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CAVALERA: Schizophrenia

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I’ve always been a massive fan of Max Cavalera and may have even referred to him as God in my late teenage years. Having only discovered Max around the release of the Chaos A.D. album and further becoming a massive fan of the Roots album, and then a follow-on fan of the early Soulfy material during mine and the worlds Nu-Metal hay day, I was very much looked down on by the Thrash metal Gatekeepers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I also discovered Arise, Beneath the Remains, Morbid Visions and of course Schizophreni back then too.

Although Arise eventually grew on me, I was never that much of a fan of the earlier Sepultura works. Not because it wasn’t good, but mostly because all thrash back in the late 80’s and early 90’s pretty much sounded like it was recorded through a 4-track in someone’s tin shed, or a cave, or a tin shed in a cave. T

he Big Four of Thrash, which for some strange reason Sepultura were not included in, in favour of others, all fell into this trap. Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax all have albums that I’d just rather not listen to because they sound like ass. Even Metallica’s Kill Em’All, as brilliant as it is, is a hard pill to swallow. As for that other band that formed the big four, well, let’s just skip over that one.

We are not here to talk about bands that suck though, we are here to talk about a couple of brothers that definitely don’t suck, and who decided to put some new life into some old tin shed tunes. Those brothers would be Max and Igor Cavalera who are arguably one of the best, most gifted and prolific song writing family combinations in the Heavy Metal business. Even when they were separated for many years, the songs just kept coming from both of them, in every band they were in. And when they rejoined, the metal world fucking rejoiced, and probably held hand and skipped around in a circle pit.

So, let’s get this started then, with a synth intro. Yeah, not my thing, but it was a thing and is a thing, so let’s move on. From The Past Comes The Storms, and the riffs, and thankfully the production is a lot cleaner then the original. In a weird, unexpected twist of fate, I’m hit with some really strong reverb over Max’s voice, which is so circa 1987 that it’s almost comical. I guess you can’t stray too far from the original without calling it a remix album though.

Max and Igor are joined by Max’s son Igor Amadeus Cavalera on bass and Daniel Gonzalez from Possessed taking on lead guitar duties. And I can tell you right now, they are executing these songs, and throwing them To The Wall as well as the original recordings. Some may even argue better. Either way, it sounds refreshingly brutal.

If you are one of those people that are silly and or bored enough to read my ramblings on a regular basis, you’d probably know that I usually do a track by track, blow by blow review. I think this time around, being a re-recording and re-release of a previously recorded release, that walking you through tracks that you already know both a little counterproductive and a bit of a under the leg back hand fap.

So, what we might do this time around is Escape To The Void and create an Inquisition Symphony of production analysis. Now, I’m by no means a production “expert”, although I do have plenty of studio experience but for the most part am just going to be making this shit up. So, if you don’t agree, or you just plain think I’m wrong then I suggest you take it up with me in the comments section on Facebook or something. Any while you’re at it, report me for fake news and get me cancelled because I could do with some free promo right now.

Now that I got the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get back to the album shall we. What stands out the most to me is that although I’m sure Max & Igor have every possible piece of recording equipment available to them, and although the album is sounding super crisp, it does not sound overproduced. I’d even go as far as saying that the album doesn’t appear to have been locked down to a click either as tempos seem to waiver where they need to. It just sounds natural and the slight nuances in the double kicks appear to not have been locked to a grid like every other metal band these days.

As I mentioned earlier, there are Screams Behind The Shadows of heavy reverb which are still a little off putting to me. The thrash gatekeepers will fucking love it though, and at least it’s not fucking Auto Tuned. Imagine that would you, Max Cavalera with auto tune. That’d be some Septic Schizo kind of shit that you’d find in The Abyss.

As the final track R.I.P. (Rest In Pain) rips my ears drums apart, I do some research to find that the original release bonus track Troops of Doom has now been replaced by a new song titled Nightmares of Delirium. It’s a trashy little number and surprisingly the band sticks with the intent and tone of the original album rather than taking it in a more modern direction. It may even be a little dirtier than the original tracks, or at least that’s how the guitars sound. A few sneaky tribal style drum fills poke in and out throughout the track, which I guess is some kind of homage to the musical growth of both Max and Igor post tin shed/cave thrash metal.

The band released an official video for this track which you can do yourself a massive  fucking favour and find here:

Well, what can I say. That was a blast from the past, a past I never paid that much attention to back when it happened. Probably because I was 7 at the time, and by the time I found it, Max and Igor were both about to step out of the tin sheds and caves and find their roots. Was it enjoyable? Yes, it was! Was it needed? Maybe, maybe not?

Credit where credit is due though. Apart from the vocals drowned out by reverb, it stands up to modern thrash, and modern production values. Oh, and it will make you want to, as Max and our very own merch says best, “Fuck Shit Up”!

Also, Max is God! If you don’t agree, well fuck you!

Love you all, you good kents!

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