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Sepultura - The best of Sepultura

Sometimes the best surprises come from the most unexpected places. Who would have thought that a band from a third world country like Brazil would break out and take the mainstream on by storm and shake up the world of extreme music?

Melding the styles of thrash metal and hardcore punk and adding their own South American edge, Sepultura were probably one of the most innovative bands in the last century. Their future remains uncertain considering the departure of Igor Cavalera and subsequent reunion with his estranged brother former vocalist and rhythm guitarist Max Cavalera earlier this year with Soulfly. Nevertheless Sepultura's legacy is nothing to be sniffed at as shown in this compilation of their best material on record.

The bands death metal origins are shown in opening song 'Troops of Doom' taken from 1987's Schizophrenia. 'Troops Of Doom' has the old school vibe that can induce a mosh pit in a microsecond. Metal classic 'Arise' holds its ground on here as does 'Dead Embryonic Cells' from 1991's international breakthrough Arise. It is safe to say that the bulk of the material comes from 1993's Chaos A.D. and perhaps their biggest success to date 1996's Roots.

Chaos A.D. perhaps saw Sepultura at their most political. If the musical equivalent of a Molotov cocktail 'Refuse/Resist' wasn't enough the Metallica -influenced 'Territory' charges around like a rhino on cocaine. Here the band began to expand their musical horizons by working with others artists, such as penning 'Slave New World' with Evan Seinfeld from NYC hardcore metal legends Biohazard and collaborating with former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra on the punk metal anthem 'Biotech Is Godzilla', a song exploring South American human rights.

With the songs from Roots, the evolution of Sepultura is perhaps shown the most here. Not only were the Brazilian upstarts at their heaviest, they were at their most progressive. Whilst the detuned grooves 'Attitude' and live favourite 'Roots Bloody Roots' decimate their way through the stereo speakers, the world music influenced 'Ratamahatta' is a completely different animal. Collaborating with fellow countryman Carlinhos Brown and sung completely in native Portuguese, 'Ratamahatta' has swirling tribal rhythms that saw Sepultura return to their roots.

Of course no best of albums is perfect but this one comes pretty damn well close to capturing the spirit of what Sepultura used to be. Whether they can pull a Judas Priest and reform with the original line-up remains to be seen, until then this album will have to tide us raving metalheads over.