Soulfly Savages

Soulfly Savages
6
Nine albums in, and it's been fun watching Max Cavalera and his merry crew go from disaffected nu-metal cavemen to respected heavy groove thrashers. The most interesting change this time is an impressive backbeat provided by Zyon Cavalera, Max's son, who we last heard from when his in-utero heartbeat was featured as the intro to Sepultura's Chaos A.D. Opener "Bloodshed" gets things going with a whimper, the seven-minute cut an anti-climactic way to start off another sprawling and varied Soulfly effort. "Cannibal Holocaust" brings the mid- to fast stomp and guitar work that just beg to be compared to his former Sepultura bandmates. It's an admirable thrasher; it's just too bad they follow it up with "Fallen," a six-minute thumper that never goes anywhere, except for some more Sepulturian guitar lines. This album harkens back to Sepultura more than most of their efforts, but still has the Soulfly identity, which bounces around album to album. Here, it's locked into a mid-paced groove for songs that go on for too long, and when they pick up the pace a bit, like on "Master of Savagery," the band are torn between thrashing out and laying down a groove. On the excellently titled "Ayatollah of Rock 'N' Rolla," there's even some melodic, near-death metal guitar work reminiscent of Carcass. The indecisive saga of Soulfly continues: sometimes their albums are quite good, sometimes quite bad and sometimes, like this one, they're just in between, not leaving much of an impression at all. (Nuclear Blast)