REVIEW: CAVALERA CONSPIRACY – PSYCHOSIS (2017)

Uneasy listening from the brothers

You know its funny, sometimes you forget how shocking events were as they get lost in the mists of time.

21 Years ago when Max Cavalera left Sepultura it was hard to understand, but then given how quickly water passes under the bridge, you almost don’t recall. Then there was the feeling of happiness when it was announced that Max had reconciled with his brother Igor towards the end of the last decade bringing an end to a 10-year-old feud they’d had.

None of this is to rake over the past that both would know doubt rather leave behind, but it is exactly why you shouldn’t be shocked when hearing “Psychosis” – because confounding expectations is what these boys do.

Although their fourth album does the (expectedly) unexpected, what is perhaps most disconcerting about “Psychosis” is that it starts in very thrash fashion indeed. “Insane” is quite simply made for the moshpit and wants to get you there as quickly as possible. It is absolutely brutal, and whilst that brutality never leaves these nine songs, it is nonetheless quite the journey.

“Terror Tactics” is as vicious a condemnation of terrorism as you will find anywhere, but oddly it is one of the more accessible songs. A chorus that is designed for sloganeering, combines with a crushing ending breakdown to make perhaps the highlight here.

The first clue, though, that this record has more on its mind than thrash comes in the unsettling intro to “Impalement Execution”. Like Slayer would be if they summoned something from beyond the grave, it is followed by “Spectral War” which, with its strange effects and dizzying sounds appears to be foretelling some apocalypse. If it is, then “Chrom” is the Four Horsemen being ushered in. Pure malevolence, the fact that it has spoken word sections and recites poetry only enhances its rabid glory.

But nowhere is the “anything goes” attitude of the album better shown than on “Hellfire”. Godflesh’s Justin Broadrick appears here and the nihilistic nature of the track has is industrial stamp all over it.

Happy, it seems to really let themselves go, “Judas Pariah” is buzzsaw riffs with a blastbeat heart, while the title track seems to exemplify the attitude that permeates throughout. Trippy, and instrumental, it dances to Latin rhythms and pulses to the sound of the jungle.

Last track “Excruciating” is the album in a nutshell. Starting as a pummelling thrasher, it quickly wants to explore other things and finds nothing is off limits. The longest track here, it ends with some odd sonic violence and warns of a “two headed Brazilian Godzilla”.

There are no prizes for guessing who it refers to. And this particular band of brothers are finding new ways to express themselves here. Easy listening this is not, and you suspect when it comes to “Psychosis” that suits them just fine.

Rating 7/10