The unquenchable fire of inspiration consuming Max Cavalera has blessed the world with arguably the most prolific lifelong achievements in urgent, primal, gut-wrenching, and unapologetically transcendental extreme metal. To commune with the dark muse of heavy music’s shamanistic tribal leader is to envelop oneself inside some sort of post-modern sweat lodge. Brutal riffs, trippy esoteric summoning, unrelenting percussiveness, and diverse world music: whatever Max Cavalera hammers out on his four-string signature ESP, it always sets souls free.
“We Sold Our Souls To Metal” thrusts SOULFLY’s tenth album into the world with blistering force. The refrain is instantly memorable, the sentiment aggressively relatable, with an overlying implication that is unquestionably spiritual. Max Cavalera manages to revisit the ritualistic engagement of the mystical ruminations on SOULFLY’s »Prophecy« and the tribal exploration of SEPULTURA’s »Roots« while simultaneously doubling down on the most extreme music of his career.
Biblical in scope, mystical in purpose, exotic in execution, »Archangel« sees vocalist/guitarist Cavalera and longtime six-string shredder Marc Rizzo pushing the musical bludgeoning to its very limit while injecting the songs with moments of trippy nuance and ethereal dissonance. Max’s son Zyon, who made his recorded debut in SOULFLY with »Savages«, truly comes into his own, reminding his father of a young Dave Lombardo with his hard-hitting fills and stylish groove. The destruction of Sodom plays out sonically in 'Sodomites.' The Akkadian god of the sun commands his due in 'Shamash.' 'Ishtar Rising' and 'Titans' are as epic as any fantasy trilogy of modern cinema, evoking the same type of emotion as a brutal battle on Game Of Thrones.
Cavalera is an eternal innovator and also heavy metal’s most efficient sponge, soaking up all of the genre’s historical strengths and cutting edge modern interpretations and reshaping them to deliver something unmistakably, singularly his own. »Archangel« invokes Old Testament fire-and-brimstone and New Testament crucifixion/resurrection with an equal devotion, study and musical pilgrimage into the rich history of the magic-obsessed and supernaturally instinctual meditations of pre-civilized people. This is all woven together into a tapestry brimming with death metal as punishingly pulverizing as BEHEMOTH and BELPHEGOR and fierce as vintage SLAYER.
The list of metal musicians, hard rock icons, and hardcore brutalizers Cavalera has mixed it up with across ten SOULFLY albums, KILLER BE KILLED’s debut album and SOUNDWAVE debut, the NAILBOMB record, the unassailable discography he amassed as co-founder of Brazilian legends SEPULTURA, and all of his many related projects reads like a heavy music encyclopedia. The Wikipedia entry alone lists nearly 50 players, and »Archangel« brings forth some exciting additions: Todd Jones from Nuclear Blast Entertainment label-mates NAILS lends his throat to 'Sodomites.' Matt Young from KING PARROT graces 'Live Life Hard!' with blunt aggression. Max’s sons Richie (INCITE) and Igor (LODY KONG) Cavalera throw down on 'Mother Of Dragons.'
Between his work with SOULFLY, KILLER BE KILLED, NAILBOMB, and SEPULTURA, Cavalera has worked with nearly every A-list rock producer on the planet and »Archangel« is no exception: Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM) helped craft SOULFLY’s most daring, exciting, and creative record yet. Fittingly for such a monumental band’s tenth full-length release, »Archangel« is adorned with a brilliant cover image from Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM), a neo-classical/post-modern mishmash of Biblical triumph and talismans of SOULFLY’s past, present, and future.
1 - We Sold Our Souls To Metal
2 - Archangel
3 - Sodomites (feat. Todd Jones of NAILS)
4 - Ishtar Rising
5 - Live Life Hard! (feat. Matt Young of KING PARROT)
6 - Shamash
7 - Bethlehem’s Blood
8 - Titans
9 - Deceiver
10 - Mother Of Dragons (feat. Richie Cavalera of INCITE, Igor Cavalera of LODY KONG, Anahid M.O.P.)
11 - You Suffer (NAPALM DEATH cover) (bonus track)
12 - Acosador Nocturno (bonus track)
13 - Soulfly X (bonus track)
14 - Cannibal Holocaust
15 - Refuse/Resist
16 - Bloodshed
17 - Back To The Primitive
18 - Seek 'N' Strike
19 - Tribe
20 - Rise Of The Fallen
21 - Revengeance
22 - Roots Bloody Roots
23 - Jumpdaf**kup/Eye For An Eye