Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser
(Image credit: Press)

As the lead guitarist of Sepultura, Andreas Kisser is today one of South America’s greatest heavy metal figureheads. However, growing in São Paulo, every gig and every album he got to experience was as special as Christmas – and about as frequent. Here, Andreas guides us through the music that shaped his hero’s journey, from the streets of Brazil to touring all over the world.

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Queen – A Night At The Opera (1975)

“This was the first vinyl that I ever bought. It’s a masterpiece, even by today’s standards! Bohemian Rhapsody is on that album, and there’s Love Of My Life – it’s perfect! All four members were songwriters, so it’s a very diverse album, but at the same time, they sound like a band. They sound like Queen! It changed my life because it was specifically this album that drove me in this direction [joining a band].”

Kiss – Alive II (1977)

“My next two picks are live albums. I could only dream to be at one of these concerts, because I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. It was really, really rare to get concerts! My neighbour had Alive II and put it onto a cassette tape. It was very powerful listening to Kiss’s performance. I love the fourth side, as well: the studio side. They’re great songs, which unfortunately they ignore. It’s really rare to see them play them.”

Motörhead – No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith (1981)

“I heard a lot of Motörhead’s songs for the first time on No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith. They create that aura of the Hammersmith Odeon. Listen to that crowd roar! It was such a masculine crowd. It was so powerful. Of course, there are stories that they recorded in a studio, or they did overdubs and stuff, but I don’t care about that. It doesn’t matter. It sounds the way it sounds and that’s what’s important.”

Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

“I heard Paranoid at my friend’s house during what was my first attempt to start a band. His older brother had a drum set, a guitar and an album collection. The first time I heard War Pigs, it blew my mind! I didn’t know that silence was allowed in music; it creates an expectation that is almost unbearable. And I listened to the song Paranoid on loop for hours. It was so melodic!”

Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast (1982)

The Number Of The Beast is one of the first riffs I learned. I felt so powerful! Ha ha! And we’re metalheads; of course, we love that album cover. But I remember the first night I got it, I had to put the album in my drawer because I was scared of Satan. Ha ha! I was a teenager, but I studied at a Catholic school. Because it was stuff from the bible – Revelations, 666, the apocalypse – it all felt like a true story.”

Judas Priest – British Steel (1980)

British Steel was so important because it gave me the opportunity to play Judas Priest’s music. It was simple enough and, at the same time, powerful! You could feel the power behind those power chords. If you want to learn about heavy metal guitar playing, it’s a great start. If you want to define heavy metal, then British Steel is what it’s all about. Judas Priest were never ashamed of being a metal band, like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath were.”

Scorpions – Blackout (1982)

“In 1985, Rock In Rio happened and Scorpions came. I remember watching videos of them going crazy on stage, all over the place! There’s no band like it. I was so excited to see that for the first time. Blackout really represents what Scorpions are all about in my opinion: the very raw guitar and even the ballads. It’s all the best of what Scorpions had to offer. And the cover! For a metal fan, that cover is very important.”

Metallica – Ride The Lightning (1984)

“I heard Kill ’Em All and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the punk vibes. I like more Dio, Ozzy, guitar solos, fantasy, Rainbow! Ride The Lightning sounded like a different band to me. Metallica became so much more refined, with songs like The Call Of Ktulu and Fade To Black. Fight Fire With Fire is a masterpiece! It’s really hard to beat that as an opener for a thrash album.”

Slayer – Hell Awaits (1985)

“I remember listening to the intro to Hell Awaits in a friend’s car, and we couldn’t believe that that kind of heaviness was even possible. It’s a very unique album: different from the first one [Show No Mercy] and Reign In Blood. It seemed like a transitional phase where Slayer were trying to be more technical, like Metallica were with Ride The Lightning. All the thrash bands were going that way.”

Anthrax – Spreading The Disease (1985)

Spreading The Disease showed that you could do more with less. You didn’t need to be Deep Purple with keyboards and big song structures; thrash bands could succeed with very few things while playing in their garage. It was inspiring. We didn’t even know English, but we didn’t care. We wrote in Portuguese and then our friend translated. Spreading The Disease also influenced the themes of [Sepultura’s 1987 album] Schizophrenia: paranoia, the madhouse, mental illness.”

Sepultura’s Live In Sao Paulo is reissued on double vinyl and CD/DVD on June 24

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.