"From beneath the slums of a third world, a two headed Brazilian Godzilla was born, destined to leave permanent sound scares on all under pale grey skies. Hell, chaos, pandemonium, the massacre continues and with no end in sight". That's the records closing lyric and It would be equally fitting as a tone setting mission statement. "Psychosis" is one heck of a record from the Cavalera brothers who have cast a lasting influence in the world of all things Metal, between them they have amassed around thirty records since their debut with Sepultura in 1985, a phenomenal output. Cavalera Conspiracy was a chapter in the legacy I could care less for, back in 2008 their debut Inflikted was a mediocre release and I had since failed to follow their releases and so I very nearly passed this one by.
What a mistake that would of been! Psychosis is one of the tightest, mean and hard hitting Metal records Ive heard in some time. The riffs are roaring with intensity, the grooves mammoth, full of swaying rigor and the album steadily sinks into the depths as the ferocity of sound borders into Industrial territory, even Black Metal with the frightening "Judas Pariah". The whole record is tinged with a retroactive ideology once heard on old Thrash Metal records, the demonic reverberations of vocal lines have been resurrected and executed with utter class and inspiration. Max's screams and shouts can creep in from the distance or shuffle across the stereo spectrum and often shatter into the vast chambers of space these effects can muster. Its a demonic pleasure that shrouds the record in classically evil overtones while shedding the cheese that old sound carried.
The records production is a treat, everything is loud, present and punchy without feeling "overloud". A crisp creation that squeezes the texture and power from the guitars alongside a devastating kit with a deep thudding base kick and ear piercing high pitched tom rolls that burst into the music, cutting like a devilish cascades of daggers descending upon the listener, gives me chills every time. The album's songs are pulled together for an album experience with atmospheric interludes of ambiguous dystopian obscurity. Vague voices can be heard in the rumblings of sound too, these cryptic themes often creep into the main sections of songs too, providing another layer of depth to the onslaught of riveting, thrashing music.
The album starts to push hard with "Hellfire", loading clattering industrial drum stomps behind the harsh, over distorted guitars that seem to intentionally peak the mix as supernatural synths drop in for a outlandish wall of sound that has grown on me much with familiarity. Its unusual amounting of sounds satisfyingly leads into a stomping breakdown groove with a violent snare drum striking like the snap of a whip. It leads into the aforementioned "Judas Periah", the deployment of blast beats and satanic snaky tremolo guitar riffs lead give it a very Black Metal tone that diverts us from the diabolical storm into another romp of a breakdown, big slamming guitars and light synths accenting the bounce will have your head swinging!
After dragging us through fires, the title track offers respite in an equally impressive esoteric soundscape track that slowly leads its rich layers of swamping sound, vibrant synths and effect soaked acoustics, into a collapsing of noise as the track falls in on itself. These ambitious clattering of experimentation in noise finds its final statement on the following and final song, ending with hellish alien sounds of suffering and a malevolent mechanical heartbeat that's truly as terrifying as it is vivid. This dimension gives the album a depth you can't help but feel can be peeled back to reveal more. Whatever vision the two have behind such a frighting ordeal becomes irrelevant in the impact of its reality. This is an all around flawless record that I have yet to tire from an inch in my binging of the hailstorm that is "Psychosis". Kudos Cavalera brothers, the fire still burns bright in Brazil.