I was looking up ‘laziness’ in some capacity, which quickly led to ‘Victorian exercise equipment’ …which existed in a time when elaborate sloth still required a three-piece suit.

Aw, man… another “number” post. You know what that means? I need to symbolically mark something, and it’s probably ass draggage. So yeah, it’s been 111 days since my last post on my own dang site.
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Review : SOULFLY – ‘Enslaved’

Release: 2012Mar13
Label: Roadrunner
Rating: 8/10

Who among you deny Max Cavalera‽  Fucking ingrates.  Not only is the man largely responsible for broadening the horizons of death metal in the ’90s, but I bet many people—like me, for example—received their introduction to the genre via Sepultura. Starting with the watershed Chaos A.D., I worked my way backwards, and before I knew it, I was digging Beneath the Remains and trying to understand Schizophrenia.

I really can’t escape Soulfly. Once you have a band on your license plate, there is some unexplainable, inextricable link that you just need to simply own. Ps&btw, it remained on my car through most of the band’s rough years, critically speaking: 2000-2004. But like I’ve mentioned beforeSoulfly has strove to maintain heaviness. They’ve worked the thrash hard over the past few albums, but now the death metal is finally creeping back, too.

As always, Mark Rizzo provides a perfect, classy counterpoint to Max’s unbridled gnashings.  And the band, as a whole, definitely has lots of fun throughout; check out “Treachery” with its sweet instrumental midsection, or the visceral gang shouts of “Intervention”. New drummer David Kinkade has less of a tribal backbone, but coming off the heels of Borknagar, the dude is no slouch; plus, virtually zero nu metal to be found. He brings speed, above all else—and in fact, this may be the first Soulfly album with genuine blast beats.

Guest vocals are again well-chosen this time around. Cattle Decapitation‘s Travis Ryan rends layers of dynamics to better enrich your ears on “World Scum” (frontrunner for heaviest Soulfly song to date) and DevilDriver‘s Dez Fafara allies effectively in “Redemption of Man by God”. New bassist Tony Kampos (MinistryProng, Static-XAsesino)  channels a slight industrial charge (Nailfly?) and commands center stage on the exemplary “Plata O Plomo”. Listen for  Rizzo doing about seven awesome riffs in that song, too. Holy fucking flamenco.

Max can still be so hard to digest, lyrically. For example, the laundry list of “-tion” words in a row has really been overdone. But if you focus on the strength behind the arrangements, their palpable power engulfs every time. It’s great to see Soulfly mutate once more—Max Cavalera has spent half of his 28 professional musical years nurturing this brainchild, after all. You must respect the dogged desire of this brazen Brazilian, who barely goes a year without releasing something new. For better or for worse, that is truly admirable artistry.

FCC: 11
Try: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

01. Resistance
02. World Scum
03. Intervention
04. Gladiator
05. Legions
06. American Steel
07. Redemption of Man By God
08. Treachery
09. Plata O Plomo
10. Chains
11. Revengeance

Digital-only bonus tracks:
12. Slave
13. Bastard
14. Soulfly VIII


Review : SOULFLY – "Omen"

Release: 2010May25
Label: Roadrunner Records
Rating: 3.5/5

They say that two points determine a line; three points confirm it. Now, Soulfly‘s fourth album in a row with the Cavalera-Rizzo-Burns-Nunez combination solidifies the core of this band. Co-produced by Logan Mader (ex-Machine Head), Omen continues to comfortably reintegrate thrash into their groove-heavy arsenal, and demonstrates how well they have developed.

I shuddered when I saw the lead track was named “Bloodbath and Beyond”, but was floored when I actually heard it. 2½ minutes of blistering thrash blasts out of the gate, ushering in the best first half of a Soulfly album this side of 1998. “Rise of the Fallen” features the first of two excellent guest collaborations. Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan dynamically takes center stage on vocals, with Max only lending his throat to repeating the song title in the chorus. On the other hand, “Lethal Injection” is a more balanced attack with Prong‘s Tommy Victor. If you pick up the Deluxe Edition, you can hear Max’s sons Zyon and Igor play on the covers of “Refuse/Resist” and “Your Life, My Life” (respectively).

I’ve said it a hundred times, Max Cavalera needs a musical foil. This was Andreas Kisser in Sepultura for many years, but when the split occurred, it took a few albums before Mark Rizzo entered the Soulfly picture. Rizzo is the Slash to Max’s Axl, or perhaps more appropriately, the Randy to his Ozzy. His youthful flair and multi-disciplinary musical background are nothing but assets.

I like David Ho’s eerie illustrations, as the seven deadly sins are all represented, and echo the apocalyptic themes throughout Omen. Songs like “Kingdom” and “Mega-Doom” cover this territory most directly. I prefer the former, with more unique riffage, less reliance on repetition, and excellent vocals from Max (especially the chorus).

Curious is their song about Jeffrey Dahmer, which seems most out of place here. Not only does it feel poorly timed, naming him a “master cannibal” or “master of the gruesome” is inappropriate on a number of levels, and the topic is minimally detailed.

Omen contains some of the band’s finest moments in years. These veteran musicians have really come into their own. Now seven albums deep, Soulfly displays a maturity matched only by their ferociousness.

Try 1, 2, 3, 4, 7

01. Bloodbath & Beyond
02. Rise Of The Fallen
03. Great Depression
04. Lethal Injection
05. Kingdom
06. Jeffrey Dahmer
07. Off With Their Heads
08. Vulture Culture
09. Mega-Doom
10. Counter Sabotage
11. Soulfly VII
12. Four Sticks (Led Zeppelin cover) (Bonus Track)
13. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura cover) (Bonus Track)
14. Your Life, My Life (Excel cover) (Bonus Track)


Review: SOULFLY – "Conquer"


Soulfly – “Conquer” [Roadrunner] … a more solid and less experimental outing–the sixth for Max Cavalera’s brainchild–boasts the same lineup as 2005’s Dark Days … still lots of variation, from the first trio of thrashers (1 feat. David Vincent of Morbid Angel and 2 has Dave Peters of Throwdown) to the downtempo dirge of ‘Touching the Void’ which is dedicated ‘To Black Sabbath’ … French dub artist Fedayi Pac contributes to 9 & 10 … Note:  there is some residue from the Cavalera Conspiracy project, released earlier this year … 11 is an instrumental … FCC clean disc … Try 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10 … 2008Jul29

01. Blood Fire War Hate
02. Unleash
03. Paranoia
04. Warmageddon
05. War Ghost
06. Rough
07. Fall Of Sycophants
08. Doom
09. Rot
10. Touching The Void
11. Soulfly VI