Cavalera Conspiracy

Blunt Force Trauma

Written by: AP on 25/09/2011 13:22:20

It is a well known fact that Max Cavalera's allure comes not from his ability to play guitar or deliver gruff barks, but from his relentless commitment to metal in its purest, most visceral form. Were it not for riff maestro Marc Rizzo pushing out a constant torrent of tasteful licks, or Igor Cavalera laying down an inventive mix of death, thrash and tribal drumming, it is highly likely that Max Cavalera would consider eleven tracks of open string chugging in various tempos and grunting profanities on top of it to be sufficient for a successful metal album. As such, it would be foolish to expect something extraordinary from Cavalera Conspiracy at this point.

Indeed, the band's second album, "Blunt Force Trauma", could hardly have been titled more appropriately. Its eleven songs dismiss the notion of aesthetics, delivering instead a selection of short, effective blasts in true blue collar style, preferring profanity over poetry and volume over substance. The song titles speak for themselves, including such articulate propositions as "Torture", "Lynch Mob", "Thrasher" and "I Speak Hate". It is the logical successor to "Inflikted". But even so there are slight differences to be noted, namely that the approach here is even less forgiving. Whereas on "Inflikted" Igor Cavalera was lifted to a pedestal, his tribal drumming providing most of the intrigue factor, here it is Max Cavalera that takes the lead, consistently ushering himself to the forefront of the songs - a byproduct of the generally shorter songs.

There are moments on the likes of "I Speak Hate" where the band once again achieves the kind of symbiosis that made "Inflikted", "Sanctuary" and "Terrorize" such formidable songs, combining soulful melodies and solos with an intricate rhythm section and Max Cavalera's signature grunts. It sounds like "Beneath the Remains" or "Roots" era Sepultura, which is welcome news for the fans that always seem to expect Cavalera Conspiracy to do little more than reproduce the golden years of Sepultura. "Target" is another nostalgic piece, and in fact one of the only songs on the album that accurately relays the Cavalera brothers' fascination by Amazonian tribal music.

But by and large "Blunt Force Trauma" lags behind "Inflikted". It is plagued by a fixation on medium tempo and the apparent refusal to allow Marc Rizzo the space needed to produce out-of-this-world guitar histrionics. Even the brilliant "Genghis Khan" and "Blunt Force Trauma" fall short in this context despite providing ample time for it, compensating for the loss with the most focused and varied assault on the album, leaving it up to the fearsome pounding of "Burn Waco" to temper those of us expecting another "Dark Ark" to surface. On the other hand, when it comes to pure motherfucking metal, few bands exist anymore that do it with greater hatred than Cavalera Conspiracy. As one of their current promotional pictures explains, "fuck art, let's kill"; if unforgiving, pissed off metal is your drug, then "Blunt Force Trauma" will deliver.


Download: I Speak Hate, Genghis Khan, Burn Waco, Blunt Force Trauma
For the fans of: Nailbomb, Sepultura, Soulfly
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.03.2011
Roadrunner Records

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