Friday, October 26, 2012

DrumTHRONE: Igor Cavalera

Igor Cavalera was one of my earliest drum heroes. I remember having geeky discussions about who was better, Igor or Dave Lombardo (that's what teenage metal heads do man) and being torn. The dude is a natural behind the kit. An amazing combination of speed, power, grooves and a unique playing style that is all his own.

80's hair FTW
Igor first rose to prominence playing with his brother Max in thrash metal legends Sepultura. In the late 1980's, Sepultura took the underground metal world by storm. They started out as a sort of proto-death metal band and Igor's playing was fast but kind of sloppy. Then, at the ripe old age of 17, Sepultura released Beneath The Remains, a certified thrash classic, and Igor began perfecting his trade mark drum sound. Unfortunately there aren't too many HD videos of Igor's playing in the early days. Here is his isolated drum track from "Inner Self" to illustrate his awesomeness though.

Flash forward to the early 1990's. Sepultura begin to step away from their trash metal comfort zone and begin incorporating more elements of their native Brazilian music into their sound. Igor's tribal drumming on 1993's Chaos A.D. and especially on 1996's Roots, set the standard that just about every Nu-Metal band in the late 90's/early 2000's would rip off.

Igor and his brother Max had a falling out after Roots. Max left Sepultura but Igor and the rest of the band continued on without him. They kept going for nearly a decade until finally, Igor and Max resolved their brothers quarrel and Igor left Sepultura to form Cavalera Conspiracy in 2006. Sepultura still exists as a band to this day but it's basically a karaoke/tribute band at this point. The Cavalera brothers started that band, without Max or Igor, they cease to exist in my mind.

Igor remains one of my favorite drummers but I must say he has one of the oddest, most painful looking drum setups I've ever seen. Just look at his toms. I'd break my wrist in a minute playing his kit.

arthritis incarnate

Now in his 40's, Igor seems to have grown past the confines of "metal" music. He's a successful DJ and member of electronic music duo MIXHELL (performing alongside his wife) and also a father of four. Either way, I'm just stoked the Cavalera brothers are back together and cranking out the jams again. It's the closest thing to a Sepultura reunion we'll ever see, and any excuse to have Igor bashing the drums again is fine with me.


  1. Man this guy is insanely good, he's talented for sure and it's no wonder he's been an idol of yours, talk about incredible!

  2. Sure he'll bash away with a whole new display, sure bet he hasn't lost a step, err umm beat.

  3. I'd never heard the early Sepultura.. what I'd gotten was the Brazilian percussion, which is awesome yes. I'm more interested in this early day side now though.

  4. awwee yeaahhh havent listened to sepultura in months, this will be saturdays morning activity for the day. cheers