Cavalera Conspiracy

I think from the time that Max Cavalera left his brother Igor and Sepultura behind in 1996, the entire metal world knew that at some point the two would reunite, either in Sepultura, or in a new project. In his absence, Max spent his time in Soulfly, a band that I was never really sold on, and continued the direction the last two Sepultura albums with him went. As far as Igor goes, I was also never much into any of Sepultura’s material after Max had left. After more than a decade, the time has finally come with Igor’s decision to split from the band and join forces with Max, as well as Marc Rizzo of Soulfly, and Joe Duplantier of Gojira in the aptly titled Cavalera Conspiracy.

So just what style of metal have the Brazilian brothers created? Is it more of what Max has been occupying himself with for the past decade in the form of 3 chord redundant nu-metal, or have they gone back more to their death/thrash beginnings? I’m happy to say it’s the latter – solid and groove laden thrash is the order of the day here. Although a good chunk of the riffs are on the simple and straight forward side of things, the guitar prowess of Marc Rizzo is allowed to shine through in some excellent soloing and lead work.

The short summary of their debut offering would be if there was a bridging album between Sepultura’s Arise and Chaos A.D., Inflikted would be it. The opening self titled track is a little light on the thrash and heavy on the groove, sounding more like a Chaos A.D. leftover, but then the follow up “Sanctuary” brings the thrash to the forefront in a big way loaded with hooks. “Terrorize” sees them balance those two aspects and throws in some of the world/tribal influences that were so readily available on Chaos A.D., Roots and all throughout Soulfly’s discography. That balance is also found in “Dark Ark”, “The Doom of All Fires” and “Hearts of Darkness” which has some groove but leans a little more thrash. If all out thrash is what your looking for, look no further than “Hex” and “Nevertrust”, but if you liked the groove of Chaos A.D., check out “Ultra-Violent”, “Bloodbrawl” (which closes out on some beautiful clean guitar) and album closer “Must Kill”.

The albums downfalls are primarily rooted in Max’s sometimes silly lyrical approach. First, there’s the problem of repetition – for example in “The Doom of All Fires”, nearly all words at the start of each new line in the verses is repeated in a spoken/chanted style and in “Nevertrust”, the song title is repeated at the beginning of each new line – it’s just extremely monotonous and tiring. Secondly, there’s more repetition of particular words, and those being ‘kill’ and ‘die’ – they’re heavily peppered throughout the album, and usually when found, repeated mercilessly. I don’t necessarily have a problem with those words, but when used ceaselessly, any word will become tiresome – it feels generic and uninspired. Lastly, there’s that goofy line in “Hex” – “buffalo soldiers high on crack” – I read online Max’s explanation of each song and their meaning, but even then, this line is just ridiculous. Even though these things are somewhat detracting, it’s not enough to make me dislike the album – just minor annoyances is all.

All in all, Inflikted is a good, solid album in the opinion of this old Sepultura fan, and has restored my faith in Max and Igor. Though I must say I can imagine it won’t be the same for the majority of fans whose interest cut off after Arise – there’s probably a little too much Chaos A.D. sound to be had. For those that have been more open to that experimentation with groove, by all means pick it up – I think you’ll dig it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
March 30th, 2008


  1. Commented by: Franklin Delano Bluth

    So what’s the first step they take to distance themselves from the nu-metal garbage they’ve been peddling? Spell the name of the album wrong. Bravo boys. That being said, I want to hear this.

  2. Commented by: Apollyon

    I’ve got to give this a thumbs up. It ain’t Arise, it ain’t Chaos A.D but it’s an album Sepultura should have released after Roots (despite the fact that I don’t resent the Derrick-era material at all). All it needs is Kisser’s and Paolo’s signature sounds…

  3. Commented by: Fred Phillips

    I really like this record — better than any Sepultura record since Chaos A.D. and better than any Soulfly record. If you’re looking for Beneath the Remains, pass on it. But, to my ears, there’s a real Chaos A.D. vibe going. I’d call it a cross between Chaos A.D. and the better Soulfly stuff.

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