Well give me a tribal tattoo and call me ‘Soulfly’: I thought Inflikted was the closest we’d ever get to a new old school Sepultura album again. Nuh-uh. For sheer pre-Roots goodness, Cavalera Conspiracy’s fourth offering, Psychosis, blows Inflikted out of the water.
Superficial though it may seem, the fact that Psychosis‘ title isn’t arbitrarily misspelled kinda tells you where it has the edge over its eldest sibling (C&C Music Factory have released two other fine but ultimately forgettable records, Blunt Force Trauma and Pandemonium). The further away The Brothers Cavalera get from nu-metal, the better their material gets. And there is very little nu-metal to be found here. Psychosis is very much to Sepultura as Surgical Steel was to the first four Carcass albums: a smorgasbord with a smattering of every sound the band utilized in their prime (save, once again, for Roots, which is fine, because, once again, Soulfly), only with more modern production. The first half of the album in particular is heavily reminiscent of Beneath the Remains, Arise, and, heck, maybe even some Schizophrenia (which would have been called Skitzofrenya if it was a Soulfly album).
Unfortunately, when I say “there is very little nu-metal to be found here,” I mean “there is some nu-metal to be found here.” There’s too much use of unnecessary, often distracting effects. Between you, me, and the wall, I think this is at least a bit because Marc Rizzo isn’t Andreas Kisser. It definitely sounds like Rizzo’s backpack of pedals. You hear a totally out of place faux Middle Eastern guitar on “Impalement Execution,” for example, and your mind immediately goes to “Babylon.” I know that some people are really into what Rizzo brings to the table, and I’m very happy for them. Personally, I really just want to exist in a state of arrested development and pretend Psychosis is what Sepultura released in 1996 instead of becoming Sepulkorna.
There are also a pair of DOAs: “Hellfire,” a Godflesh wannabe track which breaks up its redundancy with a monotonous S&M club beats that I assume are Ig(g)or’s work, and the title track, which is excruciating (not to be confused with “Excruciating,” the totally righteous album closer it precedes).
Despite these flaws, Psychosis is still the best Sepultura album since Chaos A.D. If it doesn’t make you wanna jump da fuck up, nothing will.