Sepultura: Chaos A.D. [1993]

Released September 2, 1993
Recorded 1992–1993 at Rockfield Studiosand Chepstow CastleWales
Genre Groove metalthrash metaldeath metal
Length 69:32
Label Roadrunner
Producer Andy Wallace

Chaos A.D. (Chaos Anno Domini) is the fifth studio album by Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, released in late 1993 through Roadrunner Records. This was the record that helped the group transcend their previous thrash metal style,[1]deepening their forays into hardcore punkindustrial music and Brazilian-styled percussion. It won silver and gold certifications throughout Europe and the USA.

The band considered a number of producers, including avant-garde jazz composer John Zorn and Al Jourgensen of industrial metal pioneers Ministry. They settled with Andy Wallace, who had previously mixed Arise. Sepultura wanted isolation, and for that Andy Wallace suggested Rockfield Studios, located in South Wales.[2]

“Kaiowas” was recorded live among the ruins of the medieval castle of Chepstow. It was an entirely acoustic track, withAndreas Kisser and Max Cavalera on the guitars and brother-drummer Igor Cavalera and bassist Paulo Jr. handling the percussion duties. When they recorded “Kaiowas”, the quartet never even considered playing the track live, because they thought it would be too difficult to recreate the drumming on stage. They changed their minds after seeing a video of the American band Neurosis: “We saw in that live video that the Neurosis guys put down their guitars and everybody started to play the drums on stage”, lead guitarist Andreas remembers. “We decided to try the same thing. We rehearsed it once and it was wonderful. We haven’t stopped playing the song live since.”[3]

During Chaos A.D. recording sessions, Sepultura recorded a number of covers: “The Hunt”, from New Model Army, “Policia“, from Titãs, “Inhuman Nature”, from the American hardcore punk band Final Conflict, and “Crucificados pelo Sistema”, from Brazilians Ratos de Porão. Igor was a New Model Army fan and he convinced the other band members to include “The Hunt” on the record. Paulo joked that the money of the LP would go straight to new dentures for Justin Sullivan, the toothless singer of New Model Army.[1] The latter 3 covers would be included as b-sides and also on the compilation Blood-Rooted.

Out of the boredom of playing the Arise songs for two years straight and the threat of musically stagnating, Sepultura pushed the envelope on Chaos A.D.[4] The first track, “Refuse/Resist”, revealed the band’s new musical direction: slower, with more emphasis on groove than speed.[5] The song starts with the heartbeat of Max‘s then-unborn first son, Zyon,[6] followed by some Afro-Brazilian drumming reminiscent of Salvador, Bahia samba-reggae group Olodum.[1] About the track’s introductory guitar riff, Max acknowledged that it “could have been created by a death metal band.”[7]

Diversity was the key to Chaos A.D., revealed Max Cavalera. “Biotech is Godzilla” was “pure hardcore”, according to the elder Cavalera.[7] “Nomad”, with its characteristically slow riffs, was described by lead guitarist Andreas Kisser as the answer to Metallica‘s “Sad But True“.[3] The album also featured Sepultura’s first all-acoustic incursion, “Kaiowas”. “It’s like a mixture of Led ZeppelinSonic Youth and Olodum”, said Max of that particular song.

The lyrics of “Refuse/Resist” mention “tanks on the streets, confronting police, bleeding the plebs.”[6] The song’s chorus (“Refuse! Resist!”) was similar to a protest march slogan,[8] and the cover of this song’s single depicted a South Korean student rushing at Seoul‘s riot police contingent while holding a petrol bomb.[9] The next song, “Territory”, dealt with the conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.[8] “Slave New World” – with its lyrics co-written by Biohazard bassist Evan Seinfeld[3] – was a protest against censorship.[10]

Massacres were a major part of Chaos A.D.’s overall theme. “Amen” tackled with the massacre of David Koresh‘s followers in WacoTexas. “Manifest” had a faux-radio report of the Carandiru massacre,[3] and “Kaiowas” was made in honor of a Brazilian Indian tribe that committed collective suicide in protest against the government that wanted to drive them off the land of their ancestors.[11] “Nomad”, written by Andreas, talked about people expelled from their homelands.[3]

On Chaos A.D., Sepultura honored one of their biggest idols, Jello Biafra. Max had called Biafra asking him to contribute to the album with a song about the growing neo-Nazi movement. “I asked for something like ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off – Part 2′”, remembers Max, referring to the anti-Nazi song “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the Dead Kennedys. But Biafra wasn’t interested in recycling old ideas and he suggested a song called “Biotech Is Godzilla”, that he had written during his visit to Eco ’92, a world conference about ecology organized in Rio de Janeiro. “Jello spent ten minutes explaining me his crazy theories”, said Max to Anamaria G. of Bizz magazine, “he said that George Bush had sent a group of scientists to Brazil to test germs and bacteria on human beings and use them as guinea pigs. The lyrics claim that biotechnologycreated AIDS. But they don’t say that technology is bad, just that it’s in the wrong hands.”

By the time Chaos A.D. arrived, Sepultura were the biggest act of Roadrunner’s roster.[13] Aware of the band’s increasing popularity, the label spent nearly $1 million on a “marketing blitz” which quickly guaranteed them silver and gold records in Belgium, France and the UK.[14] The group also signed an exclusive distribution deal with a major label, Epic Records, home of Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine.[13] This deal eventually went sour: Epic paid little attention to Sepultura,[15] preferring to invest in Fight and Prong,[13] groups that were, in the long run, less successful than the Brazilians.[16]

The Chaos A.D. tour kickstarted on October 23, 1993 with British doomsters Paradise Lost as the opening act. The tour went well, except for an incident where Berlin‘s police received a false tip claiming that Sepultura’s tour bus was loaded with a major cocaine shipment.[14] Enraged by the unjust search and seizure procedure, Max re-wrote “Antichrist”, from their 1985 Bestial Devastation EP, as “Anti-Cop”,[17] and then the band proceeded in playing the song live throughout the tour (a recorded version is available on the combined re-release of Bestial Devastation/Morbid Visions and The Roots of Sepultura albums).[18]

While touring Europe, rumors floated around that Sepultura would be part of the latest edition of Brazil‘s Hollywood Rock music festival, taking place in January 1994. The event would happen simultaneously on São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro.

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. Refuse/Resist” (Max CavaleraSepultura) 3:20
2. Territory” (Andreas Kisser, Sepultura) 4:47
3. Slave New World” (Cavalera, Evan Seinfeld, Sepultura) 2:55
4. “Amen” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 4:27
5. “Kaiowas” (Sepultura) 3:43
6. “Propaganda” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 3:33
7. “Biotech Is Godzilla” (Jello Biafra, Sepultura) 1:52
8. “Nomad” (Kisser, Sepultura) 4:59
9. “We Who Are Not as Others” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 3:42
10. “Manifest” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 4:49
11. “The Hunt” (Justin SullivanRobert HeatonNew Model Army) 3:59
12. “Clenched Fist” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 4:58
13. “Chaos B.C.” (Sepultura, Roy Mayorga) 5:12
14. “Kaiowas (Tribal Jam)” (Sepultura) 3:47
15. “Territory (Live)” (Cavalera, Sepultura) 4:48
16. “Amen/Inner Self (Live)” (Cavalera, Kisser, Sepultura) 8:42

Track 13 through 16 are bonus tracks included on the American 1996 re-release. The original release contained a hidden track (laughter outtakes from “We Who Are Not as Others”) after “Clenched Fist”.

“Territory” and “Amen/Inner Self” were recorded live in Minneapolis, MN in March 1994.


1. Refuse/Resist

Intro Zyon’s heartbeat in utero

Chaos A.D.
Tanks on the streets
Confronting police
Bleeding the Plebs
Raging crowd
Burning cars
Bloodshed starts
Who’ll be alive?!

Chaos A.D.
Army in siege
Total alarm
I’m sick of this
Inside the state
War is created
No man’s land
What is this shit?!


Chaos A.D.
Disorder unleashed
Starting to burn
Starting to lynch
Silence means death
Stand on your feet
Inner fear
Your worst enemy


2. Territory

Unknown man
Speaks to the world
Sucking your trust
A trap in every world

War for territory
War for territory

Choice control
Behind propaganda
Poor information
To manage your anger

War for territory
War for territory

Dictators’ speech
Blasting off your life
Rule to kill the urge
Dumb assholes’ speech

Years of fighting
Teaching my son
To believe in that man
Racist human being
Racist ground will live
Shame and regret
Of the pride
You’ve once possessed

War for territory
War for territory

3. Slave New World

Face – The enemy
Stare – Inside you
Control – Your thoughts
Destroy – Destroy ’em all

You censor what we breathe
Prejudice with no belief
Senseless violence all around
Who is it, that keeps us down

Once all free tribes
Chained down led lives
Blood boils inside me
We’re not slaves, we’re free

Face – The enemy
Stare – Inside you
Control – Your thoughts
Destroy – Destroy ’em all

4. Amen

Forgive me father
Forgive me God
I know I’ve sinned
With no remorse
Apocalyptic visions
Went through my head Here today

Gone tomorrow
It’s all insane
I’m feeling sick
I’m feeling numb
The storm will come
In the name of God I’m the chosen one

Terror raids the land
To ashes we’ll be sent
In the name of God Lives cast away

Martyrdom of myself
Armageddon comes
In the name of God Not one more dead

Fire blasting, cutting edge
Children burn in flames
In the name of God We’re going insane

Let us die
You don’t realize
This is the time
God’s sacrifice

Leaving behind
Lesson in hate
In the name of God We’re all dead

5. Kaiowas

[This song is inspired by a Brasilian Indian tribe called “Kaiowas”, who live]
[in the rain forest. They committed mass suicide as a protest against the]
[government, who was trying to take away their land and beliefs.]

6. Propaganda

Why don’t you get a life and grow up
Why don’t you realize that you’re fucked up
Why criticize what you don’t understand
Why change my words, you’re so afraid

You think you have the right to
put me down
Propaganda hides your scum
Face to face you don’t have a word to say
You got in my way, now you’ll have to pay

Don’t, don’t believe what you
Don’t, don’t believe what you read

I know my ways, I’m here to stay
I didn’t start all this yesterday
I’ll prove you wrong all the way
Life teaches me you’re always alone

Don’t, don’t believe what you
Don’t, don’t believe what read

7. Biotech Is Godzilla

Rio Summit, ’92
Street people kidnapped
Hid from view
“To save the earth”
Our rulers met
Some had other
Secret plans

No… No… No… No…

Say what?

Strip-mine the Amazon
Of cells of life itself
Gold rush for genes is on
Natives get nothing

Is Godzilla

Mutations cooked in labs
Money-mad experiments
New food + medicine?
New germs + accidents!
Like Cubatao
“World’s most polluted town”
Air melts your face
Deformed children all around
Ain’t what’s so bad
Like all technology
It’s in the wrong hands

Cut-throat corporations
Don’t give a damn
When lots of people die
From what they’ve made

Is A.I.D.S.?


8. Nomad

Travelling through the time
Moving slowly in the sand
Knowledge is the weapon
Against the hunger in the land

Solitude met herself
Lessons from the primal step
Memories from an ending life
Liars can’t stop the tribes

Nomad, Nomad, Nomad, Nomad

Brother is the son of rape
The blood that once unites
Wanna choose the way they die
Look inside their minds

(echoes in the)
Actual tribe no longer sounds
The ancient teaching failed
Movement of my culture
My beliefs have no more tales

Who are you to criticize
To judge and burn the tribes
The world will be extinct
And your flesh will rot with mine

Nomad, Nomad, Nomad, Nomad

9. We Who Are Not As Others

We who are not as others
We who are not as others
We who are not as others
We who are not as others

We who are not as others
We who are not as others
We who are not as others

10. Manifest

Friday, October 2nd, 1992
Chaos has descended in “Carandiru”, the biggest penitentiry complex in South
Over a hundred inmates dead and hundreds injured on the massacre
The police arrived with helicopters and over two hundred armed forces

They took the jailblock called “Pavilhao Nove” and opened fire on the inmates
in a holocaust, method of annihilation. The government of the city of Sao
Paulo cannot control the brutality of its police

Holocaust, Body piles
Confrontation, Mutilation
Discipline, Ignorance
Conflagration, Torture

Over eighty percent of the inmates were not sentenced yet. The bodies were
filled with bullets and bites from the police dogs
The police try to hide the massacre saying there were only eight deaths
The violence of Brasilian cops is very well known outside of Brasil. This
kind of extermination is a method that they use to get rid of the
overpopulation in the jails
The violence of the cops left the whole pavillion destroyed after the
“Pavilhao Nove” (Pavilhao 9)

11. The Hunt

[New Model Army cover]

We Went Into Town On The Tuesday Night
Searching All The Places That You Hang About
We’re Looking For You
In The Back Street Cellar Dive Drinking Clubs
In The Discotheques And The Gaming Pubs
We’re Looking For You
You Will Pay The Price For My Own Sweet Brother
And What He Has Become
And A Hundred Other Boys And Girls
And All That You Have Done

We Picked Up The Trail At The Seven Crowns
One Of Your Cronies – He Was Doing Your Rounds
We Followed Him
Just A Silhouette Figure Up Market Pass
Where The Headlamps Shine On The Broken Glass
We Followed Him
Over The Bridge By The Old Canal
Where The Shadows Dance On The Lighted Wall
He Stopped To Light Up A Cigarette
And We Dived Into A Doorway

No Police, No Summons, No Courts Of Law
No Proper Procedure, No Rules Of War
No Mitigating Circumstance
No Lawyers Fees, No Second Chance

There Are Lasses Getting Trouble On Their Own Home Beat
There Are Old Folk Battered In The Open Street
In This City Of Ours
There Are Eyes That See But Say Nothing At All
There Are Ears That Hear But They Don’t Recall
In This City Of Ours
So We Followed Your Man Back To Your Front Door
And We’re Waiting For You Outside
‘cos Not Everybody Here Is Scared Of You
Not Everybody Passes On The Other Side

No Police, No Summons, No Courts Of Law…

And We Could Spent Our Whole Lives Waiting
For Some Thunderbolt To Come
And We Could Spent Our Whole Lives Waiting
For Some Justice To Be Done
Unless We Make Our Own

No Police, No Summons, No Courts Of Law…

12. Clenched Fist

Pain, makes me stronger
Life is chaos
You gotta deal with it

Expressing my agression
Through confusion
Face reality
Nothing is like it used to be

Don’t tell me I don’t know
You don’t live in my war
Revolt and anger
I won’t take it anymore

Don’t get me wrong
You don’t know where I’m from
Don’t get me wrong
You don’t know where I’ve been
Don’t get me wrong
It’s been a painful way
Don’t get me wrong
You wouldn’t understand




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