Release Date: 14 August 2015
Review by Dave Griffiths
Something has been making Max Cavalera very, very angry just recently. The former Sepultura frontman has really brought an angry streak to the recent albums from his all his projects, Cavalera Conspiracy and Killer Be Killed etc. and now it seems like he has reached an amazing new height of brutality with the latest offering from Soulfly – Archangel.
As any Soulfly fan has come to know, love and expect from the band’s albums over the years – Archangel is again an album, which visits themes of injustice and violence around the world at the moment. But this time around there seems to be a new founded aggression in Soulfly’s belly, an aggression that is even more brutal than tracks like ‘Eye For An Eye’ and ‘Bleed.’
There is no easing into Archangel. The album kicks off feet first with a wall of sound that is We Sold Our Souls To Metal a track that delivers a strong anti-political message that seems to have only come from a place of hate… you have to love that. From there Archangel delivers a real mixture of sound. The brutality is ever present with tracks like Sodomites and Deceiver and then there are times when Soulfly return to their much loved tribal sound like on Shamash, which is a track guaranteed to become a crowd favourite.
There are some low lights on Archangel. Cavalera’s attempt at high-pitched screaming on Live Life Hard! leaves a lot to be desired while the very bland Ishtar Rising may conjure up some memories of For Whom The Bell Tolls but it doesn’t do anything to really impress the hardened Soulfly fan.
Those lowlights though are outweighed by the highlights here, which include some awesome guitar work from Cavalera and Marc Rizzo on the track the album takes its name from and the strong orchestral feel that is moved along with a choir on the fast paced Titans. Then there is the very political Bethlehem’s Blood, which sees Soulfly turn their attention to the troubles in The Holy Land and Mother Of Dragons that we can only hope is an ode to Khaleesi from Game Of Thrones.
The brutality and aggressive new sound that Soulfly bring to Archangel does take a few listens to get used to but once you’re into the groove this ends up being an album that true fans are going to love. Expert guitar playing, a political theme and Max Cavalera letting out some anger… what isn’t to like?