Review - Soulfly - The Dark Ages

Soulfly
THE DARK AGES
Roadrunner Records

Soulfly are one of those bands that have spent their career fighting off the legendary status of the band's creator; ex-Sepultura leader Max Cavalera. Cavalera has morphed Soulfly from record to record. It always seems to have a somewhat current sound, mixed with lots of tribal beats and heritage. It's always brutal as hell. And, not surprisingly, he's always tried to keep the sound as far away from Sepultura's sound as he could. That is ... until now.

At least for this incarnation of Soulfly, it's apparent that Max has listened to the fans of his past and gone out of his way to create the most reminiscent record to his past that either Soulfly or Sepultura has done since his departure. THE DARK AGES features almost nothing recognizable to previous Soulfly releases, and everything recognizable to albums like ARISE, BENEATH THE REMAINS or even the heavier stuff on ROOTS. This is a brutal blast of hardcore metal. It doesn't sound dated, but clearly has many elements of the early days that took Sepultura from the underground of Brazil and raised them up to the kings of heavy music they became. Songs like the blistering “Babylon” or “Arise Again” leave no doubt that Cavalera took a stroll back through his catalog when writing this record. Songs like “Carved Inside” could easily have found their way up from the early demos of Cavalera's career. The tribal vibe is present as usual here, most notably on “Riotstarter”. The only thing missing on many of these songs is the patented sound of Andreas Kisser and Igor Cavalera. Other than that (noticable) difference, this sounds like Sepultura should be doing.

Musically, this incarnation of Soulfly is the best in my book. Cavalera is screaming louder and harder than ever throughout. He's raging harder and in a higher range than he's been in years, and it's a welcome improvement. Scooped up from Ill Nino, guitarist Marc Rizzo proves that he's got a lot more than nu-metal chops at his disposal. The piercing sound of his guitar on songs like “Carved Inside”, combined with simply blazing riffs all over the disc prove that this guy can play. On “Corrosion Creeps”, the rhythm section makes themselves known as well. Bassist Bobby Burns (Ex-Primer55) and drummer Joe Nunez bring a very thick tone on this track that is very reminiscent of “Territory” from the old Sepultura days. On an individual performance level, this is by far the best Soulfly effort there's been.

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  • 1 - Aaman

    Jul 26, 2005 at 12:03 pm

    That's a far-away release!

  • 2 - Temple Stark

    Jul 27, 2005 at 8:15 pm

    Got this over on Advance.net there pard'ner.


    I did like how you said "Musically, this incarnation of Soulfly is the best ... " and then first talked about Cavalera's screaming. :-)

  • 3 - Temple Stark

    Jul 27, 2005 at 9:03 pm

    To make it clear, I promoted this item to Advance.net, a site affiliated with about 10 newspapers.

  • 4 - Mar_

    Aug 03, 2005 at 10:06 am

    This sounds nothing like old Sepultura.

    It's just Soulfly mixed with some metalcore bands, aka stolen At the Gates riffs and such.

    "Songs like �Carved Inside� could easily have found their way up from the early demos of Cavalera's career."
    You only say that if you know nothing about (metal) music. NO WAY that sounds like any old Sepultura album.

    And even comparing this to Beneath or Roots is rediculous.

  • 5 - Godzilla

    Aug 05, 2005 at 3:46 pm

    This is so far the best Soulfly album, however it's a joke even compare this to early Sepultura...

  • 6 - Dezeque

    Aug 06, 2005 at 6:29 am

    Hi, This album is very great !!! carved Inside is marvelous !!! this album is very good. not brtual hard song but very working stuff. !!! Thanks Max !!! you still rox !!!

  • 7 - Dave

    Aug 06, 2005 at 3:52 pm

    Fuck, this is awesome. A most-have for all Soulfly fans. "Babylon" gets me started everytme ive heard it. :D

  • 8 - rush

    Aug 16, 2005 at 4:27 pm

    This cd does sound like early demos, of soulfly. It has much more of a punk sound, the sound of various soulfly demos happend to sound nearly exactly like this, with a fullblast speed punk/metal sound.

  • 9 - !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

    Aug 18, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    Omg, some of you really do talk utter bollocks

  • 10 - John Mack

    Aug 19, 2005 at 12:00 pm

    The album didn't grab me at first like primitive and prophecy, but after 2 days of constant play I can honestly say this is one of my faves! Babylon is true Soulfly, I duno how you can say this album doesn't relate much to other soulfly work, it's got soulfly written all over it! and i agree that it DOESNT sound like old Sep, but none of these songs even touch BRING IT, the greatest song ever written... my opinion!

  • 11 - rich

    Aug 19, 2005 at 10:17 pm

    I believe that this is the best album of Soulfly Ever...

  • 12 - fvd

    Aug 28, 2005 at 2:06 pm

    The is not only the best album of Soulfly, but the best album currently made. At least, it´s the best album I, myself, have ever heared.

  • 13 - karelrulez

    Sep 07, 2005 at 10:37 am

    to the poster above:

    if this is the best album you have ever heard, you're clearly listening to the wrong kind of metal.

  • 14 - rocha

    Nov 17, 2005 at 10:38 am

    the best

  • 15 - Freak

    Nov 28, 2005 at 5:49 am

    New Soulfly album is great, but it is not like old sepultura. Beneath The Remains and Arise can not be compared with Dark Ages.

  • 16 - jim

    Jan 23, 2006 at 9:41 am

    truly amazing, something very unimaginable
    MAX is back with full freakin force man
    AWESOME

  • 17 - Dave

    Mar 27, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    I liked Soulfy's first bunch of albums, but not that much. This album has their sound mixed with a combination of Arise and Chaos A.D. that is really fucking cool. Musically it's just better than their previous efforts; sounds a lot more old-school thrash. The guitar solos kick ass. If they keep making albums like this, I might give them the time of day...

  • 18 - grimhood

    Sep 12, 2006 at 5:20 am

    Alhough this album kick ass...not all songs arent that really good...some songs reminds me of the old sepultura with a little garnishings of spanish tunes....but in all this album really delivers. Finally life almost live up to its advertisements...almost. They are getting warmer lol ;-)

  • 19 - RJ

    Dec 07, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Fuckin love this album!!!!

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