Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Cavalera Conspiracy at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall

Max Cavalera
While still in their teens in 1984, two brothers formed a thrash metal band in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Guitarist Max Cavalera and drummer Igor Cavalera chose the band name Sepultura, the Portuguese word for "grave," when Max translated the lyrics of the Motörhead song "Dancing on Your Grave." Max left the successful Sepultura acrimoniously in 1996, formed Soulfly, and did not speak to his brother for 10 years. Igor left Sepultura in 2006, reached out via telephone to Max, and their 10-year feud ended. They formed a new band in 2007, initially called Inflikted, but quickly renamed the Cavalera Conspiracy. The band's third album, Pandemonium, was released on November 4, 2014.

Preparing the stage at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall tonight, roadies hung the Cavalera Conspiracy's logo on a backdrop and then draped the band's amplifiers with a Brazilian flag and an American flag. Perhaps this reflected the lineup of the touring band, which presently consists of the Cavalera brothers and two Americans, Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo and bassist Johnny Chow. Nevertheless, the American-based Cavalera Conspiracy set seemed at times to mimic a Sepultura reunion. The brothers remained faithful to the thrash sound of their youth, and mixed newer songs with older Sepultura songs, including "Territory", "Attitude", "Refuse/Resist", "Roots Bloody Roots" and a back-to-back triple header of "Beneath The Remains", "Desperate Cry" and "Troops of Doom." (Max invited José Mangin, a disc jockey on Liquid Metal [Sirius XM], onstage to sing "Desperate Cry.") The set also included a cover of Motörhead's "Orgasmatron," which Sepultura also covered. The Cavalera Conspiracy's own songs, including "Cramunhão", "Inflikted" and "Torture," fit comfortably with songs 20 and 30 years their junior. Throughout the set, the Cavalera Conspiracy combined primal vocals and speed-metal riffs with coarse grooves and savage beats. Resourcing hardcore punk and extreme metal roots, the Cavalera Conspiracy refined and upgraded a vintage thrash metal concept but played it raw. In interviews, Max has stated that his primary investment is Soulfly, but the Cavalera Conspiracy proved to be a very worthy side project.

Visit the Cavalera Conspiracy at