Monday, September 20, 2010


Biography :

Sepultura (Portuguese for "grave") is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte, formed in 1984. The band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and ultimately groove metal realms during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments melding nu metal, hardcore punk, industrial music and extreme metal.

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

History :

Formation and Morbid Visions (1984–1986)

Sepultura was formed in 1984 in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The names of the founder members have been lost, although Wagner Lamounier (a.k.a. Antichrist, later on Sarcófago) is said to be one of the founder members. Later on that same year, the brothers Max and Igor Cavalera joined the band. They were the impoverished sons of Vânia, a model, and Graciliano, a well-to-do Italian diplomat whose fatal heart attack left his family in financial ruin. Graciliano's death deeply affected his sons, providing them the impetus to enter a band, for Max heard Black Sabbath's Vol. IV at that very same day. They chose "Sepultura" as the group's name after Max Cavalera was translating the lyrics of the Motörhead song "Dancing on Your Grave".

The brothers' early likes included early heavier groups such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. They also enjoyed popular heavy metal and hard rock artists of the early 1980s, such as Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, AC/DC, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne. They would travel to a record shop in São Paulo that mixed tapes of the latest records by American rock-metal bands. 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. ”

From then on the Cavaleras rapidly started listening to bands such as Kreator, Sodom, Metallica, Exodus and Exciter. By 1984, they had dropped out of school.

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.. 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.

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. It was self-produced and recorded in just two days. The band recorded their first debut full-length album, Morbid Visions, in August 1986. It contained their first hit, "Troops of Doom," which attracted some media attention and convinced the band to relocate to São Paulo. It is widely considered as one of the first pure death metal albums. It was initially released in the United States on New Renaissance Records, a record label owned by Ann Boleyn. New Renaissance Records was heavily criticized by the media for signing and promoting Sepultura.

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, 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. Schizophrenia was an improvement in production and performance. It also became a minor critical sensation across Europe and America while the two LPs became sought-after imports. The band sent tapes to America that made radio playlists at a time when they were struggling to book gigs since club owners were afraid to book them due to their style. They gained attention from Roadrunner Records who signed the band and released the album internationally without seeing the band.

This stylistic change and critical success was cemented by the band's third studio album, Beneath the Remains in 1989. The album was recorded in a rustic studio in Rio de Janeiro while the band communicated through translators with the American producer Scott Burns. It was an immediate success and became known in thrash circles as a miniclassic on the order of Slayer's Reign in Blood. It is hailed by Terrorizer magazine as one of the all-time top 20 thrash metal albums, as well as a gaining a place in their all-time top 40 death metal records. Allmusic gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5 and said, "The complete absence of filler here makes this one of the most essential death/thrash metal albums of all time. A long European and American tour that followed furthered the band's reputation. 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. The band filmed its first video for the single "Inner Self". In spite of their success at the time, the band members were still very limited English speakers.

One of the first places the band played material from their fourth album, Arise, was in front of more than 100,000 people at the Rock in Rio II festival in January 1989. Sepultura moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1990 and obtained new management. They began recording material for the album with Burns at 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 first single "Dead Embryonic Cells" was a success, and the title track gained additional attention when its video was banned by MTV America due to its apocalyptic religious imagery. The album was critically acclaimed and their first to chart on the Billboard 200, reaching #119. Max Cavalera married the band's manager, Gloria Bujnowski.

In 1992, Sepultura was part of two major tours: Helmet/Ministry and Alice in Chains/Ozzy Osbourne. Reflecting on their past in Brazil at the time, Max Cavalera said: "Traveling on trains. Getting beat up by cops. Sleeping behind the stage. It's part of growing up. It's part of the nature of this stuff. If you don't have that kind of background, you can't be a band like us."

Chaos A.D. and Roots (1993–1996)

Sepultura's fifth album, Chaos A.D., was released in 1993. It saw a departure from their death/thrash metal style, mixing it with industrial and hardcore punk elements. In its review of the album, Allmusic gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 and wrote that, "Chaos A.D. ranks as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time."

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.

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. Allmusic gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 and said, "Roots consolidates Sepultura's position as perhaps the most distinctive, original heavy metal band of the 1990s."

Later that year, the band played on the Castle Donington Monsters of Rock main stage alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Biohazard and Fear Factory as a three piece after Max had left the site earlier that day following the death of his stepson Dana. 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 (1996–1997)

Even today, the reasons behind Sepultura's infamous separation with Max Cavalera remain unknown. 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 on stage

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. 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. Allmusic gave the album 3 stars out of 5 and said, "As Green scrapes the lining of his vocal chords through the brash, impassioned tracks, he's singing about more than just "one nation, Sepulnation"; he's suggesting something bigger, something worth shouting about and fighting for." 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." 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 gave the album 4 stars out of 5 and said, "...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."

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 (2006–2010)

Sepultura 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 gave the album 3.5 stars out of 5 and said that, "Overall, Dante XXI is easily one of Sepultura's strongest releases to feature Green on vocals."

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. 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 gave the album 4 stars out of 5 and said, "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."

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. The 9th annual Latin Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and aired the video on Univision.

Sepultura are currently on the A-Lex World Tour. Sepultura supported Metallica on January 30 and January 31, 2010 at Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil. The two concerts were attended by 60,000 people. The band is planning to film a concert DVD in 2010. Sepultura played at Kucukciftlik Park, Istanbul, on April 27th, 2010. On August 8th 2010 they will visit the UK to play at the Hevy Music Festival near Folkestone.


On July 6, 2010, it was announced that Sepultura have inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records, and will release their first album for the label in 2011. According to guitarist Andreas Kisser, the band has already started writing new material and will be prepared to go into the studio at the end of 2010.

Musical style

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, one reporter wrote that the band played "machine-gun-tempo mayhem" but that the members "love to attack organized religion and repressive government".

Sepultura's music has been described as death metal, thrash metal, groove metal, alternative metal, black metal, doom metal, and speed metal. The group have been credited for setting the blueprints for metalcore and nu metal.

Band Members :

Current Members :

* Derrick Green – Lead Vocals, Occasional Rhythm Guitar (1997–present)
* Andreas Kisser – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals (1987–present)
* Paulo Jr. – Bass (1983–present)
* Jean Dolabella – Drums, Percussion (2006–present)

Former Members :

* Jairo Guedes – Lead Guitar (1983–1987)
* Max Cavalera – Lead Vocals, rhythm guitar (1985–1996), lead guitar (1983–1985)
* Igor Cavalera – Drums, Percussion (1983–2006)
* Wagner Lamounier – Vocals (1983–1985)

Touring :

* Roy Mayorga – drums, percussion (2006)

Discography :

* Sepultura - Morbid Visions (1986)
* Sepultura - Schizophrenia (1987)
* Sepultura - Beneath the Remains (1989)
* Sepultura - Arise (1991)
* Sepultura - Chaos A.D. (1993)
* Sepultura - Roots (1996)
* Sepultura - Blood-Rooted (1997)
* Sepultura - Against (1998)
* Sepultura - Nation (2001)
* Sepultura - Under a Pale Grey Sky (2002)
* Sepultura - Roorback (2003)
* Sepultura - Dante XXI (2006)
* Sepultura - A-Lex (2009)

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