Soulfly : Enslaved
Enslaved is Max Cavalera’s first foray into the world of the concept album, with the album based thematically around the concept of, you guessed it, slavery.
Since their formation in 1998 after Max’s departure from the legendary Sepultura, Soulfly has slowly evolved with each album, moving from the tribal, dub-infused nu-metal heard on early albums such as Soulfly and Primitive, into darker and more extreme territories with their last couple of outings.
Enslaved is probably the heaviest thing Max has put under the Soulfly moniker.
Intro track Resistance revolves around a repetitive yet crushing riff and a typically tribal rhythm, however this gives way to the insanely brutal World Scum which is a straight up death metal track, complete with an inhumanly fast double bass drum assault from newly recruited sticksman David Kinkade and guest vocals courtesy of Capital Decapitation frontman Travis Ryan.
Pretty much all flirtations with tribal drums and dub have been replaced by blast beats and general brutality. There is still that Soulfly mark of authority, provided mainly in the form of Mark Rizzo’s ever inventive lead work and Max’s trademark bark.
On Gladiator Rizzo really shines, infusing the track with other worldly textures and an absolutely blistering solo. Amongst the violence and brutality throughout Enslaved, there is actually a lot of scope and variation. American Steel for instance gives a nod to old school thrash before morphing into an eerie sound scape. Redemption of Man by God (featuring DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara) shows off Max’s love of hardcore, and with its tolling bell, haunting lead work and sample of an evangelical preacher it is one of the standout tacks on the album.
Many critics have written off Max Cavalera saying he has spread himself too thin with his many projects and is struggling to come up with anything new, however with Enslaved he’s shown just how heavy he can go while still making great songs. In doing so he has proven, yet again, that he is and always will be one of the true kings of metal.
BY ADAM ROBERTSHAW
Best Track: Redemption Of Man By God
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In A Word: Brutal