Album Review: Soulfly – Savages
Posted by Reggie
Consistency is certainly the key when it comes to Soulfly. It doesn’t take them long to record albums; the largest gap they had was three years between Dark Ages and Conquer. Other than that, their output averages about two years per album until now. Their 8th album, Enslaved, was released recently in 2012 and here we are already with Savages…album #9 which also happens to be the first father/son Soulfly album where Max Cavalera’s son Zyon is now a permanent member. Zyon did appear on Enslaved as a guest. Did the new additions make a difference? Well, let’s just say their consistency not only lies in album output frequency, but also in song composition.
Over the last several albums there were a couple of things a listener could count on which include, but are not limited to, some aggressive pit-worthy songs and a selection of guest vocalists and/or musicians. This time around, Max and Co. enlisted the talents of Mitch Harris (Napalm Death), Neil Fallon (Clutch), Jaime Hanks (I Declare War), and Max’s other son Igor Cavalera. In addition to actual band members, there is really no shortage of talent, but even with the guest musicians Savages is just another Soulfly album.
Some of the songs that stood out to me as notable were Ayatollah of Rock ‘N’ Rolla which features Neil Fallon. I also liked the thrashers Master of Savagery, Cannibal Holocaust, and Bloodshed. I do appreciate a good instrumental song and if you get the digipak or extended version you will be treated to Soulfly IX. It’s a very jazzy-reggae-kind-of-a-lounge-song pleasing to the ear. Other than that, most other songs were filler tracks where sometime down the road I might discover something that isn’t popping out at me at the moment.
Savages comes off as par for the course in the Soulfly catalog. That’s not to say the songs suck because they don’t. Soulfly doesn’t suck, but what they do well is maintain a level of consistency which does not include most of those cool tribal doses from the first couple of albums. I understand a need to evolve and express current events through song, but those tribal infusions really set Soulfly apart from most bands. There is a level of that still living in Savages, but for the most part Soulfly hit the plateau a while back and are still there.