Classic Album Review – Sepultura “Chaos A.D.” 1993

  After touring for a year on Arise, Sepultura had proved everything that needed proving about their ability to provide world-class technical thrash metal. To follow this up, they decided to say less about what they could do  and more about who they really were, which at the time meant multicultural anarchists with a decidedly political axe to grind. If Arise was an assault rifle of riffs, Chaos A.D. is a pipe-bomb explosion of punk aggression.

Good bands inhabit their genres, great ones invent their own. In the tribal drumming of “Refuse/Resist”, the acoustic loneliness of “Kaiowas” and the raw protest music of “Manifest” Sepultura helped to forge a global metal movement well away from the concerns of elite white culture. They brought producer Andy Wallace along with them, and one of the best decisions he’s ever made was to let them run with it. To experience this record is to be invited into a world of pain, poverty and oppression tempered by a powerful tribal solidarity with no interest whatsoever in papering over anyone’s cultural complicity. Chaos A.D. is a record that hates your guts for needing to hear it. It will stare you in the face and you will look away, only to follow in its wake. 

Why? Because it shows the brilliance of the musicians behind it; it’s heavy and groovy as hell. Because it looks ahead to the tribal freak-out that is Roots; without this album as a primer you could not even handle the raw power of the next. Because the best punk album of the 90’s was by a Brazilian thrash metal band. 9 out of 10 

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