Soulfly – Archangel (Album Review)

SOULFLY – Archangel

OUT: August 14th, 2015

SOULFLY Line up:
Max Cavalera | vocals/rhythm guitar
Marc Rizzo | lead guitar
Igor Cavalera Jnr | bass
Zyon Cavalera | drums/percussion

(Note – Tony Campos played bass on the album prior to joining Fear Factory in May)

It’s not hard to believe that Archangel, Soulfly’s latest record will be the band’s tenth studio album, Max Cavalera is without doubt one of the hardest working men in metal. Described once by fellow Killer Be Killed member, Greg Puciato as a ‘riff machine’, Cavalera seems intent on filling his calendar year with new albums, tours and guest slots, and who are we to argue with his passion.

It hasn’t been twelve months since Cavalera’s last release, the brutal Pandemonium from his ‘other’ project, Cavalera Conspiracy, however the Soulfly clan are back with an equally bludgeoning assault. Fortunately Max and co are not ones to rest on their laurels. Each album under the Soulfly banner has had its subtle differences however on Archangel the band seem intent on pushing their musical boundaries but remain as heavy as ever, if not, moreso.

‘We Sold Our Souls to Metal’, is the lead off track acting as an anthem or a call to arms for Soulfly the band and the tribe of Soulfly, it’s fans. The melodic chorus, the attacking vocals and the riff from Marc Rizzo and Max Cavalera offers a slicing entrée for Archangel. Title track ‘Archangel’ is next breaking off into a Middle Eastern tangent almost in stark contrast to where it was heading melodically. Defiantly technical, Rizzo and Max Cavalera intertwine combatting guitar solos of vast contrast before returning to the original slamming riff. Max vocally, is still an angry man. His performance on Cavalera Conspiracy last year was out of the box, delivering a vastly more demonic, verging on grindcore sound that has transferred, though not to Pandemonium extent, onto this album.

The majority of Archangel is drenched in pure heavy metal and we mean heavy. The tribal ambience and Brazilian overtures for the most part are subdued, replaced with historical and sometimes biblical story telling and that balls out, angry thrash metal laced with that patent Soulfly bounce groove.

It wouldn’t be a Soulfly album these days without a guest appearance or two either. Nail’s, Todd Jones guests on the bludgeoning ‘Sodomites’ as Max Cavalera’s vocal surges with a nasty overtone, the track engulfed in the killer riff. Old Sepultura fans will take much delight from this track.

Our own, Matt Young of King Parrot lends his unique vocals to ‘Live Life Hard’, with Max feeding off Young’s high pitched whine. It works surprisingly well. Across Archangel, the thrash or speed metal is evident. ‘Shamash’ can’t help but quicken to a crescendo, while ‘Titans’ and ‘Deceiver’ are even more along the line of old school fast paced metal. Guitarists Marc Rizzo and Max Cavalera both attempt to be more intricate in their craft as they lead off into some finger bleeding solos. Bassist on the album, Tony Campos (now with Fear Factory) incorporates some nice bass breakdowns while the maturing Zyon Cavalera again improves from his debut on Soulfly’s Savages with Max stating Zyon has similar attributes to a young Dave Lombardo.

The alchemist of heavy metal, Max Cavalera, is clearly not slowing down anytime soon. Archangel delivers a ferocious comeback for Soulfly. Fast, brutal, sometimes melodic but all the time intense. Max Cavalera is one angry man with a guitar in his hand. Play loud.

Archangel track listing:

01. We Sold Our Souls To Metal
02. Archangel
03. Sodomites (feat. Todd Jones of NAILS)
04. Ishtar Rising
05. Live Life Hard! (feat. Matt Young of KING PARROT)
06. Shamash
07. Bethlehem’s Blood
08. Titans
09. Deceiver
10. Mother Of Dragons (feat. Richie Cavalera of INCITE, Igor Cavalera of LODY KONG, Anahid M.O.P.)

Bonus tracks for CD/DVD special edition:

11. You Suffer (NAPALM DEATH cover)
12. Acosador Nocturno
13. Soulfly X

Rating 9/10

Cheers @Plugga73


About Plugga73 (370 Articles)
Writing, reviewing, interviewing, exploring new and old heavy music. From punk to grunge to hardcore to death metal to thrash and everything in between. I've been writing in the music industry now for several years including the websites LOUD, SF Media, Tone Deaf, The Metal Review and AMNplify. I'll be the one talking about bands from the 90s all the time..... Hit me up on twitter @Plugga73

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