Cavalera Conspiracy

It goes without saying that Sepultura's indelible impact on metal hinged on the chemistry between the band's sibling co-founders, Max and Igor Cavalera. But despite the buzz surrounding their reunion, Inflikted (the pair's first collaboration in more than 10 years) sounds more like the product of a weekend spent jamming in the garage than the efforts of two vital artists making up for lost time. Restored blood ties and nostalgia aside, it's obvious, in retrospect, that the nü-metal direction Max began to pursue on Sepultura's best-seller, Roots, was at odds with the more sophisticated, experimental sensibilities of his estranged brother and Sep guitarist Andreas Kisser. But for all the rhythmic finesse he's clearly capable of, Igor — arguably Sepultura's secret weapon — pretty much phones in his performance here. Perhaps that's because Max dominates the record so much that he nullifies the uniqueness of his brother's presence. After almost 25 years, Max apparently has yet to learn how to hang back in the music. And as he approaches middle age, he's in dire need of fresh creative energy. With Inflikted, he misses a golden opportunity, and one has to wager that an Igor solo album with Max supporting would have been more adventurous. At least Soulfly's brutish riffing gets you moving. Except for a handful of invigorating moments (like the off-color chords and gnashing groove of "Ultra-Violent"), this album barely even does that.

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