Soulfly - Archangel review


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Band: Soulfly
Album: Archangel
Release date: August 2015

Disc I
01. We Sold Our Souls To Metal
02. Archangel
03. Sodomites [feat. Todd Jones]
04. Ishtar Rising
05. Live Life Hard! [feat. Matt Young]
06. Shamash
07. Bethlehem's Blood
08. Titans
09. Deceiver
10. Mother Of Dragons [feat. Richie Cavalera, Igor Cavalera, and Anahid M.O.P.]
11. You Suffer [Napalm Death cover] [special edition bonus]
12. Acosador Nocturno [special edition bonus]
13. Soulfly X [special edition bonus]

Disc II [DVD: Live At Hellfest 2014] [special edition bonus]
01. Cannibal Holocaust
02. Refuse/Resist
03. Bloodshed
04. Back To The Primitive
05. Seek 'N' Strike
06. Tribe
07. Rise Of The Fallen
08. Revengeance
09. Roots Bloody Roots
10. Jumpdaf**kup/Eye For An Eye

Another year, another Max Cavalera album.

But one asks, is the new Soulfly album Archangel any good? Does it offer anything new and exciting or is it an act of superfluous mass-produced metal with the only difference being the cover, the title and the band name (the alternative being Cavalera Conspiracy)? Unfortunately the truth sits somewhere in the middle.

This album follows on from Savages and Cavalera Conspiracy's Pandemonium in its attempts to be more brutal and stripped down, not that Soulfly or Cavalera Conspiracy were ever that complicated in the first place. For the most part it's a slight improvement over the disappointing Savages with the songs being more memorable and the sound being tightened up a bit.

The problem is whatever spark prompted Max to come back to metal and churn out some great album starting with Dark Ages has been slowly fading. There is not much sense of immediacy or excitement here. It's largely predictable meat-and-potatoes Cavalera-style groove thrash metal. Sure there's some cool riffage, but you've heard it a dozen times before on other Soulfy or Cavalera Conspiracy albums. And indeed Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly have effectively blurred into one sound and style.

The only off-kilter element thrown in to spice up this brew is a religious theme both in terms of lyrics and actual musical elements such as chants, guitar and synth effects, and big, brooding riffs. This is actually done pretty well, though it is completely ignored on some tracks such as the ironically punky "We Sold Our Souls For Metal" or "Live Life Hard!" featuring the unmistakable Bon Scott-on-speed screaming of King Parrot's Matt Young.

So yes, Archangel is a good album. It is, however, not a great album. There's not much room left for the Cavalera metal brand to exploit the current direction and it's starting to show. It is possible that Max might want to consider whether Soulfly is due another reinvention like he did ten-odd years ago with Dark Ages.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written by deadone | 11.09.2015



Comments: 4   Visited by: 204 users
11.09.2015 - 06:27
I loved Savages but I thought this was terrible...I listened to it a few times and thought wow this isn't good so I went back to Savages and that's when I realized just how bad this is..
11.09.2015 - 14:12
Max Cavalera without Sepultura and Sepultura without Max Cavalera are like Fish without Marillion and Marillion without Fish. I can't, for the life of me, muster any kind of passion for him/them. Some things should never be separated it seems.
11.09.2015 - 23:41
I haven't enjoyed a Soulfly album his much since Dark Ages.
12.09.2015 - 08:43
I think Rizzo will leave the band sooner or later... He's not growing up in Soulfly...
fuck shit up!

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