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After Max Cavalera left Brazilian legends Sepultura in 1996, he didn't have a pause in making music. He formed Soulfly almost immediately after his departure from the band he first formed, but didn't hurry in releasing his new band's music.
Sepultura did change a lot during over ten years of existence, that Max was in the band. From primitive black/thrash metal act to world traveling giants of thrash metal, they assumed far more simplified power chord driven, ehh... drivel, to put it nicely! Sepultura's 1998 album 'Against' was badly lacking, especially in songwriting. So is Soulfly's debut. In my wildest dreams, I was waiting for back-to-thrash style stuff from Max, but no. With this debut, Max continued with simple power chord driven stuff. The album lacks of memorable songs. And when the music is simple as this, some songs are way too long as is the whole album! Soulfly's "jump metal" is accompanied by HC stuff, but also by traditional Brazilian music and bits of various different music styles, for example, sadly, rap!!! These accompanying styles liven up this power chord stuff quite a bit, minus the rap shite, but still the album gets tired during its long duration. Basically, this is Max's 'Roots part 2' in my ears, 'Bumbklaatt' being the closest reference point, even its' drumming is so fucking Igor Cavalera-esque.
This is performed with energy, no doubt about that, but production isn't very raw or dirty as it should be. Max had lost some close people and this was his therapy to overcome his losses. There's a couple of feel-good songs, though (e.g. soccer song 'Umbabarauma'). Lyrics vary from Max's personal feelings to Brazilian every day life. It's always good to hear Max's rough voice, but then again, his "solos" are more like random guitar noise (which on 'No Hope = No Fear' happens to sound like angry Donald Duck, believe me!). And all "fucks" and "motherfuckers" are a bit old, eh?
Maybe Max and Sepultura guys were much more a force than they want to reckon nowadays. We will probably hear no another album from classic Sepultura line-up. Anyways, I picked up the latest Soulfly album 'Dark Ages', because someone mentioned "thrash bits" on it, and I must say it's much, much better and more deliberate one from Max!
About the remix/live bonus disc: I don't know about remix styles and do not care to know about them. However, the remixes are more varying than the album itself, but do not provide any listening pleasure for my ears. Concert recordings are okay with heavy sound and live atmosphere. Remixes are for gay lemonade alcohol drinkers, live tracks for beer swelling bastards. Roadrunner Records have a fucking annoying habit to release their year-old releases for a second time with a bonus disc. Buggers!
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2006)