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Album Review: "Chaos Ad" by Brazilian Death & Thrash Metal Band Sepultura

Updated on April 21, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

This album for Brazil's Sepultura was very influential

Sepultura, Brazil’s best known death and thrash metal band does not get enough credit for the work that they did through the early 1990’s. Their 1993 album Chaos AD is another solid release bringing attention to many of the world’s biggest social problems through the lyrics. However the album is not much different musically than their 1991 album Arise. Is Chaos AD as good as Arise is? Maybe not but as we go through the musical journey of writing about a band that has solidified their status as Brazil’s most famous band, some of you may think differently.

At least Sepultura is Brazil’s best death/thrash metal band at least of the last 30+ years. They would go from elite status to their weakest point in ten years’ time with their 2003 album Roorback. But the Max Cavalera era is considered the band’s strongest years and I wouldn’t disagree with that.

Note: I do not consider Roorback to be the weakest moment musically for Sepultura anymore but does it really compare to the greatness of Chaos A.D.? To make a long story short, no it is not better than this album.

What is the Difference Between Chaos A.D. & Earlier Sepultura Albums?

By this point in their career, there is a slight stylistic difference in this album. It is that the riffs are not alike the ones found in Arise and the drumming is not as fast. Chaos A.D. has a pace that is slower though Sepultura has not abandoned the heavy style of its music.

Sepultura's Chaos AD front album cover

Source

Analysis of the Songs Refuse/Resist, Territory, and Slave New World

The first two songs Refuse/Resist and Territory are songs that describe what can happen if a country is chaotic and embroiled in conflicts that they should not even be in. I can understand the vocals of Max Cavalera pretty well even though his vocals sound almost like a death metal vocalist. In some countries, the population is brainwashed and given the poor information to manage their anger. War for the acquisition of territory always leads to outcomes that are not positive for the country that wants to conquer other nations and steal their land. The next song called Slave New World is about the fact that sometimes our own worst enemy is the thoughts that we think. It is our job to recognize these useless and destructive thoughts and to get rid of them.

Just like the previous album Arise, the first two songs of Chaos AD are two of the strongest songs to start off an album.

We revisit this album over 26 years later and the first solo in Refuse/Resist is pretty good in spite of the distorted lead guitar.

The official music video for the song Territory

The importance of the song Amen

The song Amen actually has a positive message if we really analyze the lyrics from a closer point of view. The song’s message is about asking GOD for forgiveness when we have sinned and these bad visions go through our heads.

"Biotech is Godzilla"

Biotech is Godzilla is more than just a fast song

The fast song called Biotech is Godzilla has always been one of my favorite songs from this album not just because of the speed in it. The song criticizes these large corporations that do not care of people get sick or die. Their main goal is profits over people. The song also brings attention to the spread of AIDS because of technology being in the wrong hands.

How Are the Other Songs in Chaos A.D.?

The song called Nomad has one of Sepultura’s most memorable riffing along with shouts of the word Nomad by Cavalera. We who are not as Others is a repetitive, heavy song that is the weakest song in this album. Manifest is a song about police brutality in Brazil. I’ve listened to this album many times since it was released and it is still not as good as the band’s previous album Arise. However, the album was a solid one even for 1993 standards. There is a cover performance of the New Model Army called The Hunt. Nomad is a song that starts with an alarm or buzzer type of sound before it transfers into a very heavy and slow riff.

How Good of an Album is 1993's Chaos AD?

I guess the question on the minds of some fans might be “is Chaos AD a better album than Sacred Reich’s album Independent?" First of all the albums are of a different style. And if we wanted to compare the two albums, maybe Chaos AD would be slightly better because the worst song in this album isn’t as bad as the weakest song in the album Independent. How high of a score would Chaos AD really get? I would say that it is slightly weaker than 1991’s Arise and so Chaos AD would get a very respectable score of 85 out of 100 points.


"The Hunt"

Some Interesting Facts About Chaos A.D.

Although you don’t normally see something like this in all album reviews, Chaos A.D. is an interesting album for several reasons. Here are some of them:

  • Chaos A.D. did pretty well on the Billboard 200 musical charts reaching #32.
  • The beginning of the song Refuse/Resist is the utero recording of Max’s son Zyon’s heartbeat.
  • The song called Kaiowas inspired by a Brazilian Indian tribe Kaiowas that lived in the rain forest.

The song called Nomad (different version)

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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