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If you like groove ... - 55%

DGYDP, April 13th, 2008

First of all, this is not a return to the old sound of Sepultura. I'm getting a headache from all the wannabes who claim the Cavalera's have returned to the old-school. No, this is more of the same groove metal that they have been offering is for the last ten years. Think Soulfly, but more intense and a with a mild death/thrash influence ("Hex", for example).

This is not a missing link between two Sepultura albums; in fact it doesn't sound anything like a Sepultura album. It is, however, better than most of the post-95 work of the Cavalera brothers. Without a doubt, this is a huge step forward. Unfortunately, there are still too many flaws to make it a good album. If you are looking for thrash you won’t find it here and if you are looking for the old Sepultura sound you'll come back with a headache.

The sound is best described as a more intense version of groove metal, with the typical instrumental passages as found on Soulfly's Dark Ages. We can distinguish a small influence from metalcore on some songs, but less than I expected. On a couple of tracks there are also keys present, who provide some variation. Max sounds surprisingly good, but nothing spectacular compared to himself on Beneath the Remains or Arise. His rhythm guitar work is at times pretty bland and simplistic, while Marc Rizzo only has a handful of moments of glory. Rizzo simply does what he’s good at: mindless shredding without any apparent purpose.

Joe Duplantier's bass playing is simply put bad, though that's to be expected because he's not really a bass player at all. The only track with a good bassline is on "Ultra-Violent", where Rex Brown handled the low end. I expected something really spectacular from Igor, but that didn't happen. In stead, it's hard to tell he's the same guy that used to drum for the old Sepultura. Although the drumming on Inflikted is pretty disappointing, it doesn’t really bother me that much. The production is crystal clear, which was to be expected from a Roadrunner release. I'm guessing a more raw-sounding production would have been a better choice.

Positive highlights:
- a couple of cool tracks, such as Inflikted and Sanctuary.
- better than anything the Cavalera's have done after 1995.
- if you like groove metal you'll like this. I don’t like this genre, but I’m sure fans of it will enjoy Cavalera Conpiracy.

Negative highlights:
- the lyrics. Dear god, this is less inspired than yelling "death! destruction! kill! die!" for an entire hour. In fact, that's exactly what these lyrics are. Just look at some of the song titles to get an idea of how crappy the lyrics are.
- the bass. Perhaps for the next album they'll get a real bass player ...
- Marc Rizzo. Somebody please tell Max to get rid of this clown and get Jairo Fucking Tormentor in the band. Now that would be badass, even more so than getting Andrea$ Ki$$er to do a Sep reunion tour. Could you guys imagine ¾ of the Morbid Visions line-up making music again?

To sum it up, this is basically a more intense version of Soulfly, nothing alike old Sepultura at all. Don't believe all the people who claim this sounds like thrash. Just don't.