Soulfly - Dark Ages [2005]

Posted By: SaintStyle

Soulfly are one of those bands that have spent their career fighting off the legendary status of the band's creator; ex-Sepultura leader Max Cavalera. Cavalera has morphed Soulfly from record to record. It always seems to have a somewhat current sound, mixed with lots of tribal beats and heritage. It's always brutal as hell. And, not surprisingly, he's always tried to keep the sound as far away from Sepultura's sound as he could. That is...until now.

At least for this incarnation of Soulfly, it's apparent that Max has listened to the fans of his past and gone out of his way to create the most reminiscent record to his past that either Soulfly or Sepultura has done since his departure. THE DARK AGES features almost nothing recognizable to previous Soulfly releases, and everything recognizable to albums like ARISE, BENEATH THE REMAINS or even the heavier stuff on ROOTS. This is a brutal blast of hardcore metal. It doesn't sound dated, but clearly has many elements of the early days that took Sepultura from the underground of Brazil and raised them up to the kings of heavy music they became. Songs like the blistering “Babylon” or “Arise Again” leave no doubt that Cavalera took a stroll back through his catalog when writing this record. Songs like “Carved Inside” could easily have found their way up from the early demos of Cavalera's career. The tribal vibe is present as usual here, most notably on “Riotstarter”. The only thing missing on many of these songs is the patented sound of Andreas Kisser and Igor Cavalera. Other than that (noticable) difference, this sounds like Sepultura should be doing.

Musically, this incarnation of Soulfly is the best in my book. Cavalera is screaming louder and harder than ever throughout. He's raging harder and in a higher range than he's been in years, and it's a welcome improvement. Scooped up from Ill Nino, guitarist Marc Rizzo proves that he's got a lot more than nu-metal chops at his disposal. The piercing sound of his guitar on songs like “Carved Inside”, combined with simply blazing riffs all over the disc prove that this guy can play. On “Corrosion Creeps”, the rhythm section makes themselves known as well. Bassist Bobby Burns (Ex-Primer55) and drummer Joe Nunez bring a very thick tone on this track that is very reminiscent of “Territory” from the old Sepultura days. On an individual performance level, this is by far the best Soulfly effort there's been.

If I have any complaint at all with this record, it's the very minor issue of above average, but not brilliant, production. This clearly sounds good, but there are many times when Rizzo's guitar bring brought up in the mix would have only made the sound that much better. This is a very, very minor issue. Overall, you can't help but love this one.

1. The Dark Ages
2. Babylon
3. I And I
4. Carved Inside
5. Arise Again
6. Molotov
7. Frontlines
8. Innerspirit
9. Corrosion Creeps
10. Riotstarter
11. Bleak
12. (The) March
13. Fuel The Hate
14. Staystrong
15. Soulfly V

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