Archives For sepultura

I first started working on this series about four years ago. It has been through many revisions, rewrites, and re-visitations since then.

But here’s the thing: metal history doesn’t stop!

So let us consider this coverage of more “recent” events (since 2010 or so) as a bonus.

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“Don’t believe what you see
Don’t believe what you read.” – “Propaganda,” from the album Chaos A.D.

Max Cavalera of Sepultura should have been a torch bearer at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Metal is as emblematic of Brazil as is Pele or the Amazon,” a passionate fan told Sam Dunn in Global Metal.

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It’s incredible how mass tastes in music can change so quickly. 1991 was a year of absolute sea change in this regard, and metal wasn’t immune. Some would argue that the genre came of age in the 1990s, giving rise to a beautiful time of rich experimentation. 80s synths and big hair were out; grunge and plaid were in. For metal, thrash, British, and other “classic” metal were out (temporarily), and more extreme/advanced subgenres like death metal, black metal, and prog metal were in.

So, what exactly happened to thrash?

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Thrash metal became the go-to form of underground metal in the 1980s as a reaction to glam metal in the United States, but its reach would extend far beyond the New York and Bay Area scenes that spawned them in North America. A worldwide thrash movement began to develop in the 1980s, featuring a different spin on the American thrash metal movement epitomized by the Big Four and others.

Bear in mind that American thrash metal was inspired by songs like Black Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe.” Although the international scene is still broadly considered to be “thrash,” it sounded a bit different from what one may traditionally think of as thrash. In many cases, the speed and aggression of thrash metal outside the U.S. is turned up even further to the point where it may not be death metal, but it sure is close. Extreme metal scenes in continental Europe and elsewhere are more likely to take influence from the bands in this section of metal history than from the Big Four.

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“I don’t think we should imitate the West; I think we should have our own thing,” Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera says to Sam Dunn during an interview in the desert in “Global Metal.”

His statement rings powerfully true on “Chaos A.D.,” with Sepultura’s overt Brazilian influences coming to the forefront of their special brand of thrash metal. Tribal instruments and rhythms make memorable appearances, and they contribute to a wonderful, infectious energy throughout the record.

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