While it may be an overstatement to say that Sepultura is the most influential death-metal band of all time, you'd be hard-pressed to find a likelier candidate. If nothing else, the act, which recently celebrated its 22nd anniversary, is certainly among the oldest death-metal outfits still going. One thing that sets Sepultura apart from its like-minded counterparts is a spirit of innovation within a very tightly wound genre. In 1993's Chaos A.D. , bandmembers incorporated elements of hardcore punk into their unbound sonic aggression. That album's followup, Roots, pushed the envelope even further with fascinating elaborations on organic rhythm structures and Andreas Kisser's genre-bending guitar licks. The late '90s saw the exodus of vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera, who went on to form Soulfly. Derrick Green was tapped as Cavalera's replacement, and the group returned to form with a series of acclaimed albums. Touring in support of its most recent effort, Dante XXI, Sepultura remains as vital as ever.


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