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Soulfly

Soulfly

1998

Fact: Soulfly's debut album is not as good as any of the Sepultura albums that proceeded it (except for maybe their debut).  It's a shame that Max had to leave Sepultura...anyway, there are some pretty brutally aggressive thrashers on this album, but it's a little too influenced by Korn quite honestly (another Ross Robinson produced record), and the Fred Durst cameo does not help matters.  Soulfly's brand of tribal-metal always felt trendy, whereas Sepultura's felt real, so this album kind of reaks of the whole late 90s tribal metal thing that Soulfly helped popularize (but was created by Sepultura).  Also, half of this album is pretty forgetable.  Nothing sticks out about many of the songs...old school Sepultura fans like myself will always be a little bitter about the breakup, and frustrated by the lack of greatest in most of Soulfly's albums...their debut included.  Overall, while not bad, it definitely could have been a whole lot better...if Max had just made the next Sepultura album...OK, I'm done...sigh...

7.6

Primitive

Soulfly

2000

Lot's of cameo's on this album…Chino, Corey Taylor, Tom Araya, you name it.  Primitive is like Max Calavera's breakout hype party.  Part of me said good for him, good for the scene, but the other part of me said this is sellout worthy, which, is kind of absurd given that most of Primitive is pretty brutal, but it's also kind of accessible, considering Max's prior outputs.  Ultimately most of the songs on here kick a serious amount of ass, and this album is probably an improvement from their debut.  It certainly has more variety, and the songs are generally better.  I guess if Max Calavera ever made a mainstream/accessible album, Primitive was it.  That said, it's still a Max Calavera record, so it's not like anything here was ever going to get played on radio.  Over a decade later, I'm more of the mindset of good for him, good for the scene, let the old warrior have his moment in the sun.  A pretty good album in actuality, but certainly a reflection of the style/trends of the era...for better or worse...probably worse...

7.7

3

Soulfly

2002

This is the album where I almost gave-up on Soulfly, not because it isn't any good, but because it is essentially just more of the same.  It's got a more back-to-basics vibe to it (zero cameos if I'm not mistaken) and attempts to tone down the hype found on Primitive.  Ulitmately though, it just kind of sounds like a predictably "OK" Soulfly album.  Plenty of songs that would be pretty satisfying in a live setting, but it just started to sound a little redundant at this point.  Luckily Max made a very uniquely spirtual album next with Prophecy, so he wasn't quite done yet, but 3 just kind of sounds like a more polished version of their debut, with less hype/cameos than Primitive.  So it's kind of just stuck in a somewhat generic (for Soulfly anyway) middle-ground.

7.6

Prophecy

Soulfly

2004

I was a pretty casual Soulfly fan before I picked up Prophecy in 2004.  All their other albums paled in comparison to the greatness of Sepultura, and I never found any of them to be particularly satisfying aside from a couple of tracks on each one.  But Prophecy made quite an impression on me, perhaps because this album actually puts the "soul" in Soulfly, which may turn off most hardcore metalheads, but the subdued tribal parts of many of the songs evoke a certain transcendent spiritual feeling in them.  They sound really beautiful at times, and seem to have an added layer of depth compared to any of Soulfly's prior tribal experiments.  The standard instrumental track here is pretty good, but it isn't the highlight.  Once you get past the first 3-4 songs (all of which are brutally heavy), the remaining songs have a tribal outro, some longer than others, butthey're all pretty awesome for the most part.  There's also a reggee-influenced song here "Moses" which I always thought was very cool.  And, as for the elephant in the room, the heavy parts of the album are quite satisfying.  Yes, they're the usual kind of lunk-headed riffs Max's Soulfly material is predominately known for, but they are almost always brutally satisfying.  But like I said, it's the tribal outros of most of the songs that really steal the show for me and evoke a spirtual experience that sounds really pure and beautiful at times.  It's those moments that make Prophecy more than just another Soulfly/tribal-metal album, but a semi-special one for yours truly.

8.6

Dark Ages

Soulfly

2005

Definitely some killer riffs to be found here, but lacks the soul (no pun intended), variety, and spirit of Prophecy.  I generally stopped listening after this one…it's not bad, but, the sound has been played out…

7.2

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