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Max Cavalera : biography

August 4, 1969 -

Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera ( born August 4, 1969) is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band Sepultura, before forming Soulfly in the late 1990s. Cavalera was also involved in a short-lived side project, Nailbomb, and is currently performing with Soulfly and another project, Cavalera Conspiracy.

Life and career

His father, Graziano Cavalera, was an employee of the Italian Consulate in São Paulo and died at 40 years of age and is buried in Belo Horizonte; Max was nine when his father died. Max's family was in a state of financial crisis and family turbulence when he formed Sepultura with his younger brother Igor and Wagner Lamounier, later adding Paulo Jr. and Jairo Guedes after Lamounier left the band. Andreas Kisser later replaced Guedes after the latter left Sepultura.

In the early 1990s he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. He did not begin to make spiritual-music until after he quit Sepultura. His earlier lyrics for Soulfly were influenced by religion and spirituality, though he is critical of religion. His later albums, starting with Dark Ages, began to incoporate lyrical themes of violence, warfare, anger and hatred. His albums have all been dedicated to God, and he has often been depicted by the press as a man of religion, especially in America, something that Cavalera himself says he does not understand:

When asked in an interview whether he was a Christian and whether Soulfly was a Christian band, he said:

In another interview he was asked about the Varg Vikernes church burnings. He quoted, "I support church burnings 100 percent, but why don't we just burn everything. Mosques, temples, all religious buildings." However he later claimed his views changed about the church burnings and called them "too violent." He has stated that he does believe in God, "But it might be different than the God the preacher preaches about." (link?)

Of enduring influence to his music is the untimely death of his stepson Dana Wells, who was killed after the release of Roots in 1996. The songs "Bleed", "First Commandment", "Pain", "Tree of Pain" and "Revengeance" are tributes to Wells, as well as Deftones' song "Headup", in which Cavalera featured and co-wrote. He reunited with his brother Igor, in their band Cavalera Conspiracy, and wrote and performed on Soulfly's Conquer, released in 2008. In November 2011, Cavalera announced that he is working on an autobiography, for publication in 2013: his co-writer is the British author Joel McIver and the book's foreword has been written by Dave Grohl.


  • Bestial Devastation EP (1985)
  • Morbid Visions (1986)
  • Schizophrenia (1987)
  • Beneath the Remains (1989)
  • Arise (1991) US#119
  • Third World Posse EP (1993)
  • Chaos A.D. (1993) US#32 US Gold
  • Refuse/Resist EP (1994)
  • Roots (1996) US#27 US Gold
  • The Roots of Sepultura (1996)
  • Blood-Rooted (1997) US#162
  • Under a Pale Grey Sky (2002)
  • Point Blank (1994)
  • Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide (1995)
  • Soulfly (1998) US#79 US Gold
  • Tribe EP (1999)
  • Primitive (2000) US#32
  • 3 (2002) US#46
  • Prophecy (2004) US#82
  • Dark Ages (2005) US#155
  • Conquer (2008) US#66
  • Omen (2010) US#73
  • Enslaved (2012)
Cavalera Conspiracy
  • Inflikted (2008) US#72
  • Blunt Force Trauma (2011) US#123
Living octopus

Living octopus

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