CAVALERA CONSPIRACY — Bestial Devastation (review)

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY — Bestial Devastation album cover EP · 2023 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Vim Fuego
So Cavalera Conspiracy is now Cavalera and has re-recorded “Bestial Devastation”, the famous first Sepultura EP originally released as a split with Overdose in 1985.

First thought: Why?

OK, the Cavalera brothers wrote these songs, and they reckon these old recordings don’t do them credit. Fair enough, do what you will with your own songs, but realise these have been around for a very long time, and fans are attached to the original versions, having invested a lot of time and memory to them. It doesn’t seem like fans were crying out for re-recordings. And music from this era and style is still being made - Jairo Guedz (Tormentor, and lead guitar/bass player on the original) is still doing this with The Troops of Doom.

So let’s start listening.

Second thought: Fuck!

Yeah, there’s an update to the sound, and it’s still heavy and bestial, but it’s too fucking clean! A big part of Bestial Devastation’s charm is the original recording’s sound. It has warmth and character because it’s not quite right. There’s a fuzz around the edges because the guitars are too loud. The drums are a bit out of time. The re-recorded “Antichrist” is played a lot faster by a far more accomplished 50-something Iggor than the original teen Iggor. All perfectly timed, all the fills in the right place, and all the personality is leeched from it.

Third thought: No!

You can’t rewrite history. Example: the solo near the end of the title track. It’s too slick. It’s played by Daniel Gonzalez, Cavalera Conspiracy’s live guitarist, and also a member of Possessed and Gruesome. Gonzalez is just too good and too technically proficient, and the sound too clean. There’s none of the amateurishness of a teenage guitarist laying down his first solo on tape. The new solos throughout are somewhat clinical and surgically precise, where a few idiosyncratic bum notes would have made things more interesting.

Fourth thought: Wait…

And just when you think it’s all a sterile, cynical cash-in, along comes “Sexta Fiera 13” (Friday the 13th), a turbo-charged take on the atmospheric theme song from the movie franchise of the same name. There’s little info on where or when this was written, but suddenly things are transformed. There’s no more shitting on history. It’s chaotic and brutal, and exactly what the brothers Cavalera were first famous for. And it’s a fucking great song.

Final thought: Fair enough.

Yeah, fuck it. This isn’t amazing, but it’s pretty good. These are modern reinterpretations of songs first recorded 38 years ago. The people re-recording them own them and can do what they like with them – at least these aren’t dubstep remixes. No one is forcing the rest of us to listen. And the originals still exist if you don’t like the re-recordings.
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Tupan wrote:
7 months ago
Yes, I do like these re-recordings, but at the same time I agree that nothing replaces the original songs. I mean, the charm is all in the original roughness, made by a young band full of energy and fury!

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