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SOULFLY - Dark Ages


Just when you thought you knew what SOULFLY was all about, Max Cavalera and co. flip the script on the public. Dark Ages is without a doubt the band’s heaviest, fastest, and arguably most “metal” album yet. Reaching into his roots of brutal thrash and death metal, Max brings the kind of assault unheard from him since the days of Chaos A.D. and even Arise. Also adding fuel to the fury are the scorching leads of rising shredder Marc Rizzo. Songs such as “I and I,” “Carved Inside,” and “Frontlines” rank as the heaviest tracks in the SOULFLY catalogue. However, don’t mistake this as a total return to the past. That trademark SOULFLY nü groove and tribal influences are still there but they’re greatly bolstered with the added firepower of the aforementioned riffing and a high energy level unmatched by most bands. And a SOULFLY album wouldn’t be a SOULFLY album without guest appearances and some experimentation. Nemanja “Coyote” Kojíc’s clean lead vocals and the acoustic guitars add a new dimension to “Innerspirit.” “Molotov” stands out as a pure old school punk classic and includes S.O.D.’s Billy Milano laying down some vocals. “Riotstarter” starts off as a tribal jam before going into synthesized break beats led by a catchy guitar lick. What is quite uncanny is how closely the chorus and song title resembles THE PRODIGY’s radio hit, “Firestarter.” “Fuel the Fire” signals not only the last brutal song on Dark Ages but the last good one as things fizzle out considerably with the last two tracks. Not only will Dark Ages light a fire in the hearts of young SOULFLY fans, it will revive the interest of old SEPULTURA fans as well. It’s great to hear one of the pioneers of heavy music doing what they do best. It’ll be quite interesting to see what SOULFLY does on the next one. (Roadrunner Records)