Cavalera Conspiracy are the Brazilian brothers of Sepultura‘s project, because neither of them have been in Sepultura since 2006 (which does beg the question, “why is anyone still listening to Sepultura?”). It’s what vocalist and guitarist Max does when he’s not releasing interesting albums (like this year’s Killer Be Killed record) or making dull Soulfly albums, and it seems to be all that drummer Igor does musically now.
Their new album, ‘Pandemonium’, is a good reflection on where Cavalera Conspiracy are in their career; the album isn’t as interesting as it should be, and neither are they. What lets this album down is that it really could have been actual pandamonium, but what we have is a handful of weak songs and flat production.
Whilst opening track ‘Babylonian Pandemonium’ does perk ears by sounding like early Napalm Death, they don’t remain perked for long when you find that this album is littered with poor, lazy and uninteresting songs. Tracks like ‘Bonzai Suicide’, ‘I, Barbarian’ and ‘Crucible’ all feel like a Cavalera song by numbers – basic, predictable and dull.
Even if the songwriting were to improve, the production would still be holding this album back. There are riffs on this record that should smash you round the head, when instead they barely flick a nipple because the production just makes everything stagnant.
Beneath the dull sonic exterior of this album, however, are some shimmers of hope that save it from being a complete flop. The aforementioned rumbling opener has some sick early Napalm Death influences shining through it, ‘Scum’ is a short sweet blast of aggression, and ‘Cramunhão’ has the best riff on the record along with some sweet power violence-ish vocals. They still don’t punch as hard as Cavalera tracks should, but they’re like Mike Tyson compared to the rest of the album.
Overall, ‘Pandemonium’ feels unnecessary and makes you feel like the Cavalera brothers will stick their once legendary and exciting name on anything now, even on an album as boring as this one.
Written by Jack King (@jackingy)