When Max Cavalera left in 1996, Sepultura could have just as easily faded into obscurity. They had released a generation-defining album in ‘Roots’ and few bands would have much to say beyond that, let alone a band who’d just lost their frontman.
Enter Derrick Green.
The towering Ohio native had huge shoes to fill, as Sepultura’s new vocalist, and immediately made a name for himself by coming in with his own unique style. Rather than attempting to emulate Cavalera’s signature roar, Green brought his own raw aggression.
With Green on vocals, Sepultura would further develop the groove metal sound that hat features on ‘Roots’, but their writing would also mature.
In 2006, the band released ‘Dante XXI’, a concept album based on The Divine Comedy. The album was a milestone for the band, being their first foray into conceptual pieces, as well as a reintroduction of the thrash sound of their past. Critics at the time considered it the strongest Green-fronted Sepultura album yet.
Sepultura followed this up with another concept album in 2009, the Clockwork Orange inspired ‘A-Lex’. This was also praised by critics as Sepultura saw newfound acclaim. This album also saw them further influenced by their original sound by featuring elements of not only thrash but death metal.
Since then, Sepultura have released a further four albums, which were constantly very well received by fans and critics alike. The band have continued their evolution into a thrash/groove hybrid, and further push into complex and layered concepts.
Across 30+ years and two distinct periods, Sepultura have proven time and time again to be trailblazers and innovators across multiple genres. Their longevity and consistency is a rare and amazing thing, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.