years ago we were given Soulfly’s ‘Savages’, an album I classified
as “heroin”. This is one album which I distinctly remember till date for its
intimidating, unique and gritty sound, keeping in mind the brainchild of this
project is a man well known to the industry and is also part of a couple other
projects like Cavalera Conspiracy and
Killer Be Killed. Well, looks like fans of Mad Max
Cavalera have plenty to rejoice for
with the new album from Soulfly – ‘Archangel’.
for someone who has reviewed ‘Savages’
and the recent Cavalera Conspiracy album ‘Pandemonium’,
I have always loved the artwork connected with this man and his respective
musical projects, and this album serves no less. The artwork is amazing, and is
a gritty yet realistic representation of a biblical element with its almost
canvas painting presentation of Angels vs. Demons. I would personally hang this
masterpiece on my wall without debate.
album itself is written more like a chapter-wise representation of a story
rather than independent tracks. Having said that, though the tracks seamlessly
fuse into one another for the most part, each one of them tells a different
tale. Be it the chaotic entropy of “We Sold
Our Souls to Metal”, “Mother of Dragons”
and “Deceiver”, or the more biblical-titled songs “Archangel” and “Sodomites”.
album holds its own purely because of a couple of important aspects; first, the
songs are neither too long nor too short, and second, the genius in the
execution in them. Marc Rizzo’s riff
and solo work is pure magic with his Arabian & Egyptian scales, and Max
even goes into uncharted territory with his vocal pitch as heard in “Live Life Hard”. Max’s own son Zyon leads the charge behind the drum
kit as heard in the last album, and he holds it together perfectly. Departing
bassist Tony Campos has fortunately
handled the bass lines here before leaving, which have been handled
professionally and perfectly for this album.
field where this band succeeds is in their ability to slow down in songs like “Ishtar Rising”, or for that matter
give a tune a war-like twist in “Bethlehem’s
Blood”, which gives this album some
unique variety, and thus not becoming repetitive in any form. Keep in mind that
since this album is gritty, there is a fair amount of screaming and cussing, in
a manner that the bad language adds to the essence of the album rather than
sound like a rant, which is a good thing.
amazing to know that this frontman is part of so many of his own different
projects, but the fact that he can keep them sounding unique without one
spilling into the other is commendable and worthy of mention. Max has really
proven to be like a good whiskey: one that has become better with age and time,
and this is clearly audible in the treat he has given us in this album. There
is never a dull moment, yet it is not just all screaming. The guitar work and
drumming is professional, unique, and modern, yet has that classic essence of Soulfly’s records, and this one scores a plus-one
with its biblical chaos.
at all I have a complaint, it is only the lack of the tribal elements in the
percussion, which I dearly miss in the album. It’s not like ‘Archangel’ would have been drastically
different, but it purely is something I have acquired taste for from the
various projects of this man, and this serves as the only possible point
shaving I could do on this majestic trip of an album.
the perfect drug off the counter from the Cavaleras a couple years ago, and it
looks like this drug has just upped its game as of now. If you’re still reading
this and haven’t heard the album yet, what are you waiting for?