By: Dennis Cook
Whisper the name Sepultura in some circles and you'll get hushed reverie and wide-eyed fan boy lust. Brazil's finest metal export snatched the "Catastrophically Metal" crown from Venom in the mid '80s and didn't relinquish it until the departure of lead singer and founding member Max Cavalera in 1996, when he formed Soulfly. For many in the Sepularmy , there's been a longing for Max to reunite with his sibling Igor Cavalera, who continues to drum in Sepultura. The hour has finally arrived with the heavy, heavy monster sound of Cavalera Conspiracy.
Coming on like a robot being microwaved and then crushed by Hulk hands during a final outcry of ones & zeroes, Inflikted (Roadrunner) has some of the crunk-groove of Rage Against The Machine, spitting raspy vitriol over surprisingly slinky music. This expands on Sepultura's boulder pulverizing ethos with something approaching funk. It's an ugly, chrome plated kind of funk but properly oiled you could dance to it. Cavalera Conspiracy is also pretty heady in tiny pockets within the generally rough terrain – a dub shiver here, a prog rock soliloquy there, a few seconds of stuttering digital manipulation over there or the full-blown cosmic jam epilogue on "Bloodbrawl." Where Sepultura works well with hard spirits (say raisin wine fermented in a prison toilet tank), the Conspiracy makes you want to roll a number and linger a spell in their thick, fast flowing sound stream.
It takes a pair to yell things like "Whatever you are/ We're against it" and "I am burning lava!" Max C. has MASSIVE stones and he's rarely roared with greater artistry. It's not just shouting, which casual dismissers of the genre often assume. The spoken and more traditionally sung parts work as punctuation, giving cadence to what is an undeniably angry overtone. The music matches him line for line, Max's rhythm guitar, Igor's double pedal drums, guitarist Marc Rizzo (Soulfly) and bassist Joe Duplantier (Gojira) shaking with headlong force, smearing pretty notes in the midst of the shrapnel barrage, steering left with tribal drum breaks and finely etched solos before returning to the main themes with increased toughness. Inflikted serves notice of a great new metal band's arrival. Lovers of the hard stuff rejoice.
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