It isn’t too critical to say that you know what you are going to get with a new Soulfly album. There has been some fine output from Max and his ever-changing tribe that make up Soulfly. Then there has been the odd okay moment too. Last time around ‘Enslaved’ was one of those okay moments, especially following the awesome ‘Omen’ album which included the tremendous guest appearance of Tommy Victor for ‘Lethal Injection’.
Thankfully ‘Savages’ is back out of the top drawer. There is plenty of the usual thrash, death, doom and tribal world music leanings as you’d expect. It’s a typical Soulfly album done to a very high standard. Song writing and performance wise, ‘Savages’ does more than just tick the right boxes.
It all starts with ‘Bloodshed’, complete with a guest appearance from Igor Jnr, it’s a familiar thud coupled with a nice simple chorus line; the sort of thing Max has been doing for decades. Igor adds a surprising melodic element to the mix which contrasts to Max’s thuggish bark.
‘Cannibal Holocaust’ and ‘Fallen’ continue the barrage weeding out the best of the straight up thrash and death songs on the album, respectively.
Half of the excitement of a new Soulfly album is of course what the guest appearences bring to the table. It has been a tradition that Max has continued from the Nu-Metal days; he always brings along some well-known voices with him for a new album. In a similar fashion to the albums, sometimes they work but others can be quite forgettable.
Enter Neil Fallon and Mitch Harris. Clutch’s frontman rears his head halfway through the album on the Mad Max inspired ‘Ayatollah of Rock’n’Rolla’. Starting with a cool spoken word piece and erupting into a shared chorus line, this track sees Fallon even angrier than his usual soulful rages. He sounds like a full-on thrash madman and this would be the highlight of the album were it not for the arrival of Mitch Harris towards the end…
‘K.C.S.’ is probably the nastiest sounding Soulfly song out there; which obviously makes it one of the best too. Taking a cue from Nailbomb’s call and response style but turning the horror factor up to 11, it’s a pretty special if a little deranged sounding track.
‘Savages’ sees Soulfly at full pelt. The standalone band tracks are top notch and the guest appearances up the ante even further.
Max and co reaffirm their relevance once again.