Where do you begin with Soulfly, they’ve been quite an act, yet have somehow managed to stay succinctly under the radar. Yes, the project is the child of ex-Sepultura front-man, Mr. Max Cavelera who is considered a pioneer in the thrash-y groove metal genre. But for the most part, the act is a beast unto itself, mking the most of their collective influences to continue a legacy of harsh vocals and groovin’ thrash. Savages is an interesting release, but not for the band’s past. Various line-up changes, collective trends and the band has kept a solid and recognizable sound. The band has not been without its hits over the years, most can remember ‘Eye For An Eye’ or even ‘Rise Of The Fallen’ off Omen. It’s expected that ‘Savages’ is a logical step for Soulfly, although there are a few differences that change the integral sound of the band’s new album. This time around, one noticeable difference is that this is the first record that includes Max’s son (the fabled Cavelera line shall live on) behind the drum-kit. Credited with having the heartbeat sound on Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. Zyon handles the throne behind the gruff and high octane soundscape that is Soulfly’s groove laden, thrash onslaught.
It’s important to note that Zyon is not the only new face to the Soulfly fold, although he’s the only new inclusion that gets to stay in a permanent sense. ‘Savages’ also sees contributions from another of the Cavelera’s in the form of Igor who helps open the album in a considerably solid manner. The album features a number of guest vocalists including Igor Cavalera of Lody Kong, Jamie Hanks of I Declare War, Neil Fallon of Clutch and Mitch Harris of Napalm Death. This adds a scope of variance to the record, contrasting Max’s gruff screams with a combination of death growls, more death growls, yells and even some spoken word. It doesn’t allow too much in the way of flipping a set sound on its head but these having these guests on Soulfly’s ninth studio record gives a whole another dimension to an almost predictable affair in music, especially considering these guy’s last full-length only came last year.
If anything’s for certain, Soulfly isn’t about to close the chapter on their musical career. In fact, they’re opening a new chapter, one that brings the old[er] meta-lheads to the young[ish] metal crowds and manages to succeed at every turn. ‘Savages’ is not fancy, it’s not innovative. The word solid should be etched into stone for Soulfly rely on their semi-permanent outlay to meet the stereotypes of the genre proudly. This is yet another more than solid release to be added to a fans collection. If you like anything that this now veteran group has done in the past, this is another release to look forward to.
Savages track list:
01. Bloodshed (feat. Igor Cavalera)
02. Cannibal Holocaust
03. Fallen (feat. Jamie Hanks)
04. Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla (feat. Neil Fallon)
05. Master Of Savagery
07. This Is Violence
08. K.C.S. (feat. Mitch Harris)
09. El Comegente (feat. Tony Campos)
Limited Edition CD & 2LP vinyl bonus tracks:
11. Fuck Reality
12. Soulfly IX