Soulfly, ‘Archangel’ – Album Review
Max Cavalera has been part of the metal scene for decades, and is as busy today as he’s ever been with projects such as Cavalera Conspiracy and Killer Be Killed. However, his main band since his departure from Sepultura in 1996 has been Soulfly.
Even though he may always be best known for Sepultura, Cavalera has been in Soulfly for nearly 20 years now, compared to the dozen he spent in Sepultura.
Archangel is Soulfly’s 10th studio album. It follows the template of the band’s recent output, but the execution and songwriting bump it into a higher echelon. The disc's opening track is “We Sold Our Souls To Metal,” a rousing song that has the potential for cheesiness, but Cavalera makes you believe he has made a deal trading metal for his eternal soul.
There are a lot of biblical references on Archangel, starting with the album title. “Sodomites,” which features Todd Jones from Nails, recounts God’s destruction of the city of Sodom because of their sinful behavior. Many other songs on the record draw their subject matter from the Bible.
This is a very dark, diverse and dynamic album. There’s a lot of atmosphere and some choral parts that augment the lyrics. You’ll also get plenty of extremity and groove along with Cavalera’s distinctive vocals. Though Soulfly will never be labeled as mainstream, "Deceiver" is surprisingly catchy. It has some melodic singing and a memorable chorus.
Guitarist Marc Rizzo has been an integral part of Soulfly since 2003, and his performance on the album is outstanding. The riffs and leads throughout are first-rate, and he adds subtle touches like a Middle Eastern flavor on the title track along with more obvious shredding solos.
In addition to Jones, there are several other guests on the album. King Parrot’s Matt Young lends his potent shrieks to “Live Life Hard,” while the closing song “Mother of Dragons” is a Cavalera family reunion featuring Richie (Incite) and Igor Cavalera Jr. (Lody Kong). Anahid of Master of Persia also guests on that track.
Archangel is all killer, no filler. The 10 songs clock in at a compact 36 minutes, with not a wasted riff or self-indulgent tangent. Soulfly have always been a solid band with a strong fan base, but they have really stepped up their game this time around. For those who haven’t heard the band in a while, Archangel may pleasantly surprise you.
Soulfly's 'Archangel' is available in a variety of packages at the Nuclear Blast merch store.
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