The new issue of METAL HAMMER magazine not only has a splendid feature on our fave Brazilian Max Cavalera and his new record CONQUER with SOULFLY but there is also an 8/10 album review. Check out what the ‘Hammer folks made of their new offering…
“There was a time when Max Cavalera could have gotten away with pretty much anything. As he approaches the end of his time with Sepultura, the Brazilian was as widely loved and lauded as anyone in metal, and even when he took the band into the Amazonian jungle for the might Roots, even the most tedious purists were happy to give him the benefit of the doubt. All that changed when Max fled the nest and formed Soulfly. As the 90’s trundled on and nu metal tightened its grip on heavy music, Max’s eagerness to lock horns with as many seemingly inappropriate collaborators as possible may have endeared him to younger fans, but for those weaned on Troops Of Doom and Inner Self, the sound of this trash legend making merry with Fred Durst, Sean Lennon and that berk with the dreadlocks from Ill Nino was something of a disheartening nadir. As a result, even when Soulfly started making great albums – both 2004’s Prophecy and 2006’s Dark Ages ere fantastic – there was so much cynicism and calumny to wade through that the big guy seemed to be in a lose-lose situation, regardless of what he did musically.
It’s amazing what difference a year can make. After reuniting with his brother lggor and making the excellent and well-received Cavalera Conspiracy album, Max is suddenly back in favour and, if Conquer is any indication, in devastating form. It starts insanely well with Blood Fire War Hate, a brutal and epic scene – setter co-written by Morbid Angel’s Dave Vincent, with all the death metal menace and bug-eyed urgency that such a collaboration deserves. It’s followed by Unleash, which fans may have already heard on MySpace – another furious slice of breakneck violence that pauses briefly for a cleverly mellow interlude before erupting anew, all hammering aggression topped with Max’s insistent bark. Both Paranoia and Warmageddon reaffirm their creator’s thrash credentials, the former with high-velocity riffing and frantic, 80s-tinged solos, the latter strongly reminiscent of Sepultura’s Arise, again with some scorching lead work. In fact, it’s the surfeit of blazing solos that makes Conquer such an invigorating return to top form. It’s almost as if Max has suddenly rediscovered his true roots and found them to be just as exciting as the esoteric experiments of the last decade. Significantly, Fall Of The Sycophants sounds like a cross between Dead Embryonic Cells and Eye For An Eye (the opening track on the first Soulfly album) before exploding into the kind of multi-tempo savagery that Machine Head harnessed on The Blackening. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Soulfly album without a few bits of genre-flipping chaos, but the butt-shaking samba vibes of For Those About To Rot are surrounded by so much that reeks of thrash, death and good old heavy fucking metal that any reservations old school Max Cavalera fans might have about embracing his current endeavours deserves to be swept swiftly under the nearest rug.
Conquer is a great heavy metal record, pure and simple.”
CONQUER is out NOW digitally on all the usual platforms and will be released 28/07