A-Lex (2009). Their most successful records are Arise (1991),[8] Chaos A.D. (1993), and Roots (1996),[9] each of them having surpassed the one million mark worldwide. Sepultura has sold over 15 million units worldwide,[10] gaining multiple gold and platinum records across the globe, including in countries as diverse as France,[11][12] Australia,[13] Indonesia,[14] United States,[15] Cyprus,[16] and their native Brazil.[17]



Formation and Morbid Visions (1984–1986)

Sepultura was formed in 1984 in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais, Brazil.[3] At the core of the band were brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, the impoverished sons of model Vânia and Graciliano, a well-to-do Italian diplomat whose fatal heart attack left his family in financial dire straits.[18] Graciliano's death deeply affected his sons, providing them the impetus to start a band.[19] They chose "Sepultura" as the group's name after Max Cavalera was translating the lyrics of the Motörhead song "Dancing on Your Grave".[1]

The brothers' early likes included popular heavy metal artists of the early 1980s, such as Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, AC/DC, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne.[3] Their listening habits changed dramatically after being introduced to Venom. As Igor Cavalera put it,

I remember the first time I listened to Venom, it was on a friend's borrowed tape. It was similar to Motörhead, only a lot heavier. I remember someone saying: it's the devil's Motörhead! After we got acquainted with Venom, we stopped listening to Iron Maiden and all that lighter stuff.[20]

From then on the Cavaleras rapidly started listening to bands such as Kreator, Sodom, Metallica, Exodus and Exciter.[21]

After constant band member changes, Sepultura established a temporary line-up of Max on electric guitar, Igor on drums, vocalist Wagner Lamounier, and bassist Paulo Jr..[22] Lamounier exited the band in March 1985 after disagreements with the band, and moved on to become the frontman of the Brazilian black metal pioneering band Sarcófago. After his departure, Max took over the vocal duties. Jairo Guedes was the invited to join the band as their lead guitarist.[23]

After about a year of performing, Sepultura signed to Cogumelo Records in 1985. Later that year, they released Bestial Devastation, a shared EP with fellow Brazilian band Overdose. In 1986, the band released their debut full-length album, Morbid Visions, which is widely considered as one of the first pure death metal albums.[citation needed] It was initially released in the United States on New Renaissance Records, a record label owned by Ann Boleyn.[citation needed]

New Renaissance Records was heavily criticized by the media for signing and promoting Sepultura. However, their song "Troops of Doom" gained them higher airplay.[citation needed]

Schizophrenia, Beneath the Remains and Arise (1987–1992)

In early 1987, Jairo Guedes quit the band; Sepultura's lead guitarist had by then lost interest in playing death metal. Jairo was replaced by São Paulo-based guitarist Andreas Kisser,[24] and they released their second studio album, Schizophrenia, in 1987. It saw a stylistic change towards a more thrash metal-oriented sound, while still keeping the death metal elements of Morbid Visions. The album was a critical success,[citation needed] which led them to being signed to Roadrunner Records. With Roadrunner distributing Schizophrenia worldwide, Sepultura reached new and more numerous audiences of metal fans.

This stylistic change and critical success was cemented by the band's third studio album, Beneath the Remains, which was released in 1989. It was followed by a long European and American tour. Their first US show was held on October 31, 1989 at the Ritz in New York City, opening for Danish heavy metal band King Diamond. It is hailed by Terrorizer magazine as one of the all-time top 20 thrash metal albums,[25] as well as a gaining a place in their all-time top 40 death metal records.[26] In spite of their success at the time, the band members were still very limited English speakers.

Sepultura moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1990, and began recording material for their fourth studio album, Arise, utilizing Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida. By the time it was released in 1991, the band become one of the most critically praised thrash/death metal bands of the time. The album was their first to chart on the Billboard 200, reaching #119.[27]

Chaos A.D. and Roots (1993–1997)

Sepultura's fifth album, Chaos A.D., was released in 1993. It saw a departure from their death/thrash metal style,[28] mixing it with industrial and hardcore punk elements.[5] The album helped usher in the groove metal genre.[7] In its review of the album, Allmusic wrote that, "Chaos A.D. ranks as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time." [29]

In 1994, Max and Igor, aided by Alex Newport of Fudge Tunnel, released an even more industrial-oriented album, Point Blank, in 1994 under the name Nailbomb. Nailbomb performed only one full live gig, and the performance was released as Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide. The band also played selected tracks live on Sepultura's 1994 tour with Fudge Tunnel as guests.[citation needed]

Sepultura's death/thrash departure continued with their sixth album, Roots, which was released in 1996. The band further innovated by experimenting with elements of the music of Brazil's indigenous peoples, with a slower, downtuned sound. The album was hailed as a modern day heavy metal classic.

Later that year, the band played on the Donnington main stage alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Biohazard, and Fear Factory. However, at the height of Sepultura's fame, a series of events broke the band apart. Just after the release of Roots, Sepultura decided to fire their manager, Gloria, Max Cavalera's wife.

Break-up with Max Cavalera

Even today, the confirmed reasons behind Sepultura's infamous separation with Max Cavalera remain unknown. [30] However, it is widely believed that internal tensions within the band caused the split. This occurred throughout the latter half of 1996, and at the end of a successful tour of Britain, at Brixton Academy on December 16, 1996, the band were rumoured to have told Max that they would not renew Gloria's management contract. He then left the band and subsequently formed a new one, Soulfly. The other members announced that they would continue under the Sepultura name and were searching for a replacement.

Against, Nation and Roorback (1998–2005)

Sepultura chose Derrick Green from Cleveland, Ohio to fill in as their frontman and vocalist. With the new line up, the band recorded their seventh album, Against, which was released in 1998. The album was critically and commercially less successful than previous albums. [31] Allmusic gave the album 3 stars out of 5 and said that, "...there are enough flashes of the old Sepultura brilliance to suggest that great things are still to come."

The band's eighth album, Nation, released in 2001, sold poorly. It would be their last studio album released through Roadrunner Records. In an interview, Derrick Green said about the album, "Every song will be related to the idea of building this nation. We will have our own flags, our own anthem." [32] A recording of Max's last live show with the band, Under A Pale Grey Sky, was later released in 2002 by their former record label, against the wishes of the band.

After recording Revolusongs, an EP of covers in 2002, the band released their ninth studio album, Roorback, in 2003. Despite having greater critical acclaim than its predecessors, sales remained low. It was their first album released through SPV Records. Allmusic said about the album, "...if there are still any lingering doubts about the Green/Sepultura match, 2003's excellent Roorback should put them to rest for good. Green is passionate and focused throughout the album — he has no problem going that extra mile — and the writing is consistently strong." [33]

In 2005, the band played in Dubai for the annual Dubai Desert Rock Festival. In November of that year, a live Double-DVD and Double-CD, Live in São Paulo, was released. This was the first official live album from the band. The release of the album marked the first involvement of the new "Sepularmy" street team. The Sepularmy is an unofficial fan club, and its members are motivated by the desire to share the band's music and message around the world.

Dante XXI and A-Lex (2006 onward)

Sepultura live in Poland

Sepultura's tenth album, Dante XXI, was released on March 14, 2006. It is a concept album based around Dante's The Divine Comedy. Music videos for the songs "Convicted in Life" and "Ostia" were released. Allmusic said about the album that, "Overall, Dante XXI is easily one of Sepultura's strongest releases to feature Green on vocals." [34]

In an interview with Revolver Magazine, Max Cavalera stated that Igor and himself would reunite with the original lineup. There were also rumors that the new line up would play on the main stage at Ozzfest 2007. However, this was denied by Kisser and the proposed reunion did not occur.[35] Instead, 2006 saw Igor Cavalera's departure from the band.

Sepultura released A-Lex on 26 January 2009, being the first album without any Cavalera member. It is a concept album based on the book A Clockwork Orange. The album was recorded at Trama Studios in São Paulo, Brazil, with producer Stanley Soares. Allmusic said about the album, "Personnel changes can have a very negative effect on a band, but Sepultura have maintained their vitality all these years — and that vitality is alive and well on the superb A-Lex." [36]

The band was one of the featured musical guests at the Latin Grammy Awards of 2008 on November 13. They performed a cover of "The Girl from Ipanema" and "We've Lost You" from their album A-Lex.[37] The 9th annual Latin Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and aired the video on Univision.[38]

Sepultura will be part of the Summer Breeze Open Air heavy metal festival in Germany. The festival will take place in Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria and will feature over 50 bands and draw around 40,000 attendees. The festival is held between August 19-21. [39]

Band members





  • Anonymous (May 2003). Beneath the Remains. In: A Megaton Hit Parade: The All-Time Thrash Top 20. Terrorizer #109, page 35.
  • Barcinski, André & Gomes, Silvio (1999). Sepultura: Toda a História. São Paulo: Ed. 34. ISBN 85-7326156-0
  • Colmatti, Andréa (1997). Sepultura: Igor Cavalera. Modern Drummer Brasil, 6, 18-26, 28-30.
  • Hinchliffe, James (December 2006). Beneath the Remains. In: Death Metal|The DM Top 40. Terrorizer #151, page 54.
  • Lemos, Anamaria (1993). Caos Desencanado. Bizz, 98, 40-45.
  • Schwarz, Paul (2005). Morbid Visions. In: The First Wave. Terrorizer, 128, 42.
  • Sepultura (1996). Roots. [CD]. New York, NY: Roadrunner Records. The 25th Anniversary Series (2-CD Reissue, 2005).
  • Thoroddsen, Arnar. Dimery, Robert. ed. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Quintet Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5. 


  1. ^ a b c d Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 17.
  2. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 28.
  3. ^ a b c Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 16.
  4. ^ Darzin, Daina (1994-05-05). "Sepultura: Chaos A.D.". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  5. ^ a b Haagsma, Robert (1993). "Sepultura". Aardschok / Metal Hammer. Retrieved 2008-05-03.  Archived at
  6. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, pages 89 & 90.
  7. ^ a b "Focus on chaos of the carrion kind". Roadrunner Records. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  8. ^ Rivadavia, Ed. "((( Sepultura > Biography )))". Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ Colmatti 1997, page 22.
  10. ^ "Sepultura - Dados Históricos" (in Portuguese). Dicionário Cravo Albin de Música Popular Brasileira. Instituto Cultural Cravo Albin. Retrieved 2008-08-07. "O grupo já vendeu 15 milhões de cópias de seus 11 discos, por todo o mundo." 
  11. ^ "Les certifications Albums - Année 1994". Musique sur Disque en France (SNEP). Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  12. ^ "Les certifications Albums - Année 1997". Musique sur Disque en France (SNEP). Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  13. ^ "Aria Charts - Accreditations - 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  14. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, pages 109 & 143.
  15. ^ "Gold and Platinum - Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  16. ^ "Sepultura - Dante XXI Certified Gold in Cyprus". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2009. 
  17. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 143.
  18. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 14.
  19. ^ Chirazi, Steffan (2005). "The Roots of Sepultura", p. 13 [CD booklet]. Album notes for Roots by Sepultura. New York, New York: Roadrunner Records.
  20. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 19.
  21. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 26.
  22. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 21.
  23. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 28.
  24. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 49.
  25. ^ Terrorizer #109 (2003), page 35 (author unknown)
  26. ^ Hinchliffe 2006, page 54
  27. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Billboard Music Charts. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  28. ^ Barcinski & Gomes 1999, page 131.
  29. ^
  30. ^ Rock Sound Issue 15576:pg 56. Sepultura: what really happened in London?
  31. ^
  32. ^ Smith, Kerry L. (2001-03-20). "((( Nation > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  33. ^ Henderson, Alex (2003-08-26). "((( Roorback > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ "There will be no Sepultura reunion i2007". 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  36. ^ Henderson, Alex (2009-01-27). "((( A-Lex > Review )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  37. ^ "Sepultura Performs at Latin Grammy Awards; Video Available". Roadrunner Records. 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  38. ^ "Sepultura to Perform New Song at Latin Grammy Awards in Houston". Roadrunner Records. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  39. ^ "Summer Breeze Festival". Metal Call-Out. February 10, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2010. 

External links

Simple English

Sepultura is a thrash metal/death metal/groove metal band from Brazil that sold over 15 milions albums worldwide. The brothers Max and Igor Cavalera started it in Belo Horizonte in 1984.


  • Andreas Kisser - guitar (1986-)
  • Derrick Green - vocals, guitar (1997-)
  • Paulo Jr. - bass guitar (1984-)
  • Jean Dolabella - drums (2006-)
  • Max Cavalera - vocals, guitar (1984-1996)
  • Igor Cavalera - drums (1984-2006)
  • Jairo Guedes - guitar (1984-1986)


  • Bestial Devastation EP (1985)
  • Morbid Visions (1986)
  • Schizophrenia (1987)
  • Beneath the Remains (1989)
  • Arise (1991)
  • Chaos A.D. (1993)
  • Roots (1996)
  • Against (1998)
  • Nation (2001)
  • Revolusongs EP (2002)
  • Roorback (2003)
  • Live in São Paulo (2005)
  • Dante XXI (2006)
  • A-Lex (2009)

Other websites

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