Cavalera brothers surprise with a brutal album
Much has been written about the Cavalera brothers, the feud between Max and Igor, the break-up of the original Sepultura line-up and the new bands that followed like Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy. The metal world still seems to be widely divided between the die-hard fans of the original Sepultura, for whom any release of the former Sepultura members is just a pile of shit, the die-hard fans that just love anything that is produced by the Cavaleras and a lot of new and young fans that give a rat’s ass about the history. Although not that young anymore I belong to the later group. If you have seen any of the mentioned bands live lately you know that they still kick ass. If you don’t like what I just wrote then stop reading now. You will only get upset because I have actually something positive to say about the new album of Cavalera Conspiracy.
‘Pandemonium’ is the third full-length album of Cavalera Conspiracy. Besides the brothers Max and Igor it also features Max’s Soulfly band mate Marc Rizzo on guitars and for the first time on bass Nat Newton (from hardcore punk band Converge). The interesting part about Cavalera Conspiracy albums is that the band goes to the studio to record the albums with just some fragments, riffs and general ideas. All tracks are then finished in a short period of time (within only four weeks this time around) and recorded. Despite or maybe because of this immense creative pressure ‘Pandemonium’ does not sound unfinished or put together hastily. Instead ‘Pandemonium’ convinces with 12 thrash metal tracks that combine the thrash metal roots (no pun intended) with death metal elements, the remarkably distinguished tribal drums of Igor and the guttural vocals of Max. Especially the vocals are specifically dark, border to growling and have been recorded to sound croaky.
‘Pandemonium’ is the heaviest album that Cavalera Conspiracy have released so far. All songs are fast, heavy and aggressive. The lyrics tell a story of turmoil, riot and brutality. Clearly the old spirit of rebellion is still alive. It is hard to pick a favourite as all songs perform. ‘Bonzai Kamikazee’ would be my pick if I had to choose because of the killer riff. But other songs like ‘The Crucible’ and the groovy ‘Not Losing The Edge’ are also right up there. The only criticism I have is that some of the song structures are quite predictable but then again haven’t we heard it all anyway in one or the other way.
‘Pandemonium’ does not re-define the thrash metal genre. Anyone who expected this from the record will be disappointed. The genre has been well defined over the last 30+ years and I don’t think that we will ever hear anything that will change the game as the classic albums of the 80ies and 90ies did. What the album delivers though is a modern thrash metal album with death metal influences that is as heavy as it can be. It is a fun album to listen to and should work well on stage. Whether you are amongst the haters that just thrive on putting shit on the Cavaleras or whether you don’t give a f**k about the ancient history, this album will be for you. You will have a great time either hating or loving it. I just push the repeat button and train my neck a little more…
8 of 10