Video of the Day: Max Cavalera May Thank “God” in His Albums But He’s No Xian

SOULFLY/CAVALERA CONSPIRACY‘s Max Cavalera has thanked “God” on all of his albums for quite some time now. However, it should be clarified that he is not Christian. Check out this video interview conducted by Alexander Holland Jensen, which aired on November 2009, for Norwegian TV where Max is asked about church burning among other things.

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY @ House of Blues, Anaheim, CA (04/29/11)

The latest CAVALERA CONSPIRACY tour gives the chance for fans to enjoy songs from Blunt Force Trauma, as well as seeing Max and Igor Cavalera tear up some SEPULTURA songs. It’s unlikely that there will ever be a reunion of the “classic lineup” for SEPULTURA, so CAVALERA CONSPIRACY may be the next best thing. While Igor missed the show in Hollywood due to visa issues, he was behind the kit in Anaheim, and certainly did not disappoint.

Marc Rizzo was lively on stage and performed flawlessly – also for the first time in recent years, he left his trademark hat at home. Although Max seemed to be more focused on singing and getting the crowd involved than playing his guitar and guitar parts, Rizzo more than adequately covered the guitars.

Igor never skipped a beat as the drums sounded great in the club, and his chops were just as lethal now as they were in 1991.

Max was on stage sporting an old NAPALM DEATH shirt, and showed that CAVALERA CONSPIRACY is a more simple “going back to the roots” project than his main band, SOULFLY. Although the band seemed to have more energy during the Inflikted tour, this was another excellent show put on by the Cavalera brothers, and hearing old SEPULTURA songs with Max and Igor will never get old.

The band cruised through a good balance of songs from the two CAVALERA albums and SEPULTURA material. Songs from Inflikted, including “Ultra-Violent” and “The Doom of All Fires,” incited the crowd. But when Ritchie Cavalera came on stage to sing “Black Ark,” a frenzy of bodies marched into the pit. From Blunt Force Trauma, the band played the title track, “Killing Inside,” and a few others to promote the new album, but the crowd was most excited for the SEPULTURA material.

CAVALERA and co. blasted through a sped up version of “Arise” to the delight of the crowd, and also brought out the oldie but goodie, “Troops of Doom,” which sounded excellent with the precision of Igor’s drumming and Mark Rizzo’s mastery of the axe. The band closed out the night with the SEPULTURA fan favorite, “Roots Bloody Roots” and the frantic audience dispersed into the night, mingling with tourists and the Disneyland crowd.

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY – Blunt Force Trauma

Now that the celebration of the Cavalera brothers reuniting and putting out a strong, hard hitting debut album is over, we can all see what album number two from CAVALERA CONSPIRACY is all about from purely a musical perspective. Blunt Force Trauma is good but the songs as a whole are simply not as good as its predecessor.

With any Max Cavalera release, you can expect plenty of hooks and catchy riffs and the new album is no different. His charismatic vocals and easy to follow vocal lines are all there. In a lot of subtle ways, Max has expanded his riffing vocabulary to include new thrash sounds as well as more of a simple, punk-like songwriting approach.

Igor Cavalera took a “less is more” approach to his drumming, which resulted in his least intricate drumming performance since the first two SEPULTURA releases. Sure, he keeps the tempo with his expected power but many of the characteristics that make Igor such a distinct and excellent drummer have been omitted on Blunt Force Trauma. Those powerhouse fills are largely gone and any trademark tribal rhythms are relegated to one song intro (“Burn Waco“).

Having said all that, Blunt Force Trauma still delivers urgent punk-influenced, thrash/death metal that is perfect for a live environment. There are some really cool songs such as “I Speak Hate,” “Target,” and “Burn Waco.” The band is not out to revolutionize metal nor create a super technical album. It’s all about creating catchy, fast, aggressive songs that get the blood moving. Thus, the album does exactly what it sets out to do. (Roadrunner Records)

SOULFLY – Omen

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)

Bobby Burns Leaves SOULFLY; Johnny Chow To Fill In For Upcoming Tours

SOULFLY has confirmed the departure of bassist Bobby Burns, which he revealed on Twitter yesterday. In the band’s confirmation, it was stated that the split was completely amicable.

For upcoming touring events, the band has recruited FIREBALL MINISTRY‘s Johny Chow, who also plays with SOULFLY‘s Max Cavalera in CAVALERA CONSPIRACY.

Visit the band’s website for all the latest touring information: http://www.soulfly.com/tourdates

MARC RIZZO – Legionnaire

One of the most exciting lead guitarists in metal makes a welcome return with his third instrumental solo album. Legionnaire is both the jaw dropping shredfest and showcase of Marc Rizzo’s non-metal playing skills that have become hallmarks of his solo albums. Newcomers will certainly be impressed by hearing dimensions to him that are not on display with his work in SOULFLY or CAVALERA CONSPIRACY. You’re treated to his absolutely mind bending lighting speed licks, warm toned-melodies, mastery of rhythms, and overall feel.

In terms of his metal riffing style, Marc is right up there with the modern, technical bands such as latter-era DEATH, NEVERMORE, and latter-era TESTAMENT.

His classical/flamenco guitar stylings are vibrant, lively, and the type of music that anyone, regardless of personal music tastes, can wholeheartedly enjoy. The fantastic percussion is an excellent complement, adding to the spirit of these particular songs.

The song titles are easy indicators for what to expect as songs like “Victims in Shred” are shredfests while songs like “Bandidas” are Latin-styled songs. In general, Legionnaire is really no different than its predecessors, Colossal Myopia and The Ultimate Devotion. It’s really about being more of the same tasty songs that Marc Rizzo has become known for. Highlights include “Peaks and Valleys,” “Bandidas,” “Victim in Shred,” and the title track.

If you’re looking for a very musical and stimulating kick in the arse, Marc Rizzo has what you need. (Phlamencore Records)

SOULFLY @ The Key Club, Hollywood (09/30/09)

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SOULFLY‘s latest show in Hollywood, CA proved that the band is going stronger than ever. Opening with “Blood Fire War Hate,” the band got the perpetual pit started for the show. Unlike the majority of metal bands, SOULFLY actually generates quite a lot of honest excitement and energy when they play live. During their set it was apparent that frontman Max Cavalera is quite a charismatic and powerful icon for fans as those who climbed up on stage opted to give him hugs rather than high fives.

The band were in strong form with everyone doing their part. After seeing SOULFLY a few times, one can figure out that Max Cavalera concentrates more on his vocals and presence than on his rhythm playing. Guitar wizard, Marc Rizzo, busted out his double neck acoustic guitar for a short solo, as well as playing a short solo on his electric guitar.

Their set was a good mix of all SOULFLY‘s back catalogue which included “Eye for an Eye,” “Back to the Primitive,” “Seek ‘n’ Strike,” “Prophecy,” “Molotov,” and “Unleash.” The band also played some obligatory SEPULTURA classics, “Troops of Doom,” “Roots Bloody Roots,” “Refuse/Resist.” Judging by the audience reaction and estimated ages when the band played the latter two songs, Chaos A.D. and Roots may have been one of the first metal albums that they fell in love with. The band also played around with the first couple of measures of SLAYER‘s “Raining Blood” and METALLICA‘s “Creeping Death.”

All in all, the show was another satisfying and fun experience from SOULFLY.

SOULFLY Announce Tour with PRONG, CATTLE DECAPITATION, MUTINY WITHIN

Max Cavalera‘s SOULFLY have confirmed a North American tour with support from PRONG, CATTLE DECAPITATION, and MUTINY WITHIN. The tour begins at the end of September in Los Angeles. Dates are as follows:

September 30, 2009 – Key Club – Hollywood, California
October 2 2009 – Cane’s Bar & Grill – San Diego, California
October 3, 2009 – The Boardwalk – Orangevale, California
October 4, 2009 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, California
October 6, 2009 – Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, Oregon
October 7, 2009 – Showbox Theatre – Seattle, Washington DC
October 8, 2009 – Club Vegas – Salt Lake City, Utah
October 9, 2009 – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, Colorado
October 10, 2009 – The Blue Goat – Salina, Kansas
October 11, 2009 – The Rock – Maplewood, Minnesota
October 14, 2009 – The Intersection – Grand Rapids, Michigan
October 16, 2009 – Harpo’s – Detroit, Michigan
October 17, 2009 – McGuffy’s House of Rock – Dayton, Ohio
October 19, 2009 – The Gramercy Theatre – New York, New York
October 20, 2009 – Recher Theatre – Towson, Maryland

Visit the band’s website for up-to-date tour info: http://www.soulflyweb.com

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2008

We finally got off our asses and did it.  It’s already the year 2009, but we’ve complied a list of our top albums of 2008.  Compiling such a list is never easy, and 2008 was no exception.  Maybe it was a lack of albums that really stood out, or maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention.  Regardless, we took a quick look back on the metal albums we felt were notable in 2008.
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SOULFLY Set for Headline Tour this November

SOULFLY will set off for their first headlining tour in support of their latest album, Conquer.

Tour dates:

Nov.1 – Riverside Multiplex – Victoria, TX
Nov. 2 – Smokin Aces – Mission, TX
Nov. 3 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX
Nov. 4 – White Rabbit – San Antonio, TX
Nov. 5 – Meridian – Houston, TX
Nov. 9 – Culture Room – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 10 – Freebird Live – Jakcsonville Beach, FL
Nov. 11 – Jester’s Pub – Fayetteville, NC
Nov. 12 – Hooligans – Jacksonville, NC
Nov. 13 – Jaxx – Springfield, VA
Nov. 14 – Blender Theater at Gramercy – New York, NY
Nov. 15 – Webster Theatre – Hartford, CT
Nov. 16 – Crocodile Rock – Allentown, PA
Nov. 17 – Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA
Nov. 18 – Al Rosa – Colombus, OH
Nov. 19 – The Machine Shop – Flint, MI
Nov. 20 – Pop’s – Sauget, IL
Nov. 21 – The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
Nov. 22 – The Rock – Maplewood, MN
Nov. 23 – The Beaumont – Kansas City, MO
Nov. 25 – The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
Nov. 26 – Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
Nov. 29 – Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ