Members: Paulo Jr., Andreas Kisser, Derrick Green, Jean Dolabella
Genre: Heavy metal
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Albums: Morbid Visions (1986); Schizophrenia (1987); Beneath the Remains (1989); Arise (1991); Chaos A.D. (1993); Roots (1996); Against (1998); Nation (2001); Roorback (2003); Dante XXI (2006); A-Lex (2009)
Hits: "Roots Bloody Roots"
Other: Brazil's most successful heavy metal band.
Since forming in the mid 1980s, the Brazilian-based band Sepultura has been a trailblazer in the niche genre of thrash metal, and ultimately carved out its own place in the form of groove metal. With a long list of popular albums and a rabid fanbase across the globe, the band has proven to be one of the most innovative groups of the last 25 years.
Sepultura was formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, and despite a number of early lineup changes, was able to release its debut album, Morbid Visions, in 1986. The record was not well received by critics but caused a stir due to its heavily satanic themes, which endeared them to the heavy metal crowd. Despite the lukewarm reception of their debut, Sepultura's follow up, 1987's Schizophrenia, was more popular. There was a distinct change in sound that began to establish the band as a member of the thrash metal crowd, and the record earned much more praise from critics and fans alike.
Encouraged by their quick growth, Sepultura released another album in 1989 with Beneath the Remains. The record marked a drastic improvement over their first two efforts in almost every facet - and it paid off. Fans of thrash metal still consider it a classic of the genre, and its popularity resulted in an extensive European and North American tour.
While it seemed like they had reached the pinnacle of success, 1991's Arise changed that notion. The record had relatively high mainstream success and even entered the Billboard 200. The record received widespread critical acclaim, and included a number of popular tracks including "Dead Embryonic Cells" and "Under Siege (Regnum Irae)."
The '90s proved to be a significant decade for Sepultura, as the band released a string of popular albums including 1993's Chaos A.D. and 1996's Roots, which was an influential metal album for its heavy Brazilian influence. It also achieved substantial mainstream success, peaking at 27 on the Billboard 200.
By the later part of the decade, one of the founding brothers, Max, had left the band but Sepultura continued anyway. The group has been releasing new material with a new lead singer at the helm. Their most recent album, 2009's A-Lex
, was not a commercial success, but a favorite among critics. Based on the novel A Clockwork Orange
, it proves that Sepultura has not stopped pushing the boundaries of heavy metal.