On June 12th, 2006, SEPULTURA once again said goodbye to a Cavalera when drummer Igor took his leave because of that nasty little gremlin known as "artistic incompatibility." About three seconds after that news hit the streets, we all knew what was coming and though their relationship had been somewhat strained after Max's exodus from the aforementioned band a little less than a decade prior, it didn't take long at all for the brothers to prove that blood is indeed thicker than bullshit. Before they even agreed on the name you know them as now, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY had quickly become one of the most anticipated bands in recent metal history; made even more so with the addition of Max's SOULFLY partner and flamencore shredder Marc Rizzo and GOJIRA's Joe Duplantier on bass. We all knew this had the potential to be, for lack of a better term, bad as fuck, but still the inevitable fears of a SOULFLY clone or an attempt to recreate "Roots" lurked.While those comparisons will always be cast upon anything with the Cavalera name attached to it, and this does have Max's very recognizable fingerprints all over it, "Inflikted" comes across as somewhat of a missing link between the "Beneath The Remains"/"Chaos A.D.". days and SOULFLY's "Dark Ages" unleashed upon a brave new world. Stripping away much of the culturally-influenced experimentations that have given each of the SOULFLY albums their own unique flavor (some, not all) "Inflikted" is more of a straight-forward, kill-or-be-killed cathartic release of all the frustration born out of the brothers ten year separation. This overly-emotional essence is perhaps what makes this particular album special when compared to the last several Max-helmed efforts. While the slightly formulaic, although heavy as all get-out, approach on the title track might be found on your choice of SOULFLY albums, there's just something about the Cavalera boys marching in lock-step that transcends the speakers and calls to that aggressive spark that lit all of our metal fires in the first place. "Sanctuary" seems to have been born from the brothers' reminiscing about the "Arise" or "Beneath The Remains" days, while "Hex" is just plain heavy no matter what era you're from. Only slightly curbing his habit for including guest musicians, Max brings in ex-PANTERA/current DOWN bassist Rex Brown for the plodding and doomy "Ultra-Violence" and keeps it in the family by tossing stepson Richie the mic for some death-like growls on "Black Ark". Almost a lyrical sequel to "No" (from SOULFLY's debut), "NeverTrust" once again gives a laundry list of the world's douche bags; and I have to wholeheartedly agree when Max screams, "Never trust a cowboy, never trust a redneck." Just my two cents. The bottom line with "Inflikted" and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY in general is, that they, as mid-'90s SEPULTURA and SOULFLY have been, are very much products of Max Cavalera. While there may only be so much one can do with four-strings of fury, nobody can quite pull it off like Max and even he hasn't (save for "Dark Ages") pulled it off like this in some time. As always, Rizzo's stellar soloing abilities add that needed element of flair and technicality and Igor returns to prove that he is by far the most solid drummer that has ever backed his brother. Before I come across like a complete fan-boy, I will add that this isn't an album without flaw or even moments of monotony. But as they say, even Babe Ruth struck out once and nobody held that against him. For all the hype that came along with it, "Inflikted" does not disappoint.
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