Cavalera Conspiracy were born into almost unanimous jubilation. Their debut album was a distinct step away from Soulfly for Max, and of course, saw him and Igor back together for the first time since… well you know when. Sepultura runs deep in Cavalera Conspiracy as you’d expect but that initial excitement soon drained away to a point where their second outing, ‘Blunt Force Trauma’ was met with a similarly unanimous shrug of the shoulders.
Everyone went back to wanting that Sepultura reunion that looks less and less like ever happening…
So the prospect of a third Cavalera Conspiracy album is probably not getting your knickers too wet. Max has been as busy as usual this year with Soulfly and the awesome Killer Be Killed record and we’re not going to be too surprised by what’s on ‘Pandemonium’ are we?
It’s not quite what we’re expecting. This is a masterwork of brutal death thrash and there’s not a mind-numbing call of “Blood, Fire, War, Hate” etc. in sight. Well, as long as you squint a bit.
This is a nastier, heavier and more brutal piece of work than most will be anticipating. It’s unpolished and muddy sound helps it stay away from just being another Max record. Take the opening mouthful of ‘Babylonian Pandemonium’ as an example. The vocals are hidden deep in the mix and musically it clatters away like a transit van with 400,000 miles on the clock.
There’s definitely more in common with early Sepultura on ‘Pandemonium’ than anything else in recent outings for the Cavalera brothers. Closer ‘Porra’ even has some berimbau on there before the onslaught of thrashy riffs and tribal interludes. It could easily come from ‘Chaos A.D.’
‘Scum’ is a monstrous tune early on in proceedings that perhaps gives CC some of their own identity whilst ‘Not Losing the Edge’ has some of those very tried and tested monosyllabic roars from Max’s unique stylings.
The inclusion of Converge bass man Nate Newton may have injected some of this new found urgency and less glossy sound. ‘Father of Hate’ is a breakneck blast of squealing guitars and goliath like vocals. The rougher mix also makes Marc Rizzo sound all the better too. His usual pin point accurate fretboard work along with his bleepy guitar tone doesn’t always do his work that much justice. Here that tone and style is still very much evident but hidden behind a few layers of dirt it sounds all the more heavier.
So a new home for Cavalera Conspiracy with Napalm Records and a new bass player in the shape of Nate seems to have given the band an unexpected change in style and attitude. All for the better too… this is a hungry and purposeful sounding Cavalera Conspiracy. There’s no sign of just going through the motions here.