Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Soulfly - No Hope = No Fear

2:26 mark.

In 1996, Sepultura were the biggest non American metal band and coming off of back to back gold records, it could be argued that in the current scene, only a few bands were bigger. And then suddenly, tragedy struck as singer Max Cavalera's step son, Dana Wells was killed in a car accident and this began a whirlwind of events, which included the rest of the band proposing that they replace Max's wife, Gloria as the bands manager. Max decided he would rather quit than see this happen, which he felt was a personal betrayal by his band mates and he struck out on his own.

2 years later, he returned with a new group, Soulfly. Named after a Deftones lyric, Soulfly embodied Max's relationship with his step son, with whom he had written "Attitude" from Sepultura's Roots album and who had turned him on to a host of newer bands including Deftones, Will Haven and Snot. These influences as well as the downtuned guitars from Roots come together with further experimentation as world music continued to influence Cavalera's song writing. 

Boasting more guest appearances than a hip hop record, one of the main themes on display was family, or tribes. Max's tribe is out in force with Benji Webbe of Skindred, Fred Durst and DJ Lethal from Limp Bizkit, Chino Moreno from Deftones and Burton, Dino and Christian from Fear Factory and more.

Getting down to the riffs, they are as muddy as the amazon river and fans of Max's previous band are stoked. While one could argue these are basically sped up, thrashier versions of Korn riffs, it's hard to fault the bands success. This brings me to an important point, which is that this is the direction that Max's writing took, which was even further from the sounds present on Beneath The Remains, Arise and Chaos A.D.. For years, fans pleaded for a reunion, refusing to accept that Soulfly was the future. My question is, why would you want to see a reunion or new album? Most fans will admit that Roots is their least favorite Sepultura record, and Sepultura would most likely have continued in that direction, leading to more bitching and complaining from metalheads world wide. Some would say they just want to see the songs played with Max on vocals, because that's how they remember them. Well you are in luck! Soulfly play no less than 5 Sepultura songs at every show, and when time is not a factor (such as one show I witnessed in 2004) they play as many as 8. 

My final thought on this is that you should not live in the past. Enjoy those albums and memories of live shows, instead of steadfastly chanting reunion for 20 years. It probably won't happen and if it does, chances are you may be disappointed.

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