“From beneath the underground slums of a Third-World… A Two-headed Brazilian Godzilla was born… Destined to leave permanent sound scars on all… Under a pale grey sky… Hell… Chaos… Pandemonium… The massacre continues and there is no end in sight!”

These are the words which bring a close to ‘Psychosis’, the fourth full-length release from Cavalera Conspiracy and to be honest, there is a lot of truth in them. We all know the resume of the Cavalera brothers, it’s hard not to given how prolific and instrumental they are in metal on a global scale. This reputation alone speaks volumes, and it has made anything the pair have worked on rather noticeable. Be it Sepultura back in the late 80’s/Early 90’s, the all mighty Nailbomb or the recent joint venture – Cavalera Conspiracy, Max and Iggor are a rhythmic powerhouse which is known for its intensity and overwhelming force.

‘Psychosis’ is just a continuation of this, and using mental distress as a major source of inspiration, it aims to musically deliver the equivalent of a stay in an asylum and a whole host of mental conditions and states.

From the opening track “Insane” to the closing track “Excruciating”, it is a nine track assault of incredibly heavy riffs and phenomenal drums, wailing leads and thundering bass, harsh vocals and plenty of memorable musical sequences. It is what we expect, and whilst familiarity and predictability can be something which can make a band seem stale or uninventive, in the case of Cavalera Conspiracy it is something we want – no one is expecting incoherent Kerry King-esque wailing guitar wankery or the technical prowess of Joe Satriani when they listen to Cavalera Conspiracy – they expect shouting, walls of formidable riffs and drums and the sense that if you were in the crowd when it was live, the possibility of actual bodily harm!

“Insane” sets things off explosively; bringing memories of the song ‘Arise’ in the delivery and the tone and it is just as fast and relentless. The verses pull no punches with their delivery and the shift to the chorus maintains this. The oppressive feel this track gives off is in a league of its own, something few musicians can achieve! “Terror Tactics” lives up to its name with the lyrical theme, dealing with the type of behaviour associated with what we call terrorists. The chant-like mantra in the chorus with the multiple vocal layers, the evil sounding riffs and the feral nature courtesy of the cut-throat delivery of the track is delivered well. “Impalement Execution” sounds rather painful as a way to go out, and musically, it hits probably just as hard as being forcibly mounted on something!

“Spectral War” is a track of interest. The harshly growled vocals, thundering low end and colossal riffs bring that thrash-groove metal Sepultura and Fear Factory were renowned for in the mid-90s. It maintains a controlled feel throughout despite the shifts from seemingly wild and fast to more contained with minimal fuss, along with shifts into ‘Crust-Punk’ feel territory at one point before some wild lead guitar lines and some sweet sounding Sabbathian inspired riffs round it all off. “Crom” pays its respects to the Barbarian deity but sadly it lacks any references to Arnold Schwarzenegger and his work in the Conan films. It does however bring plenty of slow, hammering, mammoth-sized doomy riffs which pound away with no mercy, slick lead guitar work and some explosive bursts of thrash which descend into colossal chug riffs with little effort which makes for a great, high-tension feel track! “Hellfire” seems a little out of place initially with how it comes across as a very Godflesh feeling track, but when you take into account Max’s liking of said band and some of the Nailbomb material, this track which could in a way serve as a response to ‘Terror Tactics’ (i.e Hellfire missile, drone strikes etc), it does make it a contender for heaviest track on the album!

The final trio of tracks, “Judas Pariah”, “Psychosis” (an Instrumental) and “Excruciating” continue with the heavy assault to wrap things up. “Judas Pariah” features some terrifyingly intense blastbeat friendly drumming and it has a slight leaning towards the old blackened thrash/death thrash styles with the harshness of the delivery. “Psychosis” brings the whole cinematic, tribal feel approach. Playing on the cultural influences of the Cavalera’s and adding some grandeur to this intense metal offering, serving as a brief respite before the final track. “Excruciating” is pretty much like the rest of the release – terrifying, intense, frantic and imposing, rounding the album off in the same way it started – with a wall of riffs, angry shouting and tremendous drumming!

Like I said earlier, consistency is what we expect when it comes to anything involving the Cavalera brothers and this keeps the standard they have set up. There’s a little experimentation/variation compared to previous releases, but it’s not that noticeable… But when you want music which could be the soundtrack to the potential incoming dystopian post-Nuclear War future we could be looking at, then this is your release. If you want a terrifying blast of thrash metal, this is your release. If you want heavy… Yes, this is your release!

(9/10 Fraggle)