Brazilian thrash metal institution Sepultura (Portuguese for grave) was formed in 1984 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera. Early on, the Cavalera brothers favored mainstream influences such as Iron Maiden, Motörhead, AC/DC, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne, but changed musical direction on discovering acts such as Venom, Kreator, Sodom, Metallica, Exodus and Exciter.
After a year of lineup shifts, Sepultura by summer 1985 consisted of Max Cavalera (guitar and vocals), Igor Cavalera (drums), Paulo Jr. (bass guitar), and Jairo Guedes (lead guitar). Debut split EP Bestial Devastation was quickly followed in 1986 by debut album Morbid Visions. Original song “Troops Of Doom” attracted radio airplay, and both releases are highly regarded today as early milestones in death metal.
For next album Schizophrenia, Guedes left and was replaced by São Paulo guitarist Andreas Kisser; the album was a critical success and led to a deal with Roadrunner Records that enabled Sepultura to reach a much larger audience. 1989 album Beneath the Remains is widely regarded as one of the all-time-great thrash albums and was supported with a lengthy U.S./European tour. By 1991 release Arise, Sepultura had become one of the world’s most critically acclaimed metal bands.
Sepultura varied from thrash/death metal for 1993 album Chaos A.D., which showed industrial and hardcore punk elements and helped established groove metal as a genre while achieving greater recognition for the band beyond thrash fans. 1996 album Roots continued this experimentation with indigenous Brazilian sounds, traditional thrash and slower down-tuned metal.
At the height of the group’s popularity, however, Max Cavalera left Sepultura in late 1996 over a management dispute. U.S. vocalist Derrick Green joined in 1997 for subsequent albums Against (1998), Nation (2001), Revolusongs (2002), Roorback (2003), Live in São Paulo (2005) and Dante XXI (2006).