Hearing Aide: Cavalera Conspiracy, ‘Pandemonium’

pan cdMax Cavalera seems to be a man who can never rest. After years of touring with Sepultura to forming Soulfly, Max has teamed up for the third time with his brother Igor to bring Cavalera Conspiracy’s Pandemonium. November 4 the album was dropped via Napalm Records. Cavalera Conspiracy had a lot of momentum with the previous record Blunt Force Trauma. So how did this one pan out?

Opener “Babylonian Pandemonium” may be the heaviest track of 2014 and sets the tone for the entire album. Definitely heavier than anything that anything Max Cavalera has ever released. Absolute brutality that even puts Sepultura’s Arise to shame and in terms of heaviness, it’s a fist coming straight at you. No other way to put it.

The Cavalera brothers have taken grindcore and thrash to a whole new level. The track “Bonzai Kamikazee” continues exactly what the previous track brought and by far, some of the most insane drumming from Igor Cavalera.   I always believed that Igor was always the X-Factor. It seems that Max always brings his best material when his brother Igor is there behind the kit. My only complaint about this album is that it seems to have buried the bass. However, on the track “Scum” we get a bass intro from Nate Newton. But the album has so much heavy guitars and drums it’s damn near impossible to hear the bass.

My favorite track, “I, Barbarian”, is a suitable title for a song with such eerie guitar solos and riffs from Mark Rizzo and Max Cavelera. But the breakdowns make it much more fun to listen and bang your head to. The following track, “Cramunhão”, has Max’s best vocal performance. It’s hard to believe at his age he can still bring such monster vocals to the table. The last track, “The Crucible”, is a really awesome closing track. The album has two really kick ass bonus tracks “Deus Ex Machina” and” Porra” (which has a Roots flavor to it).

Mark Rizzo’s best work on this album has to be the track “Insurrection”, which has the most guitar solos. The album really centers around the Cavalera brothers, but “Insurrection” gives Rizzo the spotlight. Maz Cavalera and John Gray produced the album and while the production is good, not great, is that it is so damn heavy that some of the bass seems to be buried, but the vocals and guitars sound great and the drums really stand out.

Overall, Pandemonium is a heavy album that is meant to be played loud and by far, Cavalera Conspiracy’s heaviest album and definitely in the conversation as the heaviest album of 2014. Fans of early Sepultura will be pleased.

You can purchase the album here.

Key Tracks: Babylonian Pandemonium, I, Barbarian, Cramunhão, Not Losing The Edge
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