Cavalera Conspiracy @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (7/19/2008)

The Cavalera Conspiracy found the brothers formerly known for their work in Sepultura back in action together again. The tour also featured The Dillinger Escape Plan, Throwdown and Incite and we were on point to deliver the story. Readers can scroll past the logo below to be brought to the article.

Logo - Cavalera Conspiracy

Artist: Cavalera Conspiracy
Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Dillinger Escape Plan, Throwdown, Bury Your Dead, Incite
Date: 7/19/2008
Label: Roadrunner Records

There was a lot of excitement in the Metal community when it became known that Max and Igor Cavalera were not only going to be recording and releasing a new album, but also doing some touring in support of it. The album was titled “Inflikted” and the band would come to be known as the Cavalera Conspiracy. It would feature not only Max and Igor, but also Marc Rizzo of Soulfly and Joe Duplantier of Gojira and be a straight ahead Metal record that delivered on all counts. The bands appearance in NYC would find them hosting not one, but two sold out nights at The Fillmore NY venue. We would hit the Saturday performance and make sure that we were in place to enjoy all five of the bands that would be featured on the bill this evening. Clearly this was going to be a long night, and the summer heat was only going to escalate with this much Metal to absorb. Incite would be the first group up for the night.

Incite: These guys are based out of Phoenix, AZ and are fronted/led by Max’s own stepson Ritchie Cavalera. Musically they have a lot of the Old School Thrash vibe blended in with some Death stylings. They were definitely tight, but didn’t play long enough to find yourself totally entrenched in what they were doing. I liked what I heard and made sure to grab their CD from the merchandise booth after they had finished. Ritchie and company seem to have what it takes to bring this thing a lot farther in the scene and with their opening up for the Cavalera Conspiracy they are sure to generate a little more interest in their sound. Good luck guys.

Bury Your Dead: The second band up would be Bury Your Dead and this was my first ever go at the group and for some reason I was just not getting into them at all. They have a Metalcore vibe to them but seem to focus more on the Hardcore Punk aspect and yet to me just seemed to be more of the same thing with very little difference. I had felt this before with some of the opening acts and feel I needed to see them in a different setting or absorb more of their music on a studio release before braving a live set. I think that a part of my hesitation was based on the levels of excitement about getting to see the Cavalera Brothers performing together again. The crowd was still filtering in by the time they were on and those who were in the room seemed to like what was happening and that’s what’s great about this scene. There is something for everyone, and sadly this just was not what I was interested in tonight. The band did a short set and probably covered some material from their most recent release “Beauty and The Breakdown”. They are signed to Victory Records, a label that really focuses on this kind of genre. Throwdown was up next and now the room was almost filled.

Throwdown: I last caught these guys when they led off the destruction on the Black Tyranny tour which found them kicking off the festivities hosted by Arch Enemy and Machinehead. On that particular night at the Nokia Theater I was not particularly impressed by what they were doing but can safely say that tonight they were winning me over very easily. Musically they are straight-edge Metalcore and Groove Metal act and while I originally had hesitations about seeing them again tonight, they were proving themselves as very impressive in the live sense. My guess is that they were better suited for this kind of show than the one that featured Melodic Death Metal and Thrash Metal like that previous show I referenced. Led by singer Dave Peters, who stalks the stage and makes you feel as though he is directing his assault right at you, the band was definitely on point with this gig. Their set was a little bit longer than the two other openers, but not by that much. Some of the tunes that they delivered this evening were “Holy Roller”, “Day Of The Dog”, Forever”, “Weight Of The World” and “Americana”. The majority of the bands set would come from the album “Venom And Tears” and find the band moving into a more traditional Metal vein than their previous releases. The album is available on Trustkill Records and to my knowledge will be the last they do for this label. Based on this set I would have to say that I would see them once again. The Dillinger Escape Plan was coming up next and I don’t think anyone could have been prepared for how their time on the stage would be.

Dillinger Escape Plan: Before I begin this section of my commentary I have to ask the readers if they have ever seen this band live before and if so, how come no one bothered to warn me about what I was going to be getting myself into for this part of the night. For the record I did actually see TDEP a few years ago on the first go round of Gigantour, but it didn’t seem all that insane to me at the time and I was not much a fan of the Metalcore meets Mathcore syncopations that they do. Tonight would be a different story altogether as the band launched into their set or perhaps its better that I say “as they propelled themselves into their set”. You might be laughing at how that sounds but from the moment these guys went into their thing it was like being in the eye of a hurricane. It started when singer Greg Puciato dove right over the photographers in the media area to land in the audience and this action sent the security folks running to make sure he would get back onstage safely. They also ran in there to keep the peace as best as possible but from the look of it these guys were in for a run for their money as well. Greg then climbed onto one of the stage amps and all eyes were on him as people attempted to lure him back down and of course this didn’t end here. He then scrambled up further and ended up on the rails of the upstairs balcony hanging over the swirling fans below while maniacs above him yelled down to him. Security was chasing him around like the coyote chases the Roadrunner and really having little effect at keeping him at bay. I almost felt sorry for them as it was a losing battle. Watching Greg caused me to not pay mind to my own self and when I looked up back onstage saw the spinning directly over my head bass guitar of Liam Wilson who was swinging the instrument over our vantage point. My heart stopped for a moment with that action I had to admit and yes folks this was all within the first ten minutes of the bands set. The band would do about nine songs this evening and while the stage antics were enough to give any sane person a heart attack it was really a lot of fun when it came down to it. I was also finding myself intrigued with the look of drummer Gil Sharone’s drums as there were lights inside the shells which added a lot more coolness to the atmosphere of the performance. By the end of it, my heart was racing and the adrenaline was pumping and I really believed that the band had intended to leave us all this way. Cavalera Conspiracy was up soon and while I knew they were going to be good, this was one band that was going to be hard to follow.

Cavalera Conspiracy: The room had been packed to the full just before TDEP went on the stage but now everyone was riled up and ready to go for the main act which was the long-awaited reunion of Max and Igor Cavalera and their new project The Cavalera Conspiracy. In Metal history these two broke incredible ground while in Sepultura, but when Max moved on to form Soulfly it sent ripples through the scene that were never truly recovered from. Yes, the band continued on without him, but when Igor eventually left as well it became a new thing entirely and it was contested by some who refused to support it now that neither Cavalera brother was involved. The reunion found them delivering the powerful “Inflikted” release and while this set tonight would feature a healthy dose of songs from it, one could also expect that a lot of classic Sepultura would be par for the course as well. The Conspiracy hit the stage with a great level of force and the audience was on fire for every second of their performance and to be honest you really couldn’t blame them for this reaction as this was the bands first time playing in New York on top of the fourteen year gap in the siblings even being in a band together. The band also features the guitar wizardry of Marc Rizzo (Soulfly) and bassist Johnny Chow (the album finds Gojira bassist Joe Duplantier handling the chore but he could not tour based on his own bands activity).

The show on the stage was fun to watch from all vantage points and it was rather intense at times in the audience as many of the Metal legions jumped into the fray of the mosh pit. This was still mid Summer, so the venue was hot as hell and this uncomfortable temperature found a number of the guys in the audience all wandering around without any shirts. Clearly some can get away with this better than others. Musically this was an intense set and it was a surprise treat that the band would not only do their expected CC material along with Sepultura staples, but also a cover of Motorhead’s “Orgasmatron” and some Nailbomb tunes. “Refuse/Resist” was a highlight for me since that’s such an incredible tune and since I had recently seen Apocalyptica doing this song with cellos, the chance to see it done as a full on Metal track again was a treat. The stuff that was delivered from the bands latest album was great in the live sense and this was something that I had expected given the very “live” feeling that was captured on the recording. The bands eighteen song set would feature no less than eight numbers from the album which left the remaining slots perfect for Sepultura material. The show was not only a family affair when it came to the Cavalera Brothers as during “Black Ark”, Max’s stepson Richie (from openers Incite) came out to help with the vocals his step-father was doing. Richie is also on the album version of this number. It didn’t end here as help from Metal’s next generation continued as Max’s son Igor replaced his Uncle Igor on the drums for “Troops Of Doom”. Bassist Chow was solid this evening and a perfect fit for the bands touring lineup without question. For those who don’t know much about him, he comes from the Stoner Metal band Fireball Ministry. Guitar wise Marc Rizzo was really killing the strings and while I had seen Soulfly a few times over the years I was never that close to him so I couldn’t see just how adept he was at the instrument. The vantage points at the Fillmore NY allow you to brave closer than some other spots and from a number of areas you could really see this dude shred. He was a smart choice for this band as he brings a lot to the table. “Must Kill” was the first encore from the band and the closing number on the album, and this was immediately followed by the bands epic number “Roots, Bloody Roots” which was nothing less than a mayhem riddled show stopper. The whole set ran just over an hour it seemed and was very fast in terms of how the material was being doled out but we still had experienced a thrashing eighteen tracks in total so I was surprised at how some members of the audience felt that they cut it too short. Oh well, you cannot please everyone in this business but it was really great to be a part of the insanity from beginning to end that is for sure.

Closing out I had to say that this was a really interesting gig based on the overall enthusiasm of the audience for these Metal veterans and their reuion on this stage. They were scheduled to perform for an additional show in the area tomorrow night and according to reports this was also sold out. I am sure that while new fans would be in the place that a bunch of the folks here tonight were also planning on a return. Having seen a Sepultura show with the band in its current incarnation and at this very same venue I had to say that this event tonight had definitely gone over better than that appearance. The Sepultura was ill-attended while the Cavalera Conspiracy had sold out two nights which makes me believe that the fans are more interested in these brothers performing the classics than anyone else. Perhaps the response that was found for this album and tour will find an original Sepultura reunion in the works sometime soon. Only time will tell, and if it does happen, get your tickets early to be a part of the destruction.

Dillinger Escape Plan Set List:
1. Panasonic
2. 43%
3. Fix Your Face
4. Lurch
5. Setting Fire
6. Particle
7. Non Eye
8. Milk Lizard
9. Sunshine

Cavalera Conspiracy Set List:
1. Inflikted
2. Sanctuary
3. Territory
4. Terrorize
5. Refuse/Resist
6. Wasted Away
7. Inner Self
8. Nevertrust
9. The Doom Of All Fires
10. Orgasmatron
11. Hex
12. Black Ark (with Richie Cavalera)
13. Arise
14. Dead Embryonic Cells
15. Troops Of Doom (with Max’s son Igor)
16. Attitude
17. Must Kill
18. Roots Bloody Roots

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