Soulfly is almost starting to become an afterthought in the metal community. While Sepultura was an integral part in the thrash metal community back in the day, since Max Cavalera left, their music sounds like an attempt to get back to the glory days. Soulfly is a band that seems like they are trying to reach for something that they just cannot grab. The closest thing to classic Sepultura was when Cavalera joined forces with brother Igor and Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo to form Cavalera Conspiracy in 2007. Hard to believe that was five years ago.
On to 2012 and the latest Soulfly release entitled Enslaved where Cavalera is back. While I respect everything that Cavalera has ever done, it does seem like his vocal delivery and songwriting is become formulaic. You pretty much know what you are getting into with each passing release. The same applies here with Enslaved.
The album opens with a short track, Resistance, which I do not understand. While it is decent, it pretty much serves no purpose to the album. It is somewhat disjointed and is just a bad way to open the album. After Resistance, we are led into World Scum, which has its moments. I really like this song, but enjoy the verses much more than the chorus. The guitars have such a nice tone and the vocals and verse melogy just strike a nice chord. The break in the song even goes into a punk/death metal groove.
Intervention quickly follows with thunderous chunks and speed. This is another track where the verse is much more fluent than the chorus, but overall, the song is very solid.
Gladiator starts off with a punk groove, but quickly follows the groove metal feel that we are used to hearing from Cavalera’s music. Once again, the chorus is a little lazy, but the rest of the song rocks.
Legions is another quick little number that flows really well and even introduces some short leads. That is one of the attributes of Sepultura’s music that I really miss. Soulfly is pretty much cutting solos out.
American Steel is another fast piece with some nice guitar work and shrieks of terror from Max. The track gets quite repetitive, but still flows nicely.
Redemption of Man by God is a decent song and is a little but of a diversion of Soulfly’s typical sound with many dynamic elements. Treachery is a fast piece with some dynamic elements including a Pantera-style riff that makes me smile.
Plata O Plomo is one of my favorite tracks on with its catchy groove and simple guitar licks that will be stuck in your head all day. There is even some very nice acoustic guitar that seems to fit in this bulldozer of a song. The chorus is, once again, repetitive, but I am more lenient on this one because Max makes it sound good.
Overall, Enslaved is a more than ample in its execution and we are left with a bunch of solid songs. Of course, I still pray for a Sepultura reunion, if not only to hear them do the old songs again. I doubt that their new stuff would ever match the classic songs because both Sepultura and Soulfly are not doing too much to excite me these days.