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Sepultura - Chaos A.D. review


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Band: Sepultura
Album: Chaos A.D.
Release date: August 1993

01. Refuse/Resist
02. Territory
03. Slave New World
04. Amen
05. Kaiowas
06. Propaganda
07. Biotech Is Godzilla
08. Nomad
09. We Who Are Not As Others
10. Manifest
11. The Hunt [New Model Army cover]
12. Clenched Fist
13. Chaos B.C. [Refuse/Resist remix][American re-issue bonus]
14. Kaiowas (Tribal Jam) [American re-issue bonus]
15. Territory [live][American re-issue bonus]
16. Amen/Inner Self [live][American re-issue bonus]
17. Policia [Titãs cover] [bonus]
18. Inhuman Nature [Final Conflict cover] [bonus]

"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.

Drummer Igor Cavalera could be the MVP of this album; his percussion efforts, however they were tracked, sound huge. You can clearly hear each individual rapid-fire hit of the tom-toms. This relatively loud mix fits right in with Sepultura's monumental riffs and Max's Third World growl to create the signature sound of Brazilian metal. In fact, it was this album that marked Sepultura's transition from a talented but straightforward thrash metal group with a lot of potential to the pioneers of "world metal."

Not only was Chaos A.D. Sepultura's most successful album to date at the time, it is also one of their most political. "Refuse/Resist" tells of the ravages of war, while "Manifest" addresses the brutality of the Sao Paulo Police (apparently they massacred 200 inmates in a raid on a prison in October 1992). Graphic black and white photos of both themes fill the album jacket along with this dedication for the song "Kaiowas":

"This song is inspired by the Brazilian Indian tribe called 'Kaiowas,' who live in the rainforest. They committed mass suicide as a protest against the government, who were trying to take away their land and beliefs."

As the first three songs on this album are acknowledged Sepultura classics, I was a bit concerned about a dip in quality after "Slave New World" ended, but that was emphatically not the case, as "Amen" seamlessly keeps the energy up. The themes of dystopia and the seedy underbelly of the modern world are well explored here (as you can see from the cover, depicting a mummified man at the mercy of the inhuman machines).

At the time of writing, violent protests rocked Sepultura's home country, showing that the truth of their observations did not stop with the 1990's. Perhaps because the members of [band[Sepultura[/band] have experienced that clash of the modern world so directly and explicitly in their home country of Brazil, they are able to write about them so effectively. But [band[Sepultura[/band] has shown that this struggle can be overcome with inner strength and defiance, as they send off their fans with the below greeting in the album jacket:

"Thank you to all our fans and friends, from Jakarta to Moscow!....Fuck off: envious, trendy, fake, racist people. Believe in yourself!"

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by Head of Metal | 14.02.2014


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
It was good old times, when Max Cavalera was still brutally screaming in Sepultura, and the Brazilian band strongly came on the international scene. The four men from Belo Horizonte could foresee a glorious future after Beneath the Remains and the huge Arise in 1990. It was the time when Sepultura was used to scream its rage against the Brazilian society that was oppressing the most penniless.

published 19.09.2003 | Comments (11)


Comments: 6   Visited by: 48 users
14.02.2014 - 05:25
This album is pretty good but I don't think anything will top their "straightforward thrash" era, for me anyways. nice review.
14.02.2014 - 06:10
Account deleted
Written by deadone on 14.02.2014 at 05:51

Innovative riffs? Like the Slayer riffs they copied for Schizophrenia?

And it's not Thrash Metal. No-one would debate that. Still doesn't make it bad.

As for lack of progression, it was radically different from their other stuff of the day. I certainly didn't hear anything like Kaiowas, Manifest or Biotech Is Godzilla on anything before.

They also expand on some of the wierder stuff on Arise e.g. the wierd bits on Amen.

Also Sepultura were trend whores from the start so Chaos AD shouldn't have come as a surprise.

So we could say: "Black Funeral doesn't like this album cause it goes away from their Thrash stuff of Arise."

Personally I like this album but not anything after. Chaos A.D. had a coherency that Roots didn't. Roots felt unfocused with too many ideas and not enough good execution.

Your're arguing with someone that can barely speak English, and who copied his entire comment from metal archives:
14.02.2014 - 06:22
Account deleted
Written by deadone on 14.02.2014 at 06:20

Damn that made me laugh out loud!


I was wondering why a little Black Metaller was so concerned about this album to write a review! Now I know.

The give-away was when I noticed he couldn't even spell "perfect" or "album" in some comments, but produce immaculate walls of text in others.
10.03.2014 - 12:22
Angelic Storm
I know a lot so-called "thrash purists" dislike this album, but I've always loved it. And the latin American rhythms and instrumentation certainly set it apart from other albums in the genre at the time. It's also their only more experimental album which is good from start to finish, and is way more cohesive than the mess of an album which followed this one. I do prefer "Arise" and "Beneath The Remains" to this album, but it still stands as a great body of work in it's own right.
13.03.2014 - 01:29
Angelic Storm
Written by deadone on 11.03.2014 at 00:09
I totally agree with every bit of this post!

I think this one flows on very well from Arise too - it seems like a natural progression especially when one takes into account changes happening in Metal by 1993.

With "Arise", Sepultura set such a high benchmark for their brand of thrash, that I think to go a more experimental route on the follow up was both the logical, and correct direction to go in. They weren't going to top "Arise" in that particular genre, so changing things up a bit was the sensible thing to do. It was a unique album at the time, and remains a landmark release due to that fact, and there are some genuinely brilliant songs on it too, which still stand up well today.
13.03.2014 - 10:52
Spirit Molecule
spirit molecule
Kaiowas was the first song I ever heard from them, and I was super impressed. I mean, to somehow make metal with tribal rhythms was super cool and I didn't think it was possible.I couldn't stop listening to this album. I think this album iss brilliant. For me it is their best album. Also as a teenager, their 'fuck the system" lyrical themes were quite appealing.

I haven't heard it in ages, so I'm going to go listen to it now
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