Soulfly - Soulfly review
|Release date:||April 1998|
01. Eye For An Eye [feat. Burton C. Bell & Dino Cazares]
02. No Hope = No Fear
03. Bleed [feat. Fred Durst & DJ Lethal]
05. Bumba [feat. Los Hooligans]
06. First Commandment [feat. Chino Moreno]
09. Umbabarauma [feat. Los Hooligans]
10. Quilombo [feat. Benji Webbe & DJ Lethal]
12. The Song Remains Insane
13. No [feat. Christian Olde Wolbers]
14. Prejudice [feat. Benji Webbe]
16. Cangaceiro [Limited Edition bonus]
17. Ain't No Feeble Bastard [Discharge cover] [Limited Edition bonus]
18. The Possibility Of Life's Destruction [Discharge cover] [Limited Edition bonus]
Of course most people know Soulfly's front man Max Cavalera came from his former project Sepultura. Soulfly's self-titled debut really shows that it is Max Cavalera's band, as he projects all of his new found anger and he also really explores tribal music from his native Brazil as was started in Sepultura's later albums "Chaos A.D." and "Roots".
This album is full of decently heavy riffing which does a fairly solid job of portraying Max's anger towards both the death of his loved ones and the overall oppression in Brazil. However the guitar work is not by far anything ground breaking in general, as it is, for the most part, very basic heavy riffing. This portrays the angry emotion, but that's it. Although I did say for the most part; there are times where the guitar work is very exceptional and uses quite varied effects, such as at the end of "No Hope=No Fear" and the beginnings of "Bumba" and "Umbabarauma". Furthermore though, the highlight of varied musicianship falls into the title song. Soulfly offers a complete paradigm shift from the generally heavy, thrashy riffs and replaces them with blissfully soothing melodies, albeit for only five minutes. As the guitar is much different in this song, so is the drumming. Much of the drumming on the album is very generic, but on a few songs the drums are heavily tribally influenced, especially on "Soulfly". For the first 60% of the album, the musicianship really manages to stay solid and tight, and is helped quite a bit by the meaningful lyrics. These songs, as I said earlier, expresses Max Cavalera's anger, especially in songs like "Bumbklaat", "First Commandment", and "Eye For An Eye". Really the only disappointing song in that whole part of the album is "Bleed", and that's because it features Fred Durst on it. Yeah I said it, Fred Durst. But despite that, the song still pulls through with the other aforementioned parts.
It is however, a little disappointing to get to the second half of the album after a very solid first half. After Umbabarauma, the songs simply get very boring. The lyrical content just goes nowhere in these songs, and the musicianship really doesn't either. The riffs are "different", but still follow the same style as the rest of the album as is the same with the drumming. It just gets repetitive. There is a much calmer interlude during the middle of "Fire" and at the end of "No", and even during the first half of "Karmageddon", but unfortunately these parts also get quite repetitive. In addition, the track "The Song Remains The Same" is as horrible, as it is very generic.
To sum up, the first part of Soulfly uses some varied guitar and drumming patterns, being heavily influenced by Brazilian tribal drumming, making it almost a Folk Thrash Metal album. Yet because of this success on the first half of the album, the second half cannot continue the momentum and fails. While this album shows a lot of emotion, it is nothing compared to that of bands like The Old Dead Tree.
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