The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

The most headbangable records ever, from Metallica's Black Album to Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'

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Sepultura, 'Chaos A.D.' (1993)
100
29/100

29. Sepultura, 'Chaos A.D.' (1993)

After years of dabbling in thrash and death metal, Sepultura broke free of rigid orthodoxy on their fifth album, Chaos A.D. This time out, they channeled slower, heavier grooves in the vein of Metallica's Black Album, tapped into rhythms from their native Brazil, experimented with operatic vocals ("Amen") and focused on the textures of their sounds, such as the sound of frontman Max Cavalera's unborn son's heartbeat before "Refuse/Resist." They also added hardcore, punk and industrial influences to the mix and went for a cleaner production, allowing the singer's sociopolitical lyrics to shine through. "You try your best to carry your life in a positive way, but there's always something or someone to fuck it all up and make you pissed," he told Thrasher in 1994. "That's where my ideas for lyrics come from." Even in Chaos A.D.'s most obtuse moments, such as former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra's zany cameo on the conspiracy theory–themed "Biotech Is Godzilla," politics make up the heart of the LP. The gut-rattling "Refuse/Resist" rails against overzealous police, the swelling "Territory" puts dictators in the crosshairs, the bass-heavy "Propaganda" carries the message "don't believe what you see" and the thrash-y "Slave New World" rages against state repression. Meanwhile, Cavalera's drummer brother Igor ratcheted up the band's grooves with tribal-sounding percussion, and the whole group explored indigenous music on the acoustic instrumental "Kaiowas," which would foreshadow their next album, 1996's daring and equally influential Roots. K.K.

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