Few songs display the powers of band chemistry like Cavalera Conspiracy's "Inflikted."
After ruling the death metal landscape through the first half of the '90s, Max Cavalera left Sepultura (and his brother, drummer Igor) to form Soulfly. Neither Soulfly nor Max-less Sepultura ever released anything worth listening to more than once, but I attributed that to Max's inevitable artistic decline and the fact that Sepultura lost their main songwriter, respectively. Whatever the case, both bands went deeper into the Cavaleras' fascination with world music, but no amount of tribal percussion could disguise how far the songwriting had slipped.
But for 2008's Inflikted, the Cavaleras reunited to create their best music since the classic Sepultura days. It helped that they had Gojira's Joe Duplantier and guitar wizard Marc Rizzo on board, but the Cavaleras have always worked with great musicians. Inflikted really scores becauses Max and Igor bring out the best in each other--hearing them apart is like hearing Eddie without Alex, or Dimebag without Vinnie. Check out how little there is to the title song--outside of the chaotic breakdown, there's nothing that a beginner guitar student couldn't play, or no lyrics that any moron couldn't write. But Max's phrasing on both the guitar and vocal lines proves that he never needed any of Soulfly's bells and whistles, just his brother to kick his ass a little.
I am thrilled to see that James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem is producing
an EP with Max and Igor Cavalera, described by Igor as "a metal version
of the White Stripes." If the jump from Soulfly and recent Sepultura to "Inflikted" is any indication, we have a lot to look forward to.