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Album Reviews : Soulfly – Conquer

By on August 6, 2008

Soulfly is the brainchild of Max Cavelera, the main man behind such other famous metal acts as Nailbomb, Cavalera Conspiracy and of course Sepultura. Soulfly return once again with their sixth studio album entitled “Conquer”, released through Roadrunner Records. The album is a major leap from their last release “Dark Ages”, in which we see the band going for a more aggressive and straight forward approach, taking out a lot of studio trickery and going for a more raw sound.

Some may see this as simplistic album, yet it offers a great spectrum into the bands plethora of musical talents by harnessing the raw sounds of thrashy guitars, mellow tribal grooves and of course the trademark war cry of Max Cavelera.

People have always associated Max Cavelera with his most famous band “Sepultura”, with its trade mark thrashy roots and outspoken lyrical content which first started out as nothing more then a death metal band and then matured into a more thrashy and outspoken monster which based its lyrics heavily on standing up for your rights and bringing down fascism in the violent and controlled police state in which Max lived in when growing up in Brazil.

The roots of Sepultura are still being planted today, through the evergrowing and widely diverse sounds of Soulfly. Even though the name has changed and bands members have come and gone, the quintessential sound of Sepultura still remains with Max Cavelera at the helm, yet it still offers a diverse sound which can be held on its own and not be seen as Sepultura version 2.0.

The new album offers a very powerful vibe in which the listener will feel a sense of strength when listening to the album, much like past releases. It almost has a war feel to it, each time you listen to the album you’ll be prepared to put on your warpaint and head bang. As the album title states, it has a conquering feeling over the listen which will make him or her stand up and bang their head. It also offers a great flow and introduces alot of string and acoustic instruments which mix up the album quite well, furthermore the melodic tracks have a very humble sound to them, most notably “Soulfly VI” which invigorates the soul with an uplifting and power melodic instrumental to finish off an already amazing album.

Even though the album has a very straightforward and raw approach, producer Andy Sneap (Nevermore, Arch Enemy, Machine Head) has mixed it quite well and reintroduces some factors which gives it some resemblance to Sepultura’s famous ‘Chaos AD’ and ‘Roots’ albums respectively. Marc Rizzo offers us a plethora of melodic and aggressive tones which are worked quite well into the album. Solo’s are in an abundance and will please the more technical listeners of heavy metal, making this album easy on the ears of listeners of all metal backgrounds. The album showcases the raw energy and power that this band has over its fans with its notable musicianship from all members.

The album also incorporates alot of middle eastern tones through the plethora of tribal and thrashy overtures, which were utilized when Max travel to Egypt to write the album. Even though the album can be seen as very dark and bleak it also offers some great melodic and uplifting moments with its more infectious grooves.

Soulfly have also been known to uphold some special guests on each of their albums over the years, and this new album is no exception with guest vocalists Dave Peters of Throwdown, on the track “Unleashed”, and of course the legendary David Vincent of Morbid Angel on the title track “Blood Fire War Hate”.

This is an outstanding album which offers great insight to the bands more humble roots of tribal and thrashy influence. If your a fan of the material Sepultura released in the early to mid 90’s you’ll easily enjoy the sounds of the new Soulfly album. 8/10

For fans of: Nailbomb, Old Sepultura, Machine Head, Cavalera Conspiracy

Band: Soulfly
Album: Conquer
Year: 2008
Genre: Groove Metal
Label: Roadrunner Records
Origin: Brazil/America

Track Listing:

1. Blood Fire War Hate
2. Unleash
3. Paranoia
4. Warmageddon
5. Enemy Ghost
6. Rough
7. Fall of the Sycophants <- Reviewer choice
8. Doom
9. For Those About to Rot
10. Touching the Void
11. Soulfly VI


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook