Cavalera Conspiracy // Blunt Force Trauma
Rating: 2.0/5.0 —Not the Sepultura record you’ve been waiting for…
Release Dates: EU: 2011.03.28 | US: 03.29.2011
It is unfortunate, but reasonable, that I should start this off by saying the obvious: this is not the Sepultura record you’ve been waiting for. While the Cavalera brothers have been reunited in the band named after them, this is not Beneath the Remains II or hell, even Roots II, this is something different and if you hadn’t figured out that this was going to be the case by now, then you are a naive and probably very easily disappointed person. While I respect your optimism, I think that optimism becomes stupidity if you hold out too long. And I think we’ve all held out too fucking long.
So lets take Cavalera Conspiracy for what they are. Basically, they’re a groovey metal band with some hardcore influence and a lot of simplistic riffs. This music is not for the technically minded. As it has been since the aforementioned Roots and throughout Soulfly and, hell, even Nailbomb, Cavalera’s records are pretty much simplistic, groove based metal with lots of riffs that spit out in rapid succession like machine gun rounds. I guess that there is something that people like about this, maybe the raw aggression, but most of this leaves me cold.
Where the band does really hit home is when they’re breaking out the thrash and really nailing it home. The track “Rasuptin” is for example, no, not another incarnation of the Boney M song a la Turisas, but instead a rad, heavy, respectable thrash track with great melody. It is worth pointing out that Marc Rizzo does actually have some serious chops and he really makes the best moments on this album. In addition to “Rasputin,” “Target” has some pretty good thrashy riffing and old school guitar solos that pull Slayer‘s good stuff from the grave and make it better by staying in key and forgoing the dive bombs. In addition to great solos, every once in a while these guys break out a great Iron Maiden harmonized lead or some old school gallops that really pick things up like on “I Speak Hate.”
Another thing that stood out for me, here, was that the lyrics were generally pretty uninspired. While the ideas at times are interesting, the actual execution is poor. The track “I Speak Hate,” is a good example of this, taking examples of people whose lives have been destroyed in different situation and basically describing their reactions. But the lyrics lack poetic sense and they are generally unconvincing. The same is true of the other tracks, too, borrowing from the Steve Harris School of Lyric Writing, the title Blunt Force Trauma could very well describe what will happen to your brain after having bothered to listen to these lyrics.
I have the utmost respect for Max and Iggor Cavalera, but this record isn’t very good. It feels uninspired, like it’s Soulfly‘s b-tracks and it’s just getting put out because the groundswell for a Sepultura reunion is growing and has been for a while. While there are some very good moments on here, as I’ve mentioned, much of this record was just mind-numblingly boring for me. And that’s too bad, ’cause being a long time Sepultura fan and a big fan of Nailbomb I was hoping that this record would live up to that legacy and offer something new. But, indeed, this was not the record I’ve been waiting for.