Formed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1984, Sepultura swiftly became major players in the burgeoning thrash metal underground. With a sound that was as inventive and exuberant as it was raw and primitive, the band shattered preconceptions by planting South America firmly on the metal map, as early albums like “Morbid Visions”, “Schizophrenia” and “Beneath The Remains” helped to shape the sound of this new, brutal strain of heavy music. With a dogged devotion to touring anywhere and everywhere, Sepultura steadily built up one of the most dedicated fan bases on the planet, and while the ‘90s caused many metal bands to struggle creatively and commercially, the Brazilians went from strength to strength: both 1993’s “Chaos AD” and its groundbreaking follow-up “Roots” in 1996 were instant classics and have since proved to be hugely influential on several generations of metal musicians.
The departure of frontman and founder member Max Cavalera in 1997 could easily have derailed a less focused outfit, but the recruitment of vocalist Derrick Green later that same year proved to be a masterstroke. The last two decades have seen Sepultura evolve, diversify and thrive, releasing a steady succession of devastating records that have added great depth and diversity to the band’s illustrious catalogue. From the scattershot euphoria of Green’s first album “Against” in 1998 and the snarling groove barrage of 2003’s “Roorback” to the gleaming, riff-driven futurism of 2011’s “Kairos” and the Ross Robinson-produced mutant extremity of the widely acclaimed “The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart”, released in 2013, Sepultura’s progress has been perpetual and their artistic integrity impeccable. Ever more revered as a destructive and exhilarating live band, the current lineup of Derrick Green, guitarist Andreas Kisser, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande recently celebrated Sepultura’s 30th anniversary with an unrelenting world tour that confirmed beyond doubt that the Brazilian crew are on the form of their lives right now.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Sepultura are poised to release an album that promises to once again reaffirm the band’s status as standard bearers for heavy music. “Machine Messiah” is not just the band’s 14th studio album – a remarkable enough feat in itself – but it is also quite simply the most complete and absorbing album the band have made in the Derrick Green era. Thrillingly broad in musical scope but always firmly rooted in the spirit and fire of no-nonsense heavy metal, it is clearly an album that the band have crafted with great love, passion and determination.