Cavalera // Bestial Devastation // Morbid Visions // Album Review
The Cavalera brothers’ history is legendary. From giving birth to the titans which are Sepultura & Nailbomb, to Max beginning Soulfly & brothers reuniting to create the Cavalera Conspiracy in 2007. Creating amazing tours celebrating their early material like “Return to Roots” & “Return Beneath Arise” together Max & Iggor are the true spear heads of an older generation giving the newer generation a chance to relive a moment in extreme metal’s most beloved era.
The next chapter for the brothers is a re-recording of their seminal early Sepultura recordings of the Bestial Devastation EP and first full-length album Morbid Visions.
Morbid Visions and Bestial Devastation were re-recorded at The Platinum Underground. Produced by Max Cavalera and Iggor Cavalera while John Aquilino handled the engineering. Arthur Rizk, a long-time collaborator with Max is responsible for the mixing and mastering of both albums.
Right from the bell ring on the opening of “Bestial Devastation” the power is there. Where the band’s early material songwriting was ahead of its time, but the production in the band’s early stages wasn’t there. Well now with a new lease on life the brothers have been able to give this EP the full-force attack it deserves. Some re-recordings of early works can be risky, but what we have here is elevating tracks that needed that rounding out & giving it the body & focused the band, unfortunately, missed back in “85.
“Antichrist” cracking of feedback before Max’s iconic right-hand strums away like there’s not tomorrow with Iggor’s tribal & hard hitting drumming creates pure chaos. Now if like me you weren’t born until 1986 & somehow you missed this early material, getting to hear it now in its full 2023 form you could honestly say it’s a new Cavalera album. The songs feel fresh, exciting & somewhat groundbreaking even in modern eras.
The soaring solo’s that feel frantic yet fit perfectly over the blistering tracks shows that even with the brothers in their now 50, they are still icons & have no signs of ever slowing down. Let’s be honest, there are some bands not even half their age that could pull this kind of performance off.
A track like “Necromancer” is an early preview of the groove-oriented sound the band would start to incorporate into their core sound later down the road & help make them one of the bands to show the beautiful craft of groove & speed. The guitar tone Max chose on these recordings is stellar. A more punchy, harsh & distorted-driven tone helps give the takes the low end they need as well as the clarity you need when playing as fast as he does. And let’s talk about arguably one of the best drummers in metal music, Iggor. The man is a true beast when it comes to drumming. His ability to hit hard when needed but also really drive the track & keep its focus on the right path.
Now for “Morbid Visions”, Sepultura’s first full-length. The album that quickly became the archetype thrash melded with proto-death metal.
Already by the opening & title track you can hear the step up in songwriting. Now with the new lease of life the Cavaleras have given this album it feels even more primal & ferocious.
“Troops Of Doom” one of the band’s earliest “hits” was one that I would always love to hear on the bands early “Under Siege (Live in Barcelona)” VHS & always thought in a live setting it got the heavy treatment it deserved. Here in 2023 on this re-recording in its final true form it is now able to sit firmly on the throne as one of the best early Sepultura tracks next to classics like “Arise”.
Also as an icing on the already brutal cake there are two brand new tracks, “Sexta Feira 13” & “Burn The Dead”. Using riffs written at the time during the recordings of the original releases & Max somehow remembering the unused riffs they have been able to create some of the most punishing tracks the brothers have written to date.
“Sexta Feira 13” is just a great, no thrills thrasher that has an awesome old school breakdown at the midpoint, while Max spits some great Brazilian lyrics over the top. “Burn The Dead” is a quick two minutes affair, but it’s worth the admission price alone. Opening in some may call grindcore fashion before going into a catchy hooky chorus. These two tracks just add to the overall package.
What the Cavalera brothers have done here is pretty much a miracle. Bringing back to life one of the most important discographies, not only of their career but to the landscape of heavy music. Max & Iggor together with a phenomenal close knit team have been able to rebirth something so legendary & breathe new life into landmark releases that shaped
extreme music to date.
Bestial Devastation / Morbid Visions is out on July 14th via Nuclear Blast Records
Review: Joseph Mitchell
1. The Curse 1:15
2. Bestial Devastation 3:04
3. Antichrist 3:49
4. Necromancer 4:15
5. Warriors Of Death 4:36
6. Sexta Feira 13 3:26
Morbid Visions Tracklist:
1. Morbid Visions 3:37
2. Mayhem 3:05
3. Troops Of Doom 3:39
4. War 4:55
5. Crucifixion 4:55
6. Show Me The Wrath 4:53
7. Funeral Rites 4:53
8. Empire Of The Damned 5:11