Ever since guitarist Marc Rizzo joined SOULFLY, he has single handedly changed the band from a nu-metal/SEPULTURA Roots-era cover band to an exciting extreme metal band with one of the most unique vocalists in the metal scene.
Amazingly, Omen is already SOULFLY’s seventh album, and the opener, “Bloodbath & Beyond,” has CAVALERA CONSPIRACY’s fingerprints all over it. “Rise Of The Fallen” and “Great Depression” are catchy tunes but the formula is one that we’ve heard before on Conquer and Dark Ages. While the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is true, frontman Max Cavalera needs to distinguish a little more between SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, as both bands can overlap each other. A song like “Jeffrey Dahmer” sounds like it could end up on either a SOULFLY or CAVALERA CONSPIRACY album, depending on how he sees fit.
“Kingdom,” however, is a top notch track that is uniquely SOULFLY, as Rizzo’s melodic yet aggressive approach beings out the best in Max’s vocals, and the double bass and riffs fit together with a brutal and cohesive effect. Surprisingly, Max goes back to his roots, as “Vulture Culture” has hints of NAILBOMB splashed with old punk riffs thrown together, and adds a good variety to the album. Rizzo has excellent taste of how he chooses to place his solos and his talents are brought to the forefront in “Counter Sabotage.” As with all SOULFLY releases, the instrumental “Soulfly VII” track closes out the album, contrasting all the aggression peaking beforehand.
While definitely an enjoyable listen, Omen offers nothing new that the previous Rizzo-era SOULFLY releases haven’t displayed already, but like SLAYER, fans already know what to expect and will still enjoy it anyway. (Roadrunner Records)