CAVALERA – Schizophrenia (Album Review)

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Last year, the Cavalera brothers (formerly known as Cavalera Conspiracy) surprised the metal world with their re-recording of Sepultura‘s debut album, “Morbid Visions,” 38 years after its release. And they didn’t surprise everyone by the mere fact of doing it, but because they managed to do what is often considered unthinkable: a band making a re-recording that the fans didn’t hate (I’m looking at you Pestilence) where they also recapture the energy and essence of the original album.

Even if one could criticize small aspects, it is undeniable that the response from the metal community was unanimous regarding the quality of the work. One may be more of a fan of the raw and gritty style of the original ’86 album but there is no denying the exceptionality, in many ways, of last year’s recording.

Earlier this year we got additional surprising news, with the announcement that the band was going to release a re-recording of Sepultura‘s second album, “Schizophrenia. I found myself in a conundrum as, in recent years, this has become my favorite Sepultura album. I understand that many may prefer “Beneath the Remains,” “Arise” or “Chaos A.D,” but “Schizophrenia”  was this album that struck the perfect balance between thrash and death metal. It is also important to understand how important it was for the evolution of the band, only one year separates the release of the debut from this album and yet, the leap in quality was of uncountable magnitude. With “Schizophrenia, Sepultura went from being a cavernous, amateurish band to a project of immense musical quality. The compositions became more complex, the style cleaner and more defined, the musical skills were perfected, and they went from being practically a garage band to a professional studio act.

That’s why the idea of them also re-recording this album came as a surprise, simply because with “Morbid Visions” it was understandable that they had the thorn in their side of wanting to make a better quality recording of those songs. Although it is undeniable that the production of “Schizophrenia” is already showing its age, it still feels much more current due to the aforementioned progress in quality.

The main problem with the 2024 version of “Schizophrenia” is that it bears very little difference from the original album. It’s undeniable that Max and Igor still channel as much of that same brutal energy, despite the passing of the years, as they did in their early days; and most of the minor changes and tweaks to the production and effects brought by the more modern re-recording techniques are also palpable. Still, it doesn’t feel like it in any way improves the original material, as they did with “Morbid Visions”, it just makes it slightly different, as a sort of alternative mix. In fact, I prefer the lo-fi touch that the original had, for instance, the sound effects in the intro of “Inquisition Symphony”, which gave it a darker, more mystical, and mysterious touch, one this version doesn’t have.

Cavalera‘s “Schizophrenia” Artwork

On “Schizophrenia” 2024, one of the most noticeable things that have changed is the drumming, all the years of experience that Igor has accumulated behind the instrument are noticeable, and that is something that greatly benefits the more ambitious and grandiloquent songwriting, it feels more austere and vigorous, but the truth is that all the members of the band give the most energetic performance. The Cavalera brothers certainly found the right way to approach this kind of re-recording, providing them with a genuine metal essence, and managing at times to make us forget that this is more a revamped product than anything else.

I don’t think I should comment much on the songs, the whole album is a classic, and if you are not familiar with it, I don’t know why you are waiting to listen to it! However, the album’s closing track “Nightmares of Delirium”, deserves writing about, as it is the only truly new track on the album, replacing “The Troops Of Doom” as the bonus track from the 1990’s re-issue. I don’t know if this song is a leftover that never saw the light of day during the recording sessions of the original album, or a track that wasn’t finished, but if it was a new song written exclusively for this release then I’m elated, simply because it blends perfectly as a composition within the style and sound of “Schizophrenia”. That would prove that the Cavalera brothers are still capable of crafting death/thrash of the highest quality on par with their original 80’s work, and honestly, that reason alone is enough to keep me on my toes for their future projects.

Released By: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: June 21st, 2024
Genre: Thrash/Death Metal

Musicians:

  • Max Cavalera / Vocals, guitars
  • Igor Cavalera / Drums
  • Daniel Gonzalez / Lead guitar
  • Igor Amadeus Cavalera / Bass

Schizophrenia” Track List:

  1. Intro
  2. From the Past Comes the Storms
  3. To the Wall
  4. Escape to the Void
  5. Inquisition Symphony (instrumental)
  6. Screams Behind the Shadows
  7. Septic Schizo
  8. The Abyss (instrumental)
  9. R.I.P. (Rest in Pain)
  10. Nightmares of Delirium (New track, previously unreleased)

Order SchizophreniaHERE

8.3 Great

The Cavalera brothers are back with a re-recording of Sepultura's seminal sophomore album, and they have once again managed to recapture the wild and overflowing essence of their original style sprinkled with more modern production touches, but one can't help but wonder if it was really necessary

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 7
  • Production 9
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