While I grew up enamored with albums like ‘Beneath the Remains’ and ‘Chaos A.D.’ the Cavalera brothers have generally put out far more atrocious music than they have good. post-‘Roots’ Sepultura saw Igor taking the band to initially impressive heights (sans Max) with a new vocalist and some real raw energy on ‘Against’ but once ‘Nation’ hit and the limitations of both Andreas Kisser’s riffing and Derrick Green’s bland vocal style became all too evident, the band was essentially over for me. On Max’s side there was Soulfly a nu-metal project that has basically survived for years trying to resemble Sepultura after the nu-metal craze stopped interesting crowds. With both bands heading out to cash in on nostalgia with full tours playing ‘Arise’ and Nailbomb‘s sole studio album, wasn’t it about time that the two Cavaleras put out something approximately as good? Well, they’re halfway there on ‘Psychosis’.
The A-side of ‘Psychosis’ recycles old Sepultura ideas to great effect capturing at least 75% of what made ‘Chaos A.D.’ and ‘Arise’ vitally important albums for early 90’s metal and the rise of both groove metal and a new wave of american heavy metal. The trouble is that if you were as fanatic for those albums as I was when they came out twenty years ago, it will feel pretty damn lazy by comparison. In fact I could easily confuse this with any of the last three Soulfly records or even the previous Cavalera Conspiracy album ‘Pandemonium’. Reading between the lines here, how ironic that it took these two so long to figure out what made Sepultura special that they’re too old and tired to punch out tight, blazing thrash riffs. There are some genuinely good ‘Chaos A.D.’ moments here and it seems this is the closest the Cavaleras will ever get.
The B-side, or let’s just say “Hellfire” through “Excruciating”, shows an odd return to the sound of Nailbomb and includes input from J.K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu) himself on one song. The resulting tracks are lazy sound collages and bad industrial metal, not the hyper-hardcore punk grind-thrash of ‘Point Blank’. “Judas Pariah” feels like a leftover Soulfly song and ‘Psychosis’ is a bland instrumental that echoes the numbered Soulfly-named tracks found on each of that band’s albums. To finish it off is “Excruciating” and let me tell you how it not only, again, sounds like Soulfly but it ends with popular metal radio DJ Jose Mangin reading some kind of stupid diatribe that actually sounds like a thirteen year old writing a press release for the reformation of Sepultura. It is horrible! But hey, this album is just fine if you stop at “Crom” and if you can stomach the second half you’re probably more of a Soulfly fan that I am. So, we’re neither here nor there with this one yet again and I’m still not even sure why I’ve bothered for the last 20 years.
|Released||November 17, 2017|
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