Once upon a time, 1996 specifically, my favorite band in the whole world broke up and I was devastated. The Cavalera brothers had gone their separate ways and Sepultura was no more. Yes, yes, I know they continued with Derrick Green as lead singer but as far as I was concerned, the band was dead.
Fast forward 11 years and boom, long live Sepultura *cough-cough, I mean… Cavalera Conspiracy*. The brothers settled their differences, joined forces again and the latest album is a portal in time swirling under a pale grey sky back to the glory days of albums like Beneath the Remains, Arise and Chaos A.D. This is a total masterpiece by two metal legends.
First up, ‘Insane’. This track starts off hard and heavy guitar rhythm building into a blast beat. One of the fastest tracks on the album. It’s groovy and Max Cavalera’s trademark gravel-like clean vocal style is awesome. At the 1:14 mark it breaks down in to into a heavy groove and then at two minutes goes to thrash. This song is everything the Cavalera brothers have done all rolled into one.
‘Terror Tactics’ could almost be lifted straight out of Chaos A.D. This is thrash metal, again mid-way through at three minutes it breaks down into a bouncing guitar rhythm with a slow-paced drum track, solo and a chant from Max, prime material for playing live.
‘Impalement Execution’, now we are going into groove metal territory. Starting off in a groove with drums to match, the song almost feels like an anthem before bringing the blast beats and fast guitars back at 1:50 only for it to break back down into groove at around three minutes. A total metal roller coaster. The end of this track leads straight into the next;
‘Spectral War’, this is the single released prior to album launch and if I didn’t know any better I would think it was 1994 and I was listening to Chaos A.D. It’s groove, it’s thrash, it’s even got some hardcore punk elements. At 3:21 it stops and slows to walking pace… heavy bombastic drums with an awesome solo then fade into an instrumental finish.
‘Crom’, an ode to Robert E. Howards’ fictional Deity. It’s thrash and death, blast beats, high pitched solos and a sprinkling of fantasy. At 4:20 we have some classic Cavalera spoken word finishing off with something which could even be a sample from Conan…
Probably the weakest track and also the shortest is ‘Hellfire’. At just over three minutes, this seems like an experiment. Gone right or wrong will be up to you, the listener.
‘Judas Pariah’ is death metal, Cavalera-style. Blast beats, growls, shrieks. Fast… ultra-fast and with what has become a Cavalera trademark by now, at two minutes it breaks down into a groove and keeps going leading into the title track;
‘Psychosis’. Now it’s not very often any heavy metal band has a pure instrumental as the title track for the album. That’s what we have here. It’s tribal, bringing a primal element with a rhythmic drum track behind it. The guitar comes in clean but not acoustic. Keyboards also. Some distortion kicks in around three minutes and leads out.
The last track ‘Excruciating’ is heavy and back to Cavalera death metal with some groove elements. After a solo, it breaks down in typical fashion and goes into an instrumental until we reach five minutes at which point you will hear a tribute to the Cavalera golden days of Sepultura but I will leave that for you to discover…