Overkill – The Wings of War

No band have waved the flag for traditional thrash metal harder and higher than Overkill. Whether they invented the genre or not is debatable, but the New Yorkers appear assured in their position its single greatest producers. The band have steadily been putting out records every two-to-three years since 1985,…

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Soulfly – Ritual

Max Cavalera and Soulfly and seemed to hit a bit of a rough patch following the back-to-back release of 2005’s outstanding Dark Ages (2005). None of the records released between then and now were particularly poor. Even the least of them, 2013’s Savages, was perfectly serviceable, and some (i.e. 2012’s Enslaved and 2008’s Conquer) even flirted with the band’s upper echelons. Yet there was a certain feeling that the band had fallen into a bit of a rut. Now, with Killer Be Killed (2014) and his recent return-to-form with Cavalera Conspiracy’s Psychosis (2017) under his belt, Max appears to be experiencing a late-career resurgence, and Ritual—his eleventh full-length release under the Soulfly banner—only continues that upward trajectory.

Cavalera Conspiracy – Psychosis

Psychosis has come out during a period when it seems the Cavalera name is more visible and relevant to the metal world than it has been in a long time. The iconic Max Cavalera appeared to have hit his post-Sepultura peak with the back-to-back release of Dark Ages (2005) and Inflikted (2008)—the later of which saw him reuniting with estranged brother Igor and the establishment of the Cavalera Conspiracy. From there, however, it seemed Cavalera senior was content to churn out a steady flow of serviceable yet largely unremarkable Soulfly records, while each of Cavalera Conspiracy’s subsequent releases—though certainly each embedded with their own distinct personality—failed to excite in the same manner as their masterful debut. Yet, beginning with 2014’s superb supergroup collaboration, Killer Be Killed, Max’s career looks to be, once again, on the upswing, and Psychosis only further supports such speculation.

Love Letter // Sepultura – Roots

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to catch Max and Igor Cavalera playing Sepultura’s iconic 1996 record Roots in full, as part of their twentieth anniversary “Return to Roots” world tour. The brothers were backed up by Max’s cohorts in Soulfly, Marc Rizzo and Tony Campos (now of Fear…

Body Count – Bloodlust

First of all, let’s be real. It’s difficult being black in America (and everywhere else in the world but especially so in the US). Being black in metal and being widely accepted by that audience is even more difficult. That said, for 25 years now Body Count have largely done…

Starter Kit: Max Cavalera

I’ve previously expressed my opinions, however brief, about Max Cavalera: ex-Sepultura singer, groove metal pioneer and overall Brazilian badass. While I haven’t been the biggest fan of Cavalera’s recent output of music, I nonetheless owe a great debt to this man, as without him I probably wouldn’t be into metal…

Hey! Listen to Desaster!

I think there’s something worth admitting: there’s a thrash formula, and I’d say a good majority of bands in the genre stick to that formula pretty ardently. Only recently in metal have bands tried to play against the grain and do things differently than Megadeth or Slayer have done. Now, formulaic thrash isn’t a bad thing, in my opinion, as long as it’s done with some hint of originality.