2008 was a very good year for Max Cavalera, and a real busy one so to speak. First, he and his brother Igor got back together for the first time in 12 years since their days in Sepultura, and formed their new side project Cavalera Conspiracy which also featured Soulfly’s lead guitarist Marc Rizzo and Gojira’s guitarist and vocalist Joe Duplantier on bass and backup vocals, and they would release the “Inflikted” album in March, and then later in July of that same exact year, Max and the rest of the guys in Soulfly would release their sixth full length effort titled “Conquer” This album is just freakin fast, energetic, punishing, and devastating beyond words, it’s just that awesome, believe me. From the awesomely explosive opening track “Blood Fire War Hate”, this album is an all out neverending freight train of heart pounding energy and savage aggression that doesn’t let up until we finally reach the closing instrumental track “Soulfly VI”. The overall production on this album is simply fantastic with Max himself handling the production and of course Andy Sneap (Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Testament, Megadeth) taking care of the mixing duties. Max leads the onslaught throughout as always with his powerful primal growls and screams and crushing rhythm guitarwork guaranteed to command the tribe into battle with each word and riff. Marc Rizzo is definately one of the best and most proficient lead guitarists I’ve heard today. He just rips and shreds his way throughout this album with amazing guitar solos that would definately make Dave Mustaine and any other shred veteran mighty proud. Meanwhile, Bobby Burns grinds out heavy and volatile bass lines that will carve your chest, and drummer Joe Nunez just crushes and slaughters behind his drum kit, forging a rhythmic background for an all-out sonic war.
Favorite Songs Included:
The first track “Blood Fire War Hate” (which also features guest vocals by David Vincent of Morbid Angel) is an explosive opener that begins with a repitive chant of “BLOOD FIRE WAR HATE”, and it keeps building up momentum, and then at 1:19 before you know it, all hell breaks loose with a violent barrage of wild thrashing guitars, fast throttling drums, and raging vocals. Up next, we have “Unleash” which is the album’s first single and also features guest vocals from Throwdown frontman Dave Peters, as well as ultra brutal, pummeling riffage and double bass kicks, and there’s also a cool melodic part where Marc throws in a really neat squeal-like sounding guitar solo before the heaviness resumes. Track three “Paranoia” is a killer mid paced cut that features a great chorus and a wailing guitar solo by Marc, while the fourth track “Warmageddon” is highlighted by a slow yet heavy and blistering opening riff, and there’s also another savage and violent thrash section around the 3 minute mark with more ripping guitar solos and hammering drum beats. “Enemy Ghost” is another catchy mid paced headbanger that features more heavy teeth grinding riffs and angry growls from Max, and I also love that awesome shredding solo by Marc near the end. Track seven “Fall of the Sycophants” is another savage thrasher that is highlighted by more violent thrashing riffage, fast crushing drumwork, and more raging vocals to boot. The song does slows down a bit making way for another amazing Rizzo guitar solo before picking up full speed once again. Track eight “Doom” is another catchy, killer headbanger that keeps the energy and aggression going, while “Touching the Void” has a more slower and creepy sound that is reminiscent of Black Sabbath (yeah, I can tell because it says to Black Sabbath in the lyric sheet), and of course the final song “Soulfly VI” is a real fantastic instrumental closer that ends the album on a melodic and peaceful note after a neverending assault on your senses and rightfully so.
Overall, Soulfly’s “Conquer” is simply put, ONE monster of a metal album, and it’s definately the heaviest and most musically diverse album that Soulfly have released to date thus far. It truly shows you how much Soulfly have grown and evolved throughout the years. Highly recommended for fans of Soulfly as well as early Sepultura, and I also recommend “Inflikted” by Cavalera Conspiracy too.