“Enslaved” brings out best in Cavalera

Heavy metal group Soulfly hits the airwaves with its eighth album “Enslaved” today, a concept record all about slavery for Roadrunnner Records.

And if any album about slavery could possibly kick some heavy metal butt, this one sure does.  And how many albums have there been about slavery anyway?

The Phoenix, Arizona group uses incorporating blast beats, violent riffs and wheezing whammy squeals into its patented groove-driven war cry. All of those elements converge within a concept record about slavery, including must listen to songs, like “Gladiator” and its mentions of the Emperor Caesar and the driving song, that I promise will resonate with you for weeks, called “Legions.”

The song “Redemption of Man of God,” featuring Dez Fafara, is also worth a listen in my opinion.

“Enslaved” is the first album with Soulfly’s new lineup featuring bassist Tony Campos (ex-Static-X, Asesino) and drummer David Kinkade (Borknagar) who alongside performs on this concept album with lead singer and former Sepultura front man Max Cavalera and guitar cohort Marc Rizzo. Ever since the band’s gold-certified debut in 1998, Soulfly has become “deadlier” and more “dangerous” with each successive release, but “Enslaved” seems the group coming together surprisingly with this relative new lineup on a concept album that actually works.

According to the group’s Web site, the genesis of Enslaved can actually be traced back to Sepultura’s groundbreaking and seminal album Roots in 1996. Shortly after its completion, Cavalera began pondering the idea of doing an entire album centered on the theme of slavery.

However, he put that thought on hold. Until now. “I’ve had this concept for a long time,” Cavalera said. “I actually thought it would be a Sepultura album, but that never happened. Soulfly went on, and I never forgot about the idea. Coming off the road supporting Omen (Soulfly’s last album), I knew this was the best moment to do it. We’re tackling an extreme subject with the heaviest music we’ve ever done. Everything is connected. When you’re singing about something harsh like this, heavy music is the perfect match.”

The album “Enslaved,” continually rocks from start to finish and it will leave new fans of the group wanting more and will obviously help Soulfly gather more fans and more listeners if they can keep up this lineup of Cavalera, Rizzo, Campos and Kinkade, together.

Hopefully, the group’s ninth and tenth albums won’t also have Cavalera on it as being the only original band member since the group’s inception.

The original lyrical content around Soulfly revolved around spirituality and religious themes, with later albums encompassing other themes including war, violence, aggression, hatred and anger. This is the band’s first album about slavery. The band has released seven studio albums before “Enslaved”, one tour EP, several singles, and one DVD video. Their previous album “Omen” was released on May 25, 2010.

Mark’s Final Remark: Download this one and enjoy.

Mark’s Check Mark selections: “World Scum,” “Gladiator,” “Legions” and “Redemption of Man by God.”


Mark A. Claffey/ Columbus Wired

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