MAX CAVALERA Says SEPULTURA's 'Chaos A.D.' Album Was 'A Defining Moment In Metal'

February 26, 2023

Former SEPULTURA and current SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera spoke to Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire", about the 30th anniversary of SEPULTURA's landmark fifth album, "Chaos A.D." The 53-year-old Brazilian-born musician, who spent much of the last seven years celebrating the 20th anniversary of SEPULTURA's "Roots" and 30th anniversary of "Beneath The Remains" and "Arise", respectively, on tour all over the world, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Those albums, to me, they're kind of like kids. I like to celebrate their birthdays. I almost feel like I need to buy a cake and have a real birthday party on the day that the thing came out.

"Nah, I think we celebrate through the music, 'cause we're doing all these cool tours of celebrating the music," he continued. "Of course I'm not saying we're gonna do a 'Chaos A.D.' one, but if it happens, it'll be really cool. This year is also 25 years of [the debut album from] SOULFLY, and those are two really close-to-my-heart records, both of them. 'Chaos A.D.' opens with [my son] Zyon's heartbeat. It's a very special record. It's almost like a defining moment in metal, one of those records that kind of broke the mold, how metal can be. Because before 'Chaos A.D.' everything was super fast and aggressive, and I think with 'Chaos A.D.' we showed there's another way to make aggressive music, that's a little bit slower and more groove oriented, with stuff like 'Territory' and 'Slave New World' and 'Refuse/Resist'.

"I'm super proud of those records — super proud," Max added. "Let's see what happens. I don't have [anything] concrete yet. Right now I'm just celebrating them like everybody else — just enjoy that they exist in my life, and very happy that I got to be part of making records like that."

SEPULTURA was founded in 1983 by the brothers Max and Igor Cavalera with Wagner Lamounier and Jairo Guedes Braga (known professionally as Jairo Guedz). Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. joined just a few short months later and in 1987, with the departure of Jairo and addition of guitarist Andreas Kisser, the solid lineup of SEPULTURA was final. The band quickly became an influential force in heavy metal music thanks to its dynamic studio recordings and intense live performances.

The band was in the midst of a creative and commercial peak in 1993 when it released "Chaos A.D." with Max on vocals and guitar, Andreas on guitar, Paulo on bass, and Igor on drums. The record sonically sees the band transcend from their thrashing death metal aesthetic into a more eclectic output, showcasing groove-oriented paces, incorporating moody riffs, industrial soundscapes and even introducing hardcore punk elements throughout the record. With protest songs like "Refuse/ Resist" and the Jello Biafra-penned "Biotech Is Godzilla" spouting conspiracy theories, the politically charged lyrics aided in "Chaos A.D." becoming a breakthrough album for the band worldwide.

Although SEPULTURA has maintained a diehard fanbase in all parts of the world throughout the band's four-decade history, "Roots" and "Chaos A.D." were by far SEPULTURA's most commercially successful, having both been certified gold in the U.S. for sales in excess of five hundred thousand copies.

Regarding "Chaos A.D."'s visual representation, Max previously described its conception thusly: "'Chaos A.D.' was commissioned through Michael Whelan [whom] we already used on two albums before — 'Beneath The Remains' and 'Arise' — but 'Beneath The Remains' and 'Arise' were already existing paintings, and 'Chaos A.D.' was a brand new painting that was commissioned by us to Michael Whelan to create based on the name of the album. We gave it to him, and he came up with the body bag with the money upside down and all the electronic stuff going through the body bag and I think it was really cool."

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