Soulfly - Archangel

Soulfly - Archangel

(CD/LP, Nuclear Blast, 2015)

I have to admit that seeing Max releasing new music in an almost non-stop rate, I started questioning his ability of putting out original stuff. Then again, he is not running SOULFLY on his own and, in fact, the band’s lineup features inspired musicians who have been in sync with Max and hence have been delivering the goods without showing signs of fatigue (not even close). Still, I let “Archangel” stand in the back burner for far too long in fear of getting Max-overloaded. As the 2015 is slipping away, I decided to cut back my pending promo-list, so “Archangel” started spinning relentlessly...

...after knocking me off my feet with the massive opener “We Sold Our Souls To Metal”. Sure, the title is cliché as a Christmas Hallmark movie but if you pay closer attention to what Max is screaming out, you’ll feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Add to this the absolutely fantastic Punk-bass break and Rizzo’s stellar lead guitars to understand how this thrasher will explode in your face once the ‘play’ button has been pressed. Without stopping, SOULFLY dive deeper into the type of blackness “Dark Ages” introduced for the first time almost a decade ago. The guitar leads and fills (listen what is going in the background), the chanting, the percussion and the mid-tempo rhythm section are some of the things that make this one a killer song. By the way, the main riffs push SOULFLY closer to the Death Metal, created by the hands of Chuck Schuldiner. Speaking of darkness and evilness, then you should check Bible’s God in the amazing “Sodomites” and how the excerpts from this holy book make your skin crawl out of terror. And if you have been craving for some tribal elements which have become kind of sparse in the latest SOULFLY albums, then “Ishtar Rising” will do the trick. Yeah, the hit-hat action, the down-tuned four-string rhythm guitar and the tribal drum groove will wake all those primal instincts.

“Bethlehem's Blood” is the hidden star of the album, having a rather strong bite during the first listenings with the trumpet sounds and the almost Progressive guitar structures. Still, Max’s spitting-way of singing and the old-school sounding Thrash riffs will restore any balance you may think has been disturbed. “Titans” is cut from the same almost Eastern-sounding cloth with a faster tempo and the kind of lead-vocals that you love to scream-along with a clenched-fist in the air and, trust me, the way Max is saying/grunting the names of the Titans will send shivers down your spine.

Shame on me, for even thinking of questioning SOULFLY ability to produce good Thrash/Death Metal with lots of twists what make “Archangel” most interesting. If you’d ask me, I’d say that the dark atmosphere fits perfectly the music of SOULFLY which has the heaviness and the aggression to serve it. The only complains I will make for this one have to do with the bonus material; the Thrash/hardcore blast “Acosador Nocturno”, sung by Tony Campos, should have been in the album’s tracklist as well as “Soulfly X” which is part of the SOULFLY tradition. Although, those tracks are available in the vinyl edition, so at the end of the day, I am perfectly fine with this setup.

PS: For a moment I thought “Mother Of Dragons” had to do with “Game Of Thrones” but I think it would have been too heavy for that.





01. We Sold Our Souls To Metal
02. Archangel
03. Sodomites
04. Ishtar Rising
05. Live Life Hard!
06. Shamash
07. Bethlehem's Blood
08. Titans
09. Deceiver
10. Mother Of Dragons


Max Cavalera - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Marc Rizzo - Lead Guitar
Zyon Cavalera - Drums, Percussion
Tony Campos - Bass, Vocals (on "Acosador Nocturno"), Bass (acoustic) (on "Soulfly X")