Written by: CR on 23/09/2008 19:52:13

Soulfly’s newest release Conquer left me feeling two things, the first being that Max Cavalera might be just a little cross. The second thing - by far most interesting - was that I had just listened to a *insert curse word of own choice* great record. Everything that made "Dark Ages" really good is there without the feeling that Soulfly are losing direction which was the biggest drawback with "Dark Ages".

By no means does this album succeed by being complex, having clever harmonies or great transitions; it’s a great record because those things are almost non-existent. Because Max Cavalera favors the primitive riffing over complexity, the music gets the "fuck you" attitude that’s just right. Mix this up with the usual use of weird instruments from around the world and you get the essence of Soulfly, with emphasis on Soul. Along with this the album has just the right balance between the heavy, the speed, the experimental and all the other bits and pieces that make you know you are listening to Soulfly. It's a perfect example of how music can be fantastic without ever leaving familiar grounds. The only bad thing on the album that needs to be pointed out is the sixth installment in the Soulfly series of outros. It feels forced in and could have benefited from a more fluent shift in musical direction.

In all other cases the lack of nice transition pieces to bind the music nicely together is the one thing that makes Conquer such a great achievement. It's not made to be pretty and drive you smoothly from A to B like a limousine. There isn't any consideration put in for giving you a pleasant trip through the soundscape. Max Cavalera is your driver and he will give you a bumpy ride with razor sharp edges. You'll be going 200 km/h only to slam your face directly into the front window when Max takes you in a new surprising direction, whether it's through a road of anvil heavy riffs or a surprise cruise past the slow experimental oceans. You'll spend just enough time there to begin settling with the change when the pedal hits the metal again and you get pressed back into your seat. You won't be taken from A to B, you'll go wherever Max pleases, and for a little under an hour he will take you all the places worth visiting in the land of Soulfly.


Download: Unleash, Warmageddon, Fall of the Cycophants.
For the fans of: Slayer, Sepultura, Pantera
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release 29.07.2008

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