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3.87 | 66 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1993

Filed under Groove Metal


1. Refuse/Resist (3:20)
2. Territory (4:47)
3. Slave New World (2:55)
4. Amen (4:27)
5. Kaiowas (3:43)
6. Propaganda (3:33)
7. Biotech Is Godzilla (1:52)
8. Nomad (4:59)
9. We Who Are Not as Others (3:42)
10. Manifest (4:49)
11. The Hunt (3:59)
12. Clenched Fist (4:57)
13. Polícia (Titãs cover) **
13. Chaos B.C. * (5:12)
14. Kaiowas *(Tribal Jam) (3:47)
15. Territory *(Live) (4:48)
16. Amen/Inner Self *(Live) (8:42)

* bonus track
** bonus track for the brazilian version only

Total Time: 69:32


- Max Cavalera / Vocals, rhythm guitar, 4-string guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion
- Igor Cavalera / drums, percussion
- Andreas Kisser / lead guitar, 12-strings viola, acoustic guitar
- Paulo Jr. / bass, percussion

About this release

Release date: October 19, 1993
Label: Epic Records

Producer: Andy Wallace
Re-released in 1996 with bonus tracks.

Thanks to CCVP, Stooge, tupan, adg211288, Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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Some time after the release of their landmark album Arise, the well of thrash metal riffs that had powered Sepultura’s last few efforts abruptly ran dry, and the Brazilian pioneers briefly adopted a style that was far slower and groove-oriented than the scene was used to at the time. That Chaos A.D. was the band’s first big step into the mainstream probably isn’t a coincidence, but regardless of how Pantera-influenced it may seem at first, Sepultura’s fifth full-length album remains a classic of the metal genre and a huge influence to this day.

As highly regarded as the trio of Schizophrenia, Beneath the Remains, and Arise are among thrash-heads, Chaos A.D. is undoubtedly the album in which Sepultura really found themselves as a band and forged a sound that really set them apart from the crowd; it’s the first indication that they would be around for the long haul, if you will. The tribal and industrial elements that were introduced on Arise are explored in earnest here, from the famous drum intro to “Refuse/Resist” to the full-fledged acoustic instrumental “Kaiowas”. These are blended quite nicely into the slower compositions, giving the music plenty of room to breathe without sounding forced (a problem people might have with the band’s next album, Roots). There are also a couple of punk-ish tracks in “Biotech is Godzilla” and a cover of New Model Army’s “The Hunt,” which actually sound really good (though Sepultura have always been an excellent cover band, so this shouldn’t be a surprise). This doesn’t completely excuse Chaos A.D. from its absence of great riffs, but the melting pot of different genres makes each and every track well-distinguishable from one another. For this reason, it’s also a pretty easy album to listen to from beginning to end.

What ultimately makes Chaos A.D. a winner in my book is its absolutely impeccable atmosphere. Andy Wallace really did a spectacular job producing this one, but that’s just gravy compared to how Sepultura plays their instruments here. Each song is dark, hulking, and aggressive, and you can just feel the anger flowing through the guitars while Max Cavalera rages on about governmental corruption and censorship; once again, the cover art fits the music like a glove. Andreas Kisser is definitely the MVP of the album, projecting evil and hatred with his six strings, and really making the listener feel like they’re a part of that weird mummification process on the album art (the lead in “Propaganda,” for instance). This is something that just isn’t found on modern groove metal releases (or most groove metal releases, for that matter); clean and polished the album is not, but I think that’s ultimately what makes it so appealing.

While I’m no fan of groove metal, Chaos A.D. is just a solid album in every sense of the word. With its unique combination of world elements, suffocating production, and accessible instrumental work, it’s not only an important stepping stone for Sepultura as a band, but for the genre of metal as a whole. As such, it’s definitely deserving of a place in just about any metalhead’s collection, and continues to stand the test of time as a must-listen collection of tunes.
The Angry Scotsman
Sepultura have great timing.

They manage to jump onto new genre's just early enough to become important figures, (if not pioneers) of it. They did this with death and thrash metal, and with this album they did it yet again. This time they crafted one of the pioneering "groove metal" albums. By this point they were already huge in the metal world, (and as we know their most popular album was still yet to come, soon to jump on the burgeoning alternative metal scene).

With fame what did they do? Mix it up. "Chaos A.D." abandons much of the thrash metal flavor. This is a largely mid tempo album, (with traces of thrash) and emphasis placed on groove rather than technicality in the riffing. The groove element is pushed by the drumming. These are all staples of the groove metal scene. Also, the guitar solos on the album are much more melodic and unusual then their previous shred style.

This album is also when Sepultura, ironically, started to forge their own identity. Their Brazilian heritage was influential on the album, evident in Igor's more tribal drumming style, the very awesome and intriguing "Kaiowas" and more politically charged lyrics, as well as some that hit close to the band personally.

"Refuse/Resist" deals with protest, "Territory" about war over land, "Slave New World" is a bellowing cry against censorship, and also seems to imply Brazil's slave heritage. "Nomad" deals with tribes being forced from their homelands, while "Biotech is Godzilla" deals with biotechnology being used to test diseases on native people, and that the technology is in the wrong hands, (evil money hungry corporations naturally!).

So, the band was striving to be a little more personal. Besides lyrically, they tried to incorporate this in the music as well. Igor's drumming, which is quite fantastic, is a little more "groovy" and tribal influenced and really drives the album. There is some punk influence, (not to mention "The Hunt" a punk cover) to convey the bands energy.

One of the best, and most intriguing songs on the album, is "Kaiowas" an entirely acoustic song, with Igor and Paulo playing percussion. A very awesome song.

Other standouts are "Refuse/Resist", "Territory", "Biotech is Godzilla" which is also the album's most intense song, "Manifest" and "We Who Are Not As Others" which has just slight traces of acoustic guitar in there. However, the rest of the album is a bit dull.

Overall, this is a groove metal album. Mid tempo, groovy riffing and powerful drumming. There is not much thrash, less "metal" solos and a bit of experimentation. Think of this as less intense Pantera. A lot of it awesome, but a good amount drags.

Uninspired? Didn't quite pull "it" together? A bit of both? Regardless, this is a good album, but not a great one. Kudos to Sepultura for wanting to create something distinctly theirs, and get in touch with their roots, but musically this album is just nothing spectacular, overall. Good album, but not great.

Three Stars
I recently rediscovered this album after finding it buried in a mix of old metal albums while I was moving. I don’t know why I hadn’t listened to it in around 3 or 4 years. I guess I thought there was a bigger drop-off in quality between Chaos A.D. and it’s predecessor, Arise. I was slightly mistaken.

Fans of their death/thrash style may be disappointed with this release, as much of the riffing has loosened up with a focus on more of a slow, groove-based style. This is most evident on tracks “Refuse/Resist”, “Amen”, and “Propaganda” among others. In this respect, Chaos A.D. is one of those albums often cited towards inspiring the nu-metal phenomenon of the late 1990s. Even much of the lead guitar, courtesy of Andreas Kisser, is making a shift from more traditional metal lead playing to just about exclusively “noise” based solos. This may upset some purists, but I think they work well within the context of the songs. To my amusement, drummer Igor Cavalera has certainly expanded his sound with more use of tribal percussion and, in general, more inventiveness in his playing.

There is also a rather punk/hardcore influence on certain tracks from the music side, and also in the lyrics as several of the songs tackle various political issues. Even ex-Dead Kennedy Jello Biafra contributes lyrically to the track “Biotech Is Godzilla”, which may be the fastest paced (as well as the shortest) song on the album. “Manifest” also contains some punk-inspired moments, and the cover “The Hunt” certainly sounds like it may have been a pure punk rock song originally.

Oddly enough for a metal album, two of my personal favorite tracks come in the form of “Kaiowas” and “We Who Are Not As Others”. “Kaiowas” is an instrumental piece inspired by a Brazilian tribe that committed mass suicide in a government protest. The track makes marvelous use of percussion and acoustic guitars in a manner that you would not expect from a metal band. “We Who Are Not As Others”, with the title of the song serving as the only lyric, takes rather basic, repetitive guitar and bass patterns, and arranges them rather nicely. Great blend of a chugging, distorted riff, with some of the most melodic guitar on the album.

I’m not as excited about Sepultura in this form as I am with some of their previous stuff, but Chaos A.D. is certainly a great listen on its own. Not essential, but definitely a solid purchase!

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