I've come full circle on Max Cavalera over the years. Growing up in a time when Sepultura's "Morbid Visions" was new, dark and exciting. The intense classic follow ups of "Schizophrenia," "Beneath the Remains," "Arise" and "Chaos A.D." still rank among thrash metal's best albums. I was not prepared for the introduction of Soulfly in 1998. The debut was such a turn off. However, as the years wore on, I warmed up to Soulfly, in large part to both the band's and my own maturation. There was a general excitement at Cavalera Conspiracy's introduction in 2008, and the band has always delivered solid post thrash/groove metal filled with riffs and Max's trademark voice. In essence, CC has been a continuation of "my Sepultura," though no disrespect to Green-era Sepultura. With "Psychosis" out, three years following "Pandemonium," the band continues a predictable, yet comforting style belting out quality release of riff laden groove.
While by now, any notion of a return to the Sepultura of old seem mired in the half-speed groove of modern Cavalera products, on "Psychosis" there appears a few throwback sounds - especially on "Impalement Execution," (chuckling) "Crom" (no relation) and "Excruciating." In fact the album in general has enough meat to appease older Sepultura fans.
Its not all a blast from the past, however, as "Psychosis" features a few headscratchers that left your author wondering "what the hell is going on here." For one, "Hellfire," which at first glance should garner at least a tad of speed which name seems to reflect. Instead, its Max Cavalera's grunts surrounded by a meandering psychedelic echo chamber. Then you have the title track, an instrumental designed to showcase the musical talent of...hang on, the Cavalera brothers are supposed to showcase riff/grunt - not musical fapping.
Sound wise, producer Arthur Rizk keeps the typical stripped down "tribal" sound you come to expect from an album featuring Max Cavalera. The drums sound at their "natural" best, which means expect coffee can tapping and serrated guitar tones. As much as this sounds like a complaint, I still wouldn't have it any other way.
"Psychosis" is definitely a solid album with not a huge amount of surprises, which isn't shocking given the similar nature of every Max Cavalera album. There is definitely a plethora of riffs and speed to please fans of old Sepultura, but overall a standard cookie cutter release from Max, which will leave listeners a little stale.