Max is back with his main band, Soulfly for their 10th album, Archangel!
The crushing start to We Sold Our Souls to Metal is an instant reminder that Soulfly are as heavy as ever. A very trash orientated song that is reminiscence of the latest Cavalera Conspiracy album but lacking a killer hook, something to make you sit up & take notice.
Archangel is vast improvement with an attention grabbing haunting guitar intro that sticks throughout backing up Max’s death-metal vocals. Incredibly heavy with plenty of melody & direction change so that it’s a song that needs multiple listens to really take it all in.
As is customary with Soulfly, Sodomites has a guest vocalist on it…Todd Jones of Nails. His vocal power really adds some extra aggression to an already furious sounding song. An amazingly catchy tune with a head-banging drum beat that speeds up right at the end for some circle pit action.
At times Ishtar Rising’s could be a Sepultura song from the early albums…it’s familiar yet different at the same time. Max’s vocals are on fine form here & you do wonder how he has been able to consistently do this for so long.
Live Life Hard has another guest vocalist on it, Matt Young of King Parrot & his more punk edge vocals seem out of place. Thankfully the song is rescued by some great guitar riffs & an even better solo while Shamash’s religious tone helps make a pretty standard Soulfly song a bit more interesting.
The death metal stylings returns in earnest for Bethlehem’s Blood, its standard stuff that uses some more unique instruments but they don’t really add much more to the overall package.
Titans is a good trash metal song with a nice chanty chorus that breaks it up well. Musically it’s nothing too out of the ordinary for Soulfly except for the final minute or so that slows things down while keeping it heavy & throwing in some religious harmonies. It sounds surprisingly good.
Speed is the name of the game with the bland-sounding Deceiver. Short & un-inspired with a guitar solo that seems to go on far too long.
Finally we get Mother of Dragons with several guests from the Cavalera clan, It’s not a strong end unfortunately, short & un-exciting it won’t live long in the memory.
Plenty of solid songs but few that really standout, those that do though are excellent & you can’t help but wonder how good of an album it would have been should that much effort have been put in throughout.
Soulfly - Archangel (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 8/10
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