The 10 best Max Cavalera albums

(Image credit: Nigel Crane/Redferns)

With metal on the edge of turning fifty years old, it’s becoming increasingly commonplace for some second-generation musicians to find their way into the genre. Prodigal sons like Austin and Griffin Dickinson, Max Portnoy, Chance LaBrie and George Harris have all made names for themselves in recent years, hoping to emulate the success of their rock ‘n’ roll parentage.

Naturally, all these youngsters have had to overcome an onslaught of comparisons to their mums and dads, but that must have been especially difficult for Richie Cavalera. His step-father – the iconic Max Cavalera – hasn’t just changed the face of heavy metal with one band, but at least five: Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbomb and Killer Be Killed. Forging your own legacy out of the shadow of such a pioneer would seem near-impossible, but, somehow, Richie is well on his way. His own band, Incite, are on the cusp of their fifth album, Built to Destroy, and set to play the main stage of Bloodstock Festival this summer.

So, to kickstart the ace year Incite has ahead of them, we decided to be total dicks and ask Richie to rank his step-dad’s best albums. Enjoy!

10. Soulfly – Ritual

“The last few Soulfly albums felt the same to me, but bringing in Josh Wilbur for Ritual made a huge difference. Max had so much fire in him and I think that came from a lot of the new members getting comfortable. Zyon [Cavalera, drummer] is just kicking ass now!”

9. Sepultura – Roots

Roots is the Sepultura album that will be remembered forever. It was the real breakout of that tribal style – the first time anyone had ever heard that in metal, in my opinion. And Roots Bloody Roots is so catchy that you’ll probably hear it in an elevator one day.”

8. Sepultura – Chaos A.D.

“That was their ground-breaker. They went outside their box a lot more on Chaos A.D. with Nomad and covering The Hunt. We Who Are Not as Others just has a whole different vibe to it. Plus, you have Andy Wallace’s production, which I think is some of the best ever!”

7. Cavalera Conspiracy – Inflikted

“This felt like where Max would have taken Sepultura after Roots. Reuniting with Iggor [Cavalera, ex-Sepultura drummer and Max’s brother] and getting Joe [Duplantier] from Gojira on bass just made it such a standout! People from the Roots era will dig it and it’s the first thing Max and Iggor did in ten years, so it has that special appeal, as well.”

6. Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed

“I knew Killer Be Killed would be something different. It had more mainstream-type songs, which Max had never had the chance to do. The band were actually just together in Arizona to work on some new tracks, so I think we’ll have another Killer Be Killed album next year.”

5. Soulfly – Soulfly

“There were a couple different vibes on Soulfly. There was excitement because Max got to do what he wanted, but also a lot of anger from all the shit that went down [leaving Sepultura]. Pissed-off tracks like Eye for an Eye are going to be metal anthems forever now.”

4. Nailbomb – Point Blank

“Nailbomb was new territory – you never saw side-projects back in those days. Point Blank was made at a very special time, where Alex [Newport, vocals, guitar and bass] was one of the most pissed-off people on the planet. Mixed with Max, it was just this perfect moment of crazy music.”

3. Soulfly – Dark Ages

“We had just had an unexpected death in the family, so the tension and energy were running high for Dark Ages. It’s, to me, the standout Soulfly record; their last great one until Ritual. It just had a lot of great ideas and was really, really thrashing. It sucks that unfortunate events bring out the best music.”

2. Sepultura – Beneath the Remains

“For me, Beneath the Remains is one of the top three most important metal albums. I think it changed metal forever. You have these classical-style solos and I think Sepultura perfected the breakdown with that album. Not many were doing that in the ‘80s: Slayer, Metallica and Sepultura.”

1. Sepultura – Arise

“The success of Beneath the Remains put Sepultura in a place where they didn’t have to worry about the small things and could just focus on playing. So Arise has amazing breakdowns and solos like on Desperate Cry and Dead Embryonic Cells. You’re just speechless from the first song. It’s so good; exactly what heavy metal was meant to be.”

Incite’s new album, Built to Destroy, is out now. Both Incite and Soulfly will play the Ronnie James Dio stage at Bloodstock Festival on August 9. 

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.