The legendary MAX CAVALERA (Ex Sepultura, Killer Be Killed, Cavalera Conspiracy) is back with SOULFLY and they release their crushing album ‘Archangel’ on 14TH August via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Casper spoke with vocalist Max Cavalera about there upcoming album release and any plans for touring.
The unquenchable fire of inspiration consuming Max Cavalera has blessed the world with arguably the most prolific lifelong achievements in urgent, primal, gut-wrenching, and unapologetically transcendental extreme metal. To commune with the dark muse of heavy music’s shamanistic tribal leader is to envelop oneself inside some sort of post-modern sweat lodge. Brutal riffs, trippy esoteric summoning, unrelenting percussiveness, and diverse world music: whatever Max Cavalera hammers out on his four-string signature ESP, it always sets souls free.
“We Sold Our Souls To Metal” thrusts SOULFLY’s tenth album into the world with blistering force. The refrain is instantly memorable, the sentiment aggressively relatable, with an overlying implication that is unquestionably spiritual. Max Cavalera manages to revisit the ritualistic engagement of the mystical ruminations on SOULFLY’s »Prophecy« and the tribal exploration of SEPULTURA’s »Roots« while simultaneously doubling down on the most extreme music of his career.
Biblical in scope, mystical in purpose, exotic in execution, »Archangel« sees vocalist/guitarist Cavalera and longtime six-string shredder Marc Rizzo pushing the musical bludgeoning to its very limit while injecting the songs with moments of trippy nuance and ethereal dissonance. Max’s son Zyon, who made his recorded debut in SOULFLY with »Savages«, truly comes into his own, reminding his father of a young Dave Lombardo with his hard-hitting fills and stylish groove. The destruction of Sodom plays out sonically in ‘Sodomites.’ The Akkadian god of the sun commands his due in ‘Shamash.’ ‘Ishtar Rising’ and ‘Titans’ are as epic as any fantasy trilogy of modern cinema, evoking the same type of emotion as a brutal battle on Game Of Thrones.
Cavalera is an eternal innovator and also heavy metal’s most efficient sponge, soaking up all of the genre’s historical strengths and cutting edge modern interpretations and reshaping them to deliver something unmistakably, singularly his own. »Archangel« invokes Old Testament fire-and-brimstone and New Testament crucifixion/resurrection with an equal devotion, study and musical pilgrimage into the rich history of the magic-obsessed and supernaturally instinctual meditations of pre-civilized people. This is all woven together into a tapestry brimming with death metal as punishingly pulverizing as BEHEMOTH and BELPHEGOR and fierce as vintage SLAYER.
The list of metal musicians, hard rock icons, and hardcore brutalizers Cavalera has mixed it up with across ten SOULFLY albums, KILLER BE KILLED’s debut album and SOUNDWAVE debut, the NAILBOMB record, the unassailable discography he amassed as co-founder of Brazilian legends SEPULTURA, and all of his many related projects reads like a heavy music encyclopedia. The Wikipedia entry alone lists nearly 50 players, and »Archangel« brings forth some exciting additions: Todd Jones from Nuclear Blast Entertainment label-mates NAILS lends his throat to ‘Sodomites.’ Matt Young from KING PARROT graces ‘Live Life Hard!’ with blunt aggression. Max’s sons Richie (INCITE) and Igor (LODY KONG) Cavalera throw down on ‘Mother Of Dragons.’
Between his work with SOULFLY, KILLER BE KILLED, NAILBOMB, and SEPULTURA, Cavalera has worked with nearly every A-list rock producer on the planet and »Archangel« is no exception: Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM) helped craft SOULFLY’s most daring, exciting, and creative record yet. Fittingly for such a monumental band’s tenth full-length release, »Archangel« is adorned with a brilliant cover image from Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM), a neo-classical/post-modern mishmash of Biblical triumph and talismans of SOULFLY’s past, present, and future.
Max Cavalera is adoptive tribal chief of the heavy music community and a man equal parts growling savage, postmodern Bob Marley, cultural revolutionary, music hungry metal fan, American football fanatic, Brazilian football supporter, caffeinated soda fueled lyrical terrorizer, husband, family man, riff-master, and beloved spirit animal to metal fans around the world. Cavalera has sold millions of albums yet walks freely amongst the crustiest gutter punks with unquestionable credibility. No one doubts Max Cavalera’s commitment to the metal cause. (He’s also the guy who once vomited on PEARL JAM’s Eddie Vedder, as detailed in his autobiography.)
The first SOULFLY album went gold in North America. It was a joyful but heavy-as-hell continuation of the innovation established on Max’s final album with SEPULTURA, the acclaimed »Roots«. SEPULTURA’s noisy and raw early work put Brazilian thrash on the map before the breakthrough mastery of »Beneath The Remains« and »Arise«, which was followed by the stripped down weight of »Chaos A.D.«, an album as beloved by hardcore kids as metalheads. »Roots« helped shape a sound that dominated rock radio for a decade, even as Cavalera went deeper into the extreme.
»Soulfly« (1998), »Primitive« (2000), and »3« (2002) stomped with tribal groove; »Prophecy« (2004) is as unsettling but spiritual as the tombs of martyrs across Europe; thrash-fueled power dominated »Dark Ages« (2005), »Conquer« (2008), and »Omen« (2010). Critics hailed Cavalera’s never-ending supply of riffs all over again with »Enslaved« (2012), and celebrated the fierce vibe of »Savages« (2013). No less than three full-length albums by CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, which famously reunited him with his brother and fellow SEPULTURA co-founder, Igor, were also unleashed, all while Max, his family, and their extended family of musicians and crew continuously toured the world.
Like all innovative heroes from any musical genre, SOULFLY crafts anthems for the people. SOULFLY’s tenth studio album is both a celebration of Max Cavalera’s continuing legacy and a brand new masterwork to champion in clubs, theaters, and festival stages across the globe. SOULFLY songs like ‘Back To The Primitive,’ ‘Prophecy,’ and ‘Eye For An Eye’ have become every bit as important to the metal community as ‘Refuse/Resist’ or ‘Territory.’
Bursting forth with the perspective, hunger, energy, and determination that can only be forged by three decades as a heavy metal community organizer and champion, »Archangel« is yet another brutal, vibrant, extreme, uplifting, and unashamedly spiritual entry into the SOULFLY canon.