Cavalera Brothers Revitalize Thrash Classic with Schizophrenia Reissue

Released in October 1987, the second album by the Thrash/Death Legends Cavalera saw guitarist Andreas Kisser make his debut for the Brazilians. Viewed by many as the launching pad for the band’s success, which was confirmed with 1989’s Beneath the Remains, Schizophrenia has now been given a reworking by Max and Iggor Cavalera and follows the same treatment given to Morbid Visions and Bestial Devastation.

Cavalera – Schizophrenia (Nuclear Blast Records)

Release Date: 21 June 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

Iconic albums in the history of Thrash and Death Metal, so certainly a risk by Max and Iggor to attempt this project. So, what reasons are there for doing this?

Well, as with many bands at the time, and certainly for teenagers in Brazil, the budget for a decent production was beyond the band. A lacklustre finish means the album suffers in many ways, although for large swathes of fans, the muted production merely adds to it. 

Regardless, it’s evident that the Cavalera brothers have long felt that this album deserves a modern production to bring it snarling into the modern age. You can check out their reasons in their own words here. And to be fair, this is exactly what they have done.

Enlisting Pig Destroyer’s Travis Stone on lead guitar and Max’s youngest son Igor Amadeus (Go Ahead And Die, Healing Magic) on bass, this is a 43-minute onslaught which captures not only the essence of those songs but also adds the contemporary feel, without diluting the authenticity of the music. 

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It’s evident from the bristling explosive From The Past Comes The Storms that the brothers mean business. They have somehow managed to capture the raw urgency that was so important in those early days, but with a polish that is just the right side of too much.

Concluding the final chapter of the trilogy is evidently important for the brothers, and they have worked new life into songs that were already ferocious. Razor-sharp guitars rip through the songs whilst the riffs are refreshed and vibrant.

As for Iggor’s drumming, well, I’m no connoisseur, but they sound exactly what I wanted them to sound … HUGE!! There Is plenty of his intensive double kick work on songs like To The Wall, which ricochets like a piece of out-of-control shrapnel against the back of the skull. 

They have captured the atmosphere of the intro on Inquisition Symphony and like several of the tracks, have extended the song by a few extra seconds. Yes, it’s a little more polished, but it is also a lot more muscular, with those riffs combining with ample melody to ensure that this massive instrumental remains a central pillar of the album.

Elsewhere, the likes of Septic Psycho and R.I.P. (Rest In Pain) are delivered with such vibrancy that it’s impossible not to smile and remember that you are dealing with some legends right here. 

For those who were around when Schizophrenia was first released, this recording is an opportunity to return to an album that will no doubt contain some interesting memories.

For those still discovering such gems, then this version may well suit. With a reimagined cover courtesy of the amazing Eliran Kantor and a production that provides the right amount of polish, it may be time to revisit what is another seminal release.

Sleeve Notes

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