For the first decade and change of their existence, Sepultura fronted by Max Cavelera were trailblazers through multiple genres and went on to inspire a generation of bands in the 90s.
Sepultura started out in death metal, and slowly became more influenced by thrash. Through these early albums, the band became one of the driving forces in a new wave of death metal. But at the turn of the 90s, starting with ‘Arise’, the band would really start to experiment with the sound they had perfected.
It featured hints of punk and industrial, while also the first signs of the Brazilian heritage they would later embrace. The slower riffs and rhythm also laid the groundwork for what would become groove metal.
In 1993, on Chaos A.D., Sepultura would finally lean all the way in to the groove metal sound, to great success, even being named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest metal albums of all time.
But it was what followed that was the true game changer.
In 1996, Sepultura released ‘Roots’, perhaps their most influential album. On it, they further mastered the groove metal sound, while including elements of alt metal and nu metal, with downtuned guitars and Ross Robinson production. This was also the album where the band put their Brazilian heritage truly front and centre. The entirety of ‘Roots’ heavily incorporates the music and instrument of the region and its history.
Throughout this run, Sepultura managed to invent and/or reinvent multiple subgenres of metal, and in doing so created a lasting legacy, with countless bands inspired and influenced. Nowhere is this more the case than with ‘Roots’, which to this day is considered a true monolith in the mid 90s metal scene, casting a shadow so long it is still felt today.