The eighties and nineties rock scene was an era with so many greats you could practically throw a stone in a crowd and hit a fantastic band, but only some of them went on to become truly famous. Sepultura was one of those greats, and you need to hear the top ten best Sepultura songs of all time. This Brazilian band produced hard-rocking death metal and thrash hits that spoke to multiple generations. They are a part of the voice that makes all rock what it is today. Fans of music know that you can’t rank the great heavy metal or thrash bands without adding at least one Sepultura song. Any of the ones on this list are worthy of inclusion. Make a playlist out of these ten songs, and get ready to bang your head.
10. Sarcastic Existence
Evocative lyrics are one of the mainstays of Sepultura. Arguably, no song embodies that lyrical prowess as well as Sarcastic Existence. Listening to this song can make you feel disgusting, sad, frustrated, and more. A riot of lunacy and wrath, this song holds all the pain and power of true rock. Plus, it has a beat you can bang your head to.
The world is full of many horrors. Perhaps the most senseless is the human willingness to kill each other over faith. Arise is all about religious wars and our unique desire to obliterate other humans for the crime of thinking differently. Mocking the call to action for this sort of war, Arise shoves your face in the idea that we would ruin ourselves to protect something that doesn’t matter if no one is left to believe in it. The heavy-handedness of rock is well suited to the subject, and Sepultura knows it.
Though Sepulturas’ Sixth single Territory came out in 1993, it is even more relevant today. World leaders manipulate and move us over the precious resource that is the land itself. Is it worth it to die for dirt that someone else will ultimately control ‘for’ you? Clearly, this is one band that doesn’t think so. The machinations of greedy men is a topic that comes up a lot in Sepultura lyrics, but this song is on our list because of its timeless relevance. Ghengis Khan, The Roman Empire, and modern-day Israel are but a few examples of the neverending fight. Will you give your life to hold dirt so someone you’ve never met can tell your children what to do with it?
7. Slave New World
If you only see one live song by Sepultura, you’d be privileged to see this one performed. Speaking to the anger of youth and feelings of being used by the government and those in power, Slave New World deserved more acclaim than it got. Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard co-wrote this ripping tune. Though it underperformed for US charts and only barely made the top fifty in the UK, it is an outstanding song. The heavy lyrics are reminiscent of Biohazard, but Sepultura truly made it their own.
As a superb example of thrash-era Sepultura, Lobotomy is number one with a bullet. There’s something deeply disturbing about Lobotomy. Perhaps appropriately, it is also a real earworm that sticks with you. Lyrically, Lobotomy is pure angry Sepultura at their best. “Brain eating brain” is ironically well worth thinking about. For those seeking a neurodivergent, angry rock anthem, drop this on your list.
All rock is a rebellion, but Refuse/Resist is a direct, unapologetic approach. You could easily add this to a playlist called ‘Songs to Fight the System .’ It would be in good company. The screaming guitar and simple, bold lyrics are a call to action. The drum intro is definitely not to be missed. You don’t need to be a drummer to feel how truly excellent it is. Refuse lives up to its name and more. When you feel oppressed, this is the sound you need.
4. Inner Self
You might think that being true to yourself is off-topic for a band that mostly sings about how rough and nasty the world can be. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Before you can fight the forces that weigh you down, it helps to know who you are. Being your own man (person) is something most humans strive for. Having that power will only help you push on when it feels like everything else is going wrong.
Even if you are completely new to Sepulturas’ music, you’ve probably still figured out that they are all about fury, passion, and fighting against what they see as wrong and oppressive in the world. Propaganda is another in a long line of excellent songs that express that feeling so well. Critical thinking is a skill to few embrace. Yet, at its core, the song Propaganda and Sepultura as a whole are both encouraging just that. Use your judgment, think for yourself, and stop believing everything you read is the poignant message here.
2. Dead Embryonic Cells
Anyone who has ever felt the powerful pull of teen angst can connect to Dead Embryonic Cells. Dark and dystopian, this is a song about the ways technology does us dirty. After all, not all progress is good progress. Do you want to scream about the unfairness and pointlessness of life sometimes? Sepultura already did, and it’s amazing.
1. Roots Bloody Roots
While most of Sepulturas’ music is about rising up and fighting the bad in the world, this song is different. Roots Bloody Roots is about having pride in who you are and where you come from. Having a connection to your past and origins can make you stronger. As the band’s most popular song, it’s easy to see why putting all that passion into a mostly positive message resonated with their fans.
Like many outstanding hard rock bands, Sepultura changed members, but they have endured. With the latest release, Quadra, in 2020, they have fifteen studio albums, so there’s no doubt Sepultura’s top ten best songs of all time could change as they continue to create. For now, at least, these are the songs every rocker needs to know. From the era of guyliner to the era of Covid and beyond, this is one band with power chords that last and span at least four decades so far. Luckily, there’s no sign that they’ll ever stop. Few bands can hold on to their heavy, hardcore attitude for a decade. Yet, Sepultura is as relevant today as they were when they recorded Schizophrenia in 1987.