Genre: Thrash/Death
Country: U.S.A./Brazil
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2014

Being lazy is the last thing you could blame Max Cavalera for. With Soulfly’s latest release in 2013, the release of Killer Be Killed’s outstanding debut album earlier this year and now Cavalara Conspiracy’s third album the man is writing music faster than a chipmunk on speed.

The opener ‘Babylonian Pandemonium’ starts off with mainly murmuring vocals low in the mix. Not directly the in-your-face approach we are used to. You immediately get the feeling something will be different on this album. Max’ voice standson the forefront much more in ‘Bonzai Kamikaze’ and the overall feeling is much more familiar. Marc Rizzo’s riffing is unmistakeable. While not your standard guitar hero, the man has delivered some killer tunes in the past and he continues to motivate your neck muscles on this record.

On ‘Scum’ Max is snarling more brutal than he has done since a long time and he is backed up by brotherIgor who does a great job behind the drums. While this statement holds true for the whole album, ‘I, Barbarian’ should clearly remind fans of Nailbomb, that other project where the Cavalera brothers worked together.

The several parts on ‘Cramunhao’ demonstrate the amazing cooperation between all band members. Igor Cavalera and Nate Newton keep the ball stomping continuously, Max growls away ferociously and Marc Rizzo decorates the whole picture, scattering riffs and tingling notes all around the place. Although you could argue Rizzo’s presence makes the line-up too similar too Soulfly’s, Cavalera Conspiracy anno 2014 feels much more like Nailbomb rebooted and improved.

‘Apex Predator’ creates a strong cyber feeling and it’s again Rizzo’s colourful note eruptions that bring this song to the next level.Halfway the album succumbs to an expected feeling: predictability. It’s pounding, it’s grooving, it’s brutal and it’s catchy as fuck, but you know what is going to happen.

“Not Losing The Edge” features more of Max’ common vocal style these days and because of that stands out on this record. Also ‘Deus Ex Machina’ distinguishes itself on the later part of the album. An unexpected surprise was ‘Porra’ where we are immersed in the tribal roots of the Cavalera brothers. A welcome piece of music since I really miss the instrumental ‘Soulfly’ songs on Soulfly’s latest albums (these have been moved to the special and limited editions as bonus tracks).

In summary, a more than decent album of Cavalera Conspiracy. In many ways a return to the Cavalera brothers’ roots (both Nailbomb and Sepultura) and a more brutal approach. However, the highlight of this album is without a doubt Marc Rizzo’s talent for filling up all the gaps with tingling notes and riffs. While Pandemonium would otherwise be a brutal stampede, Rizzo manages to transform the album into something more elegant. As far as a herd of charging rhinos can be called elegant of course.

Recommended songs: ‘Bonzai Kamikaze’, ‘Cramunhao’, ‘Losing The Edge’, ‘Deus Ex Machina’

4/6