74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2000
I find it interesting (and funny) that to some people, the success of an album hinges on whether or not it's "commercially accessible." Metal artists walk a finer edge than most today (except probably for punk artists), in that every _POSSIBLE_ move they could make constitutes selling out. You're a sellout in the metal and punk worlds if: You release a record. Your sound goes too "soft". Your sound changes. You play venues with seats instead of barstools, etc etc.
Sepultura is a case in point. "Chaos AD" is, in my estimation, their finest record. "Refuse/Resist" leads off the album with a ripping-hammer punch that socks you into your seat. "Territory", "Slave New World" and "Nomad" are outstanding songs as well, running the gamut from the slow, heavy trudge to the fast-paced pummeling guitar that was Sepultura's bread and butter for so long.
"Chaos AD" also features Sepultura's first serious exploration of tribal and political issues, with the songs "Kaiowas" (named for a tribe of native South Americans that were all but wiped out) and "Biotech is Godzilla" (co-written by Jello Biafra). "Biotech..." is more than just funny, anyone who knows about the horrors that are foisted upon the working class and poor in South America knows that the song is brutally accurate and sounds a wake-up call to the civilized world.
This is Sepultura's finest work. The collaborations are smooth and well-executed, the songs are well-paced and well written. And yet, to people like my buddy Chael, an enjoyable record is a failure. I don't get that. I KNOW the band wants people to listen, did you ever hear of a band that wanted their records to make people shut them off? Some argue that Sepultura's earlier records were meant for the loyal hardcore audience. The fact is that a truly loyal audience would appreciate their musical growth, realize that stagnation is what comes from never changing your sound, and encourage them to constantly evolve and come up with new things to amaze us with.
Chaos AD was one of these albums, and I suggest you play it until your ears bleed.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2005
Before "Chaos A.D.," Sepultura were a great death metal band that were as important as Slayer. The only problem was that the genre that Sepultura helped create had become very popular by the early 1990's. Bands like Carcass, Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, and Suffocation had formed and Sepultura, even though they made such classics as "Arise," sort of started blending into the crowd, because they were only a little bit different from everybody else.
Even though I don't think that's what the purpose of "Chaos A.D." was, Sepultura's fifth album definitely helped them stand out. In addition to being very experimental and daring, "Chaos A.D." is also one of the band's most creative discs (second only to 1996's "Roots"). The main difference here has to be "Kaiowas." Sepultura had previously flirted with acoustic guitars (like the intro to "Beneath the Remains"), but "Kaiowas" was their first completely acoustic song. This instrumental, which is definitely this group's most gentle and pretty song, was also the first heavy metal song (that I know of) to feature tribal drums. This innovation, which later became a trademark of frontman Max Cavalera, would also be adopted by other metal bands, like Ill Nino. Another experiment Max and Co. delved into is having a guest singer. "Slave New World" features a cameo by Biohazard singer Evan Seinfeld; but his voice is almost indistinguishable from Max's.
Some old-school fans think this is where Max sold out and went mainstream. I strongly disagree. Yes, they added some melody, but most of this disc is still caustic heavy metal. Plus, even though the metal is more punk influenced here than it was before (it isn't as fast as the 1980's Sep albums, and there aren't any monstrous vocals on here), I don't see how this C.D. was a complete change of sound. It's not like Sepultura became a nu-metal band. Finally, "Chaos A.D." was their breakthrough album, but Sep also enjoyed quite a bit of success with the earlier albums "Schizophrenia," "Beneath the Remains," and "Arise" (even if that success was from an underground audience).
Something about this album just grabs me and holds on, keeping my attention focused completely on the song I'm listening to. This whole album is artfully catchy and contagious, interesting, memorable, and all around great.
"Refuse/Resist" is a personal favorite because it is so irresistibly catchy and forcefully heavy. It opens with some booming riffs, which is followed by (what sounds like) tin can drums. It then evolves into a stop-start beat, with punching, groove-y guitars. The deep throated vocals then come on, and the song ends with a good guitar solo (which makes a wah-wah sound in places).
"Territory" has a bouncy little drum solo for the intro, then the guitars kick in and make the beat groove. The guitars then alternate from rhythmic riffing to choppy, staccato riffs, and another, louder, guitar solo is included.
"Amen" has chug and churn, up and down riffs. I enjoy the part of this song when the beat comes down a few decibels and some female vocals sing over the light percussion. The song ends with bobbing riffs and some good, pounding drum work.
The aforementioned "Kaiowas" remains a staple/centerpiece of Sepultura's live shows. The band members play for a little while, then abruptly stop to talk amongst themselves. They finally shut up and play the rest of the song in is entirety. They strum the acoustic guitars fast and the drums thump, but, even still, this is a very pretty, melodic, and atmospheric song. I also enjoy the squawking birds, giving it a rainforest vibe.
"Propaganda" has machine gun riffs which, together with the drums, sound awesome. Another Slayer-esque, careening guitar solo is included, and the song ends with cascading riffs.
"Biotech is Godzilla" has a scorching opening riff, but this song is a highlight because of the tempo changes (before and after the choruses, which are slower) and the catchy shout along: "BIO-TECH!"
"Nomad" has some more stop-start rhythms and riffs, and increasingly fast, heavy, and talented drum work (which becomes especially apparent at the end).
"Chaos A.D." can easily become very addictive. It is a very interesting, brilliant, and an all around amazing album. With this album, Sepultura showed they were great, creative musicians, in addition to being great metalheads. Thus, I recommend this to both new and old school Max fans. Even though I prefer "Beneath the Remains" to this, "Chaos A.D." is definitely one of the best and most innovative things Max has ever done. The bottom line is, like any Sepultura classic, this is essential listening for all metalheads.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2000
Sepultura's first dip into the tribal element of their music is a masterpiece and a half. As soon as the opening track `Refuse/Resist' kicked in I was in love with this album, its a real romper-stomper of a track and also an early version of `Roots Bloody Roots' from the `Roots' album. Its clear this album was a transition point for Sepultura, they still thrash with the best of them but the introduction of tribal drums adds that bit extra flavour. Sepultura were later to plunge more tribal with `Roots' but I felt they dropped the thrash element which is what makes `Chaos AD' so special. The tracks themselves are awesome, no turkeys here. `Territory' continues to rage as hard as the awesome opener and theres plenty of variation to follow. The acoustic `Kaiowas' is certainly a step away from the norm for Sepultura and its pretty good too. Its plain to see this is where Sepultura took a major step away from being `just another thrash metal band' and introduced a bit more experimentation into their style. And Max's vocals are as beautifully aggressive as ever.
If you like the tribal element to this check our the album `Roots', but if its the thrash which appeals more then check out the album before this, `Arise'.
Fast, loud, heavy, thrashy and tribal - this is Sepultura at their peak with all the best elements.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2000
There are four classic sepultura albums, those being arise, beneath the reamains, roots and chaos a.d.. For the thrashers the choice pic is either arise or beneath the reamains, for the trendies who just happened to come across sepultura or heard Jonathan davis was on the record it's roots. I find myself unappealed my the kornish work of roots and although arise and beneath the remains are great cd's chaos a.d. is my personal favorite. Some of the all time sepultura classics are on this disc, including slave new world, refuse/resist, amen, propaganda, biotech is godzilla, clench fist, territory, and nomad. Sepulutura are flawless on this album, the political lyrics, the deep growls of max, the great guitars by andreas, and drums of igor. This is where i feel sepultura reached thier musical hight and released an all time classic.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2003
Sepultura emerged from Brazil in the mid80s as a strong death metal group suffering from poorly produced albums. In 1989 they released Beneath the Remains, a very strong thrash album in the vain of a heavier Metallica. On 1991's ARISE they played great thrash but added some sounds from their native Brazil. In 1993 the boys from Brazil released this hard hitting, masterpiece. They finally play to their full potential and emerge as one of the best bands in metal history. This album & ROOTS are 2 of the best ever metal albums and even surpass Metallica & Slayer. The production is perfect & all of the instruments sound great. Max Cavalera has the best voice in metal, period. He growls powerfully with out it sounding cheesy like most other death metal "singers". His rythmn guitar is also flawless. Plus his lyrics are about injustice, corruption, anger, hate and are much better than the cliche doom and gloom lyrics most Death metal groups bark at you. Igor Cavalera is the best drummer in metal period. NO drummer has his ability to hit so hard and play so fast. On this album he adds lots of little touches instead of the same unrelenting beat his peers are stuck with. Andreas throws in some blistering guitar solos backed up by Paulo's able bass. They begin adding some jungle sounds that will be expanded upon on thier follow up ROOTS.
1. Refuse/Resist. 10/10 Starts off fast, pounding and angry.
2. Territory. 10/10 My favorite song on the album. Great drum start then the band joins the party. Masterpiece.
3. Slave New World. 10/10 Short burst of heavy thrash.
4. Amen. 9/10 Not as fast as the others but great mood and still is very heavy.
5. Kaiowas. 10/10 Nice quiet break then the band plays acoustic guitars with Brazillian drumming. The drumming is outstanding.
6. Propaganda. 9/10 Great song, I love the slow pounding drum solo towards the end.
7. Biotech is Godzilla. 8/10 Silly tittle but short fast song about how the powers that be will use biotechnology for their own greedy needs.
8. Nomad. 8/10 Good song. Igor sure can pound on those drums.
9. We Who Are Not As Others. 8/10 Basically an intrsumental. Tight.
10. Manifest. 10/10 Angry song about a brutal prison massacre in Brazil and the cover up by the government.
11. The Hunt. 9/10 This is a cover song they make their own. Fast and perfect.
12. Clenched Fist. 8/10 Great album closer.
13. Chaos BC. Remix of Refuse/Resist with mixed results.
14. Kaiowas. Recorded with a Brazilian tribe deep in the Rain Forest. Outstanding.
15. Territory (live). It must have been fun to be in the mosh pit for this.
16. Amen/Innerself (live). Great blend of Amen from this album and Innerself from Beneath the Remains.
Sepultura with Max was a great band. They played thrash/death metal better than anyone else while adding great lyrics against the establishment of any government that doesn't take care of its poor citizens. They would only make one more great album before this lineup dissolved. If you are new to Sepultura by all means start here, you can't go wrong. Must have to be a diehard Sepultura fan.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2004
This was my first Sepultura album, and probably the first 'extreme metal' album I ever bought, if memory serves me right. So I guess it has a bit of sentimental attachment, but this is definitely a great metal album, and a highly influential one. (even if most of what it influenced turned out to be crap) Personally, I prefer the previous three Sepultura albums, but, of course, thrash is my favorite metal subgenre, and Sepultura was probably the second best band that the subgenre had to offer. So, your slower, more straight forward groove metal album is unlikely to top those classics, but 'Chaos A.D.' is about as good as that sorta album is gonna get.
People like to say that Sepultura 'sold out' with this album. Of all the times I've heard that a band 'sold out' this is probably the most ridiculous accusation of all. This album was and is devastatingly heavy, and as heavy as anything they released up to this point. Simply put, nothing this heavy could ever be considered a sell-out album. That, and there was nothing like this that was at all popular at the time. This was frickin 1993, not 1999. Still, if you're looking for a thrashing, you're gonna be disappointed. However, they can groove like nobody's business, and Igor lays out some really innovative and interesting rhythms, considering the era when it was made. Andreas goes pretty weird on us with the lead guitar, with lots of shrieking and wailing, but he actually makes it work for once, and the style really fits the whole mood of the album. Max's vocals, which were already quite insane on 'Arise' up the ante here, further justifying his position as perhaps my favorite roarer/howler/shrieker/growler.
Everything on here is at least fairly interesting, and it's got more than it's share of classics. 'Refuse/Resist' really blew me away the first time I heard it years ago on a metal radio show, and it never fails to impress. It's got just about the most devastating chorus ever recorded. Remarkably 'Territory' manages to top it, though the studio version isn't quite as crushing as some live versions I've heard. There's not all that much to 'Kaiowas' but I think it really works. Sadly, it stops right about when it really gets going, but it's still a very enjoyable track. 'Nomad' and 'We Who Are Not as Others' are both slow moving, atmospheric pieces which I wasn't all that fond of initially, but have really grown on me over the years. Surprisingly, the cover song, 'The Hunt' is probably my favorite track on the album. It's got such a great, heavy groove, and Max gives perhaps his best vocal performance on the album. (The highlight is when he says, 'We can spend our whole lives waiting for some thunderbird to come/ We can spend our whole lives waiting for some justice to be done. Simply devastating.)
Yeah. Fans of old-school Sepultura may or may not like this, but it definitely deserves a shot.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2002
Chaos A.D. is emotional, evocative, and heavy, heavy, heavy. A marked change in style from their previous thrash-death albums "Schizophrenia," "Beneath the Remains," and "Arise," "Chaos A.D." sees the band starting to use a more rhythmic, groove-oriented approach that foreshadows their later work. "Refuse Resist" starts the album off on a rollicking note, with Max's vicious bark and some politically charged lyrics over a driving guitar beat, topped off by the chorus's anthemic shout of "Refuse, Resist!" Subsequent songs like "Territory" and "Amen" slow things down a little bit, but follow the same pattern of growled polemics with propulsive tribal grooves and some fancy guitar leads by Andreas. The band also mixes things up a bit with the blistering thrash of "Biotech is Godzilla," the lush tribal instrumental "Kaiowas," and the slow, almost atmospheric "We Who Are Not as Others." If you like metal, you can't go wrong with "Chaos A.D."
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2005
Like Socialist Metal Head and Pete, "Chaos A.D." was my introduction to Sepultura, and I gotta say, this is a great album to start out with if you're new to the band. I have all of Sepultura's albums (via Max Cavalera era), but "Chaos A.D." is arguably the band's best album ever. On this album you've got awesome lyrics of course, angry vocals and tight rhythm guitarwork courtesy of Max Cavalera, mind blowing solos from Andreas Kisser (who also does great with the 12 string acoustics as well), great bass lines from Paulo Jr., and awesome drumming from Igor Cavalera (Max's brother of course). My favorite songs on here are "Refuse/Resist", "Territory", "Slave New World", "Biotech is Godzilla", "Propoganda", and "Kaiowas" (which was inspired by the Brasilian tribe that committed mass suicide as a protest against the government). The other songs are great, but the ones I mentioned are my favorites. Please read on for my track ratings.
1. Refuse/Resist - Killer album opener. 5/5
2. Territory - Love this song. 5/5
3. Slave New World - 5/5
4. Amen - 5/5
5. Kaiowas - Love the acoustics, great tribal beats as well. 5/5
6. Propoganda - 5/5
7. Biotech is Godzilla - Short, but very fast and fun to headbang to. 5/5
8. Nomad - 5/5
9. We Who Not As Others - 4/5
10. Manifest - 5/5
11. The Hunt - 5/5
12. Clenched Fist - 5/5
13. Chaos B.C. - Nice remix of Refuse/Resist, but the original version is much better. 4/5
14. Kaiowas (Tribal Jam) - 5/5
15. Territory (Live) - 5/5
16. Amen/Inner Self (Live) - 5/5
BTW: I agree with Socialist Metal Head and Pete that Derek Green can't even match up with Max. So anyways just stick with Sepultura's first six albums. Get this album now, if you love metal.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2001
I suppose this could be considered a "sell-out" album, as Sepultura went for a much slicker production with this one, due undoubtly to their experience in touring with Ministry. Also, the unadulterated thrash metal of "Beneath the Remains" and "Arise" is gone, replaced by mostly mid-tempo, industrial-tinged instrumentation, and tribal interludes (most notably "Kaiowas"). Overall, there is a good deal more variety here than on other Sepultura releases, from the great cover of "The Hunt" to the fast-paced, ridiculously-titled "Biotech is Godzilla" to the rather haunting "We Who Are Not As Others" and the aforementioned "Kaiowas." Regardless of the listener's opinion of this departure in style, it cannot be argued that this album has a focus that the others lacked - the aggression is channeled directly at injustice, specifically that present in Brazil (quite clear in the intense, blistering "Manifest," angrier than anything off "Beneath" or "Arise"). There are also two live tracks which demonstrate Sepultura's proficiency outside the studio, and also Max's tremendous charisma and power on-stage. If you are only a fan of speed metal, I would not recommend this album - but if you're a fan of metal in-general, "Chaos A.D." is something to experience.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2003
A monumental 90s metal album with the attitude of punk rock. Not as thrash as previous Sepultura albums but who cares, Max is as aggressive and angry as ever. Igor Cavalera's incredible tribal drumming style is the driving force behind Chaos Ad. It gives it another dimension that many other Death and Thrash metal bands lacked at the time. Yeah they've slowed the tempo down a bit but the rhythms are so powerful and complex, making every song on Chaos ad into a pummeling anthem. This album should only be played at full volume.