Cavalera Conspiracy



Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 26 November, 2014
Link: Official Website

Three times not so much a charm but much of the same

To a point, I’m kind of chuffed that half of the original Sepultura line up are doing something together these days. No, I’m not talking about the band that still runs around under the name Sepultura. I’m talking about the Cavalera brothers Max and Igor and their band, the uninspiringly titled Cavalera Conspiracy. I think in all fairness they are doing more interesting things these days than the aforementioned band they founded almost three decades ago. Whilst Cavalera Conspiracy may not be the thrashing beast that the mighty Seps were at their peak – and yes, I mean 1991’s Arise and nothing after it – what Cavalera Conspiracy are about is at least better than anything since the insanely overrated train wreck otherwise known as Roots (1996).

Pandemonium is the band’s third album and continues the band’s three year release pattern. The only real difference this time around is the recruitment of Converge bassist Nate Newton into the fold. Otherwise it very much is business as usual within the Cavalera Conspiracy camp... to a point. Now, I say to a point because there are parts of Pandemonium that are Nailbomb like and basically as close to anything Nailbomb as you should expect from Senor Max Cavalera in this day and age. Let’s face it – he’s stretched pretty thin between this, Soulfly and whatever he is putting his mitts into these days.

Now there are parts to Pandemonium that are pretty darned thrashy to these ears. Now, before you all get too excited and think that this release sounds like something from about 20 plus years ago, you’d be wrong. This is pretty simple stuff at the core that really doesn’t depart too much from the simplistic mould that Max has cast for himself and his hordes of fans since the Roots era days. Now, this is not to say that Pandemonium is anything like that album. It’s not. It just reeks of the simplicity that defined Roots as an album from a riff point of view. Album number three for Cavalera Conspiracy is no different in that regard.

Anything that Marc Rizzo brings to this album is out of place really. I’m not going to get into an argument regarding the guy’s abilities as a guitarist, but suffice to say, the leads and even textures that he brings to Cavalera Conspiracy are simply out of place. They do not belong. That’s it. The other point of contention I have here is the heavy effects added to Max’s vocals, who, let’s face it, doesn’t exactly have a blistering track record for stellar, clear vocal performances to begin with. Mass Hippy Noses anyone? Yeah, I thought as much.

There’s some thrash elements to Pandemonium, some industrial, Nailbomb-like qualities to Pandemonium and some Soulfly like qualities to Pandemonium as well as, well, as you’d expect, some Cavalera Conspiracy like qualities to it as well. It’s a bit of a mixed bag to be honest and the end result is just that. Pandemonium has its moments but they are few and far between which leaves this album as another in a long line of ho-hum releases from a unit fronted by someone who originally had so much potential.

Perhaps this will be an album that will amaze the blind followers of anything Maxfly puts his name to. So be it. Personally, I don’t see it. Three Cavalera Conspiracy albums in and I’m yet to be amazed by the much publicised reunion of Igor and Max Cavalera. Whilst it’s all well and good they have overcome their differences and that they are making music together again, I’d argue just how essential that pairing is these days when the overall result is as average as this and every other album that they have put out since 2006. Pandemonium has its moments for sure but not enough for this jaded reviewer to go gaga over. You wanna impress me? Get the band back together. Then, maybe, I’ll be impressed. Until then, carry on as usual because that is just what Max and Igor are doing here and really, it ain’t all that in the slightest.

Napalm Records/Rocket

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