Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: October 1, 2013
I’m going to get right into it, because what we are talking about is non-other than Max Cavalera’s uncharted territory of lumbering riffs that will leave you with a sore neck! Right from the days of his former group Sepultura, Max has offered very distinct almost groovy metal music. When it comes to beats, the Brazilians sure know how to pack a punch! With their latest album, Soulfly truly has unleashed something that cannot be described. With all of its thrash, groove and death metal elements flawlessly tuned to the best that can be offered, Soulfly’s ninth studio album Savages is an all-out assault on your senses.
The first track here is “Bloodshed”, starting off with the sirens backed up with a tribal essence of drumming which makes you feel like a fire-storm is coming your way. Slow on the pace, the song is extremely heavy and groovy. Marc Rizzo sure knows how to make his lead guitar work sink into your skull. It’s not all fast shredding; here it is essential melody completing the song. “Cannibal Holocaust” is a nuclear bomb from the heavens. The sheer speed and weight of the riffs make you feel mad with a sense of deranged power. The use of special effects at the intervals of these songs is something that really plays with your head. Listen to it long enough and you will have hallucinations.
The third song “Fallen” sounds like a faster and more intense version of “Cannibal Holocaust”, after which you are hurled into a brick wall of hard rock groove in track four, “Ayatollah of Rock ‘n Rolla”. This is the perfect title for this track. The whispered lyrics towards the end sound like chanted hymns, which along with the combined effect of guitars and drums will leave you in a haunted trance. “Master of Savagery” has a certain Slayer feel to it, and quickly blows you away with its chorus. This quality carries on for the next three tracks “Spiral”, “This is Violence” and “K.C.S.”, with every track being unique to the ear and not failing to disappoint.
“El Comegente” is one of my favorite tracks. The sliding basslines in the intervals of the song twist in and out of you, while the guitars completely tear you apart. The acoustic bridge is slow and soft, like a calm before the storm. This song comes to a close with a reign of thunder, leaving you in the oblivion again in classic Soulfly style. “Soulfliktion” is the final assault on this album, which blasts away with heavy riffs, squealing leads, machine-gun drumming, and a certain signature of Satan embedded somewhere in it, finally closing with the lead guitar screaming in your head long after the song is over.
Who amongst you deny Max Cavalera? Not only is the man largely responsible for broadening the horizons of death metal in the ’90s, but I bet many people—like me, for example—received their introduction to the genre via Sepultura. Like Sepultura, we can’t escape Soulfly. Once you have a band on your license plate, there is some unexplainable, inextricable link that you simply just need to own. Like I’ve mentioned before, Soulfly has strived to maintain heaviness. They’ve worked thrash hard over the past few albums, but with Enslaved, and now Savages, their death metal flavor is finally creeping back in too.
It is very difficult to make a judgment on this album after you have recovered from its brutality. Savages is, as the name plainly implies, a bloody savage record. You can’t classify it because of the assault it puts you under. Max Cavalera’s writing is pure genius. No song sounds the same, yet no song is any less intimidating. The essence of the music’s tribal elements is very well executed, and fits in perfectly. If the average metal record is assumed to be marijuana, Soulfly’s Savages is heroin.
There is no escaping this one!
Rating – 9.2/10