Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, the band was a major force in the thrash metal and groove metal genres during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments drawing influence from alternative metal, world music, nu metal, hardcore punk and industrial metal.
Sepultura has had several changes in its lineup since its formation, with Max and Igor Cavalera departing in 1996 and 2006, respectively. Sepultura’s current lineup consists of vocalist Derrick Green, guitarist Andreas Kisser, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande. Since Igor Cavalera’s departure in 2006, there have been no original members left in the band. Paulo Jr., who has been a member of Sepultura since 1985, is the only member to appear on every release. Kisser, who replaced Jairo Guedz in 1987, has played on all of the band’s studio albums, except for their debut Morbid Visions (1986) and the split Bestial Devastation (1985).
Sepultura has released fourteen studio albums to date, the latest being Machine Messiah (2017). Their most successful records are Arise (1991), Chaos A.D. (1993) and Roots (1996). Sepultura has sold over three million units in the United States and almost 20 million worldwide, gaining multiple gold and records around the globe.
Sepultura’s early influences were heavy metal groups such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Celtic Frost and Slayer, and death metal bands like Possessed and Death. Andreas Kisser affirmed that “without Slayer, Sepultura would never be possible”.
Sepultura’s music comes in a wide range of heavy metal musical styles. The band has been described mostly as thrash metal and death metal. Another genre the band has been commonly categorized under is groove metal. The band’s early music has sometimes been described as black metal. The band later on started experimenting elements of other musical genres such as hardcore punk, industrial metal, alternative metal, world music and nu metal.
MTV has called Sepultura the most successful Brazilian heavy metal band in history and “perhaps the most important heavy metal band of the ’90s”. In 1993, Robert Baird of Phoenix New Times wrote that the band played “machine-gun-tempo mayhem” and that the members “love to attack organized religion and repressive government”.
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