Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Sepultura, those Brazilian tribal metal pioneers who broke down barriers and still inspire everyone from Hatebreed and Lamb of God to Gojira and Deftones. The band is still going strong even after their split with co-founding brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, and have a catalog stacked with must-hear rippers, but in our opinion, these classic cuts are their very most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.
“ROOTS BLOODY ROOTS”
Max Cavalera’s masterpiece and the band’s defining song, from its rolling riff to its roar-along chorus.
Sample lyrics: “I believe in our fate/We don’t need to fake/It’s all we want to be/Watch me freak!”
Pissed, infectious and ferocious, this Roots standout more than lives up to its name.
Sample lyrics: “Survive the jungle/Give me blood/Give me pain/These scars won’t heal.”
ALBUM: CHAOS A.D.
Chaos A.D.’s hard-charging lead-off cut is a compulsive thrash call to revolutionary arms.
Sample lyrics: “Chaos A.D./Tanks on the streets/Confronting police.”
ALBUM: CHAOS A.D.
Politically charged and ferociously anti-war, this protest anthem takes no prisoners.
Sample lyrics: “Dictators’ speech/Blasting off your life/Rule to kill the urge/Dumb assholes’ speech.”
Sepultura’s first official single laid down the Brazilian upstarts’ powerful claim to the international stage — even if the song’s controversy-courting music video was banned from MTV in the U.S.
Sample lyrics: “Obliteration of mankind/Under a pale gray sky/We shall arise.”