SOULFLY – Archangel
Ping-ponging between Cavalera Conspiracy and his bread and butter Soulfly, vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera lives and dies for the metal movement. "Archangel" is the tenth and latest studio platter for the latter, featuring long-time guitarist Marc Rizzo, bassist Tony Campos, and Max’s son Zyon on drums. Beyond special guest appearances from Nails’ Todd Jones vocally on "Sodomites" and his sons gracing the closer "Mother of Dragons", you’ll get some heavier, straightforward offerings like "We Sold Our Souls to Metal" and "Titans", while "Bethlehem’s Blood" contains acoustic guitar layers throughout the conventional electric proceedings.
There are still some vestiges of the nu-metal, bass heavy groove that Max has built with Soulfly throughout his career – the eerie, low tuned guitars against Tony’s thump makes "Ishtar Rising" very addictive, while "Deceiver" is more of a tip of the cap to the Sepultura days if taken in a more punk-oriented direction. Marc lays out some serious lead work on this release, hopefully helping him gain the respect and credibility he deserves for being fluid, melodic, and technically sound. The title cut and aforementioned "Deceiver" give the listener a lot of his intuitive, expressive tendencies, setting the mood in a variety of directions.
"Archangel" has a lot of that dark, industrial feel but using proper instrumentation to still be Soulfly in the metal context. Max’s voice still shatters the aural landscape with the aggression of a person half his age, and keeping the album at 10 songs in a tidy 36 minute platform guarantees incessant playbacks without burning out its welcome in any particular preferred listening device. It’s unmistakable Soulfly, and sure to go down a storm for the Cavalera followers.