The long-awaited and hopefully long-lived band stemming from former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera has arrived. For those of us who truly knew Sepultura’s greatness, and while we were sated by Nailbomb and the occasional side project, the wait for powerful Brazilian metal is over. Soulfly combines the raw brutality and awesome musicianship of Sepultura with even more Amazon jungle sounds, the most powerful of psychedelic fuzz guitars and grooves, and lots of tribal drums and bells.
As you can imagine, the songs are about fighting intense oppression, either from the government or from any other authoritarian source. Fighting to win, that is. “Eye For An Eye” is about, well, if it’s not obvious, you’re worthless. “No Hope = No Fear” is about what the enemy will face when they’re cornered a righteous individual. Those two, with their full-on metal brutality, will overwhelm most listeners, but for those who can take it, there’s some fascinating tribal, almost, dare I say, “jazz” breaks, which are emphasized on songs like “Bleed,” “Tribe,” “Fire,” and the title track that will amaze you. For those who really want a charge, there’s a metalized version of “Umbababaruma” included. It grooves like a motherfucker.
Fifteen songs in all, Soulfly is a powerful, intensely emotional album. Definitely one of the year’s best. Roadrunner, 536 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10012