Hark and behold, the brothers Cavalera have returned, bringing with them an album of such intense weight and brutality that it should well be considered a weapon of mass destruction.
Psychosis is the fourth outing for the Brazil-based thrash metal trio, and acts as proof of the fact that the Cavaleras are here to take back their crown as the kings of thrash metal. The album itself is an insane collection of hard and fast metal that refuses to let up for anything or anyone, acting so directly from the outset, leaving no time for listeners to prepare themselves for the musical rampage about to beset them. If Psychosis were a person at a party, they would kick down the front door, drink all your beer, punch the host, then exit via an unopened window, leaving a chaotic trail of broken objects and people in their wake.
Psychosis adheres to all of the classic tropes of the thrash metal genre, being absolutely rammed full of ridiculously fast guitars and angry, snarling lyrics, and does so to such an extent that it could very well be used as an example as to what ‘good’ thrash sounds like. Tracks such as “Insane” and “Excruciating” throw you in at the deep end, with the band sounding as if they are already playing at one hundred miles per hour before the song even begins, thus opening to an unrelenting and unforgiving assault of fierce metal. These pieces glorify squealing guitar solos and thunderous drumbeats; a throwback to the basics of thrash, and proving that sometimes less is more.
However, Cavalera Conspiracy have been careful not to present themselves as being one-note, with Psychosis taking heavy influences from the black metal genre, meshing it with their own style to develop something entirely new. On several tracks, such as “Crom” and “Terror Tactics”, there is a slow, methodic pace, one which sounds almost trudging, with each note dripping with atmosphere and dread. This is a style taken straight from the handbook of black metal, and is incorporated seamlessly, leading to an already heavy album sounding even weightier, all the while appearing more sinister too.
Unlike most thrash albums with a black metal influence though, Psychosis is not simply a sludgier sound played at the same pace, but swaps between the raw, untamed black metal style and the faster, unrelenting thrash elements. This leads to a duel-sound of sorts, where tracks travel from one style to the next, morphing from one extreme metal to another, offering more to the listener, all the while subtly proving the technical and musical proficiency of Cavalera Conspiracy.
Psychosis is not an album to be casually listened to, nor is it one that you can pause halfway through a song. It is one which envelops you entirely, meaning that if you are not prepared for the level of barbaric metal it has to offer, then you will be trampled. Listen with care, as once Psychosis begins, it will not relent until it has finished, caring not for your safety or well-being, and instead only with completing its goal of spreading an angry message of thrash metal dominance.