Before exiting the band after 1996's groundbreaking Roots, Max Cavalera wrote six albums worth of material with Sepultura, the Brazilian band he co-founded with his brother Iggor in 1984. After starting out as a blatant homage to their thrash-metal heroes, the band eventually came into their own and released four classic albums — Beneath the Remains, Arise, Chaos A.D. and Roots — before the guitarist-vocalist-songwriter departed.
During a recent conversation, Cavalera told Revolver his favorite song that he ever wrote for Soulfly, the band he started after Sepultura. But he also picked the Sepultura song that he's most proud of writing all these years later. Cavalera ended up going with "Arise," the title-track from Sepultura's 1991 album — considered by many to be a definitive piece of the death-thrash canon. See his reasoning below.
That's my favorite. That's my favorite track, especially the main riff. I remember writing that and going, "Oh, yeah, this is sick," because it's like... And I think it's a big influence by [Metallica's] "Blackened," if I'm not mistaken. It's same kind of idea, but we made it thrashier and just more energetic. But I think it's cool. That, to me, is like the prototype of a death-thrash song. It's perfect. There's nothing you can add to make it better. And if you take anything out of it, it ruins it. It's like it's perfect the way it is. So, I'm very proud of that one.