Heavy metal icon, Max Cavalera, finally released his much anticipated biography, “My Bloody Roots: From Sepultura To Soulfly And Beyond,” last month to the metal masses across the world. Being a huge fan of Max’s career, this was a book that I could not wait to get my hands on. After reading and dissecting it over the past few weeks, it did not disappoint. Max has always been very open and honest with both fans and press, but this gives you an insight to many things we never knew before, and it’s a phenomenal look inside the head of one of the greatest legends of our time. From his childhood to now, Max has lived a life with many ups and downs, but has come out with his head held high and many years of music to come. For that, we should all be grateful. He has always poured his heart and soul into his work, and he did the same with his autobiography. Order your copy here, and read my full review below!
Max Cavalera is well known for being a huge family man, and you understand why as he describes his early childhood to start out the autobiography. With a father who worked at the Italian Embassy in Brazil, the family enjoyed a blessed life, which even included a trip for Max to get baptized at the Vatican in Rome. Unfortunately when he was just ten years old, Max’s father passed away, which sent a shock wave throughout his whole family, and turned their lives upside down. Being that young and dealing with a tragic event like that, Max rebelled, and along with his brother, Igor, they went against all authority, and the only thing that they gravitated toward that was positive was heavy metal. While in San Paulo in 1981, their lives were forever changed by watching Queen in concert, which convinced Max that this was what he meant to do in life. As we all know by now, this was an excellent choice.
The detailed account of Sepultura in this autobiography is quite exceptional. From the beginnings of the band, to how they got the name,and beyond is pretty impressive. Being a band from Brazil, they were the first heavy metal band to break out to have major success across the world, and although they seemed unstoppable, it unfortunately came to a messy break up in 1997. During their successful run as a band, Max details hilarious stories about meeting Lemmy for the first time, puking on Eddie Vedder, hanging with Ozzy and much more. They were obviously living the heavy metal dream, including a lot of alcohol, but still managed to create some of the best metal records ever created. In this book you get a detailed lesson on how these records were made as well. From the riffs to the inspiration behind the lyrics, Max brings you into his mindset at the time, and it gives you a greater appreciation of the songs now. Just like when his father passed when he was ten and his world was turned upside down, he lost his stepson, Dana, in 1996, which resulted in an importance of family becoming a problem with other members of Sepultura. Their last show together was at London’s Brixton Academy in 1996, and while Max went home to take care of his family dealing with this recent death, the band decided to give him a now famous ultimatum. Max decided to stick with Gloria and his immediate family during this time, which upset fans everywhere, but as you read his reasoning in this book, you can’t blame him one bit.
Following yet another tragic death and no longer being in Sepultura, Max was at a loss, and once again turned to music. Soulfly came out of this time, and it was a project that he wanted to be different, yet heavy as hell. His incorporation of tribal influences goes back to his family roots, and as each record passed, he began to realize the power this group had over the fans, and continued to make it his new baby and the powerhouse that it is today. After reconnecting with Igor after ten years, other projects like Cavalera Conspiracy were born, and now his passion for creating more music seems at an all time high. He truly lives to write music and play on that stage, and you really understand why with each turn of the page in this book. As he says inside, “Music is my life. It’s what I live for. Without it, I’m dead.”
Max Cavalera has always been a huge inspiration in my life, and after reading this autobiography, my respect for him will never be topped. He has lived through tragic deaths, a stint with rehab and more, but has learned from each experience to become the legend that he is. Throughout his music career, he has lived the dream, and some of the stories in this book are just hilarious, but the main theme is the importance music has had in his life. Whether it’s describing the creation of his favorite riffs or playing in front of fans all over the world, you can tell that his passion has never left him, and his humility and openness in this book will give fans just another reason to raise your horns to the legend. It’s a story of triumph over tragedy, family over all, and the power that heavy metal can have on a human being. If that sounds like something you’d like to read, pick this autobiography up right away. In my opinion, it’s a definite must read for all metal fans.