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Album Reviews : Soulfly – Omen

By on June 18, 2010

This somewhat under the radar release from Soulfly is a recurrence of the band’s traditional sound. Once again, the listener is pulverized with head banging and hip swaying Brazilian melodies, with an accompaniment of the band’s punk and metal cross over motif. Omen has stayed true to the band’s primitive sound, discarding any notion of major production value and holding onto many old school elements.

The over lapping of drums and bass with Mark Rizzo’s hypnotising riffs has an equal dominance over the entire album. I found it very easy to get comfortable within the Omen sound scape, compared to some of the band’s previous releases. The album does have periods of roller coaster like heaviness and melodic moments, many of which don’t suit or outweigh the style of certain tracks, yet inevitably smooth out. It’s essentially a wash, rinse and repeat technique which has been used by the band several times before and works.

The opening track Bloodbath and Beyond bares slight resemblance to old school Dead Kennedy’s material. I found it a little simple for my tastes, as it just seems repetitive and boring, yet is enough to hold your attention until the next song.

Rise of the Fallen perpetuates a solid tribal trance with the addition of some off key keyboard notes during the introduction. Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan plays a dominate role on the track as he, and Max Cavelera share the limelight with a beefy chorus and intertwining lyrics. There is a distinct sitar sound which approaches after the second chorus, which I was hoping would continue throughout the remainder of the track, but sadly is short lived as the song kicks back into full gear and destroys any notion of a melodic undertone.

The next two tracks, Great Depression and Lethal Injection, which features Tommy Victor of Prong, are similar in nature. Both posses a droning or heavy footed style which drag the album along to a minimal and somewhat mind numbing pace. However, Kingdom jolts this slow pace as the simple, yet creative guitar riff of the track breathes life back into the album. The album holds a heavy tone throughout the remainder and eventually does a backflip as the final track dubbed, Soulfly VII is a psychedelic and curious addition.

Most of the album stays in the limitations of Cavelera’s political and aggressive lyrical nature, more so of the latter, as the album influences a more apocalyptic, rather than revolutionary backdrop. One song which steps out from Cavelera’s political comfort zone is Jeffrey Dahmer, who was a well known serial killer and sex offender of the same name in the late 80’s. Again, lyrics are simple and a little meat headed, but inevitably get the point across with ease.

Cavelera and company haven’t really broken new boundaries on Omen. With the band’s seventh album released, you would expect some kind of dramatic change or even the slightest change in influence, yet the band haven’t moved mountains to do so, as they are comfortable with their present sound. Many may not appreciate this recycled effort, as even I at times felt burnt out, thinking that I already heard something of a similar nature on a previous Soulfly release. Without pigeonholing the album and blatantly calling it a dismal effort, I have to say that it was an enjoyable album. Surely not as enjoyable as the band’s magnum opus, Dark Ages, but an enjoyable experience none the less. 6/10

Band: Soulfly
Album:
Omen
Year:
2010
Genre
: Nu-Metal, Thrash Metal
Origin:
Brazil, South America
Label:
Roadrunner Records
www.soulfly.com
www.myspace.com/soulfly

Tracklisting

1. Bloodbath & Beyond
2. Rise of the Fallen <- Reviewer’s Choice
3. Great Depression
4. Lethal Injection
5. Kingdom <- Reviewer’s Choice
6. Jeffrey Dahmer
7. Off With Their Heads
8. Vulture Culture
9. Mega-Doom <- Reviewer’s Choice
10. Counter Sabotage
11. Soulfly VII (Instrumental) <- Reviewer’s Choice

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.