Album Review: Cavalera Conspiracy – Pandemonium (Napalm Records)


The 3rd Cavalera Conspiracy album is one of great expectation. For those dreaming of a classic Sepultura reunion it is as close as you’re going to get, for now. 2 of the original bands driving force…together making some of the heaviest music in metal. Inflikted was a great album, Blunt Force Trauma was a great album…can Pandemonium follow suit?

The opening track, Babylonian Pandemonium showcases exactly what the Cavalera’s do & why they are so damn good at it. After a brief build up it just explodes out of the gates & the first thing you’ll notice is just how much lower Max’s vocals are. Normally at the fore-front of songs this time he has taken a bit more of a back-seat. It instantly puts you in mind of early Sepultura…Arise & Morbid Visions. It is spectacular & the song is over as quickly as it begun.

Bonzai Kamakazee is a thrash song with a more recognisable Cavalera sound & the drumming is out of this world. This is a circle pit song if there ever was one especially at the end when it slows down & kicks into a killer riff before sounding an air-horn & just making you want to bang your head as hard as you can. My favourite track on the album by far.

The 3rd track, Scum is a meaty number that is un-recognisable as a Cavalera song at first. It continues the trend of being brutally heavy with the guitars taking centre stage & Max’s vocals being more muted. I, Barbarian is another thrashy & fast song that has that wonderful rolling drum effect that is extremely pleasing to the ears. At the 2 minute mark every instrument combines to just turn your neck into jelly, it’s uncompromising & sweetens the whole deal with a killer guitar solo to end the song.

Cramunhao is a more traditional (is there such a thing?) Cavalera Conspiracy song opening with a simple riff & percussion echo effect. At first it might not seem that out of the ordinary but its chorus ups the heaviness & Max’s vocals sound devastatingly brutal.

Apex Predator’s guitar driven intro makes a nice change before diving into the thrash sound of the album as a whole. Groove is not on the cards here & you can tell speed was the name of the game. A shouted vocal line (gang-vocal like) stands out as it’s so unexpected but it’s the roaring at the end of the song that will really blow your mind.

Insurrection gets going at top speed & only let’s up to drop a classy guitar solo in. What has become standard for the album, Max’s vocals take a backseat here with the instruments being more prominent. Ending on another incredibly heavy note, Insurrection is a song that will be amazing live.

Not Losing The Edge’s inrto is an eerie surprise sounding almost nursery rhyme like but is quickly replaced by fast-paced drumming & a nice riff to boot. This is a song all about Max though & his vocals take a more pronounced role. It is a call to arms for any naysayers of the Cavalera clan…these boys are as uncompromising as always but also writing great music.

Father of Hate’s title describes exactly what kind of song you get here. Heavy & fast…no major surprises but as solid as you can get. The final song is The Crucible & is a much more slower-paced song but still maintains that Cavalera heaviness. Max’s vocals are incredibly heavy-weight here though mixed with vocals from the bass player, Nate Newton & there is a nice change of direction nearer the end.

If you bought the Deluxe version of the album you will have received 2 bonus tracks as well. The first is Deus Ex Machina which has a thrashy marching band style that fits nicely in the album as a whole.

The other bonus track is Porra, a song made for fans of Sepultura’s Roots era utilising tribal percussions.

Probably the best Cavalera Conspiracy album to date, a pure thrash/speed album that never gets boring even if it is a bit predictable at times. For early Sepultura fans this is the spiritual successor to the Arise album & as close to a reunion as you’re likely to get.

Cavalera Conspiracy - Pandemonium (Napalm Records)
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