Competence – “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently” and, incidentally a word that describes perfectly ‘Savages’ the latest album by Soulfly. Having released three albums in the past four years Soulfly certainly have a reputation for quantity. ‘Savages’ easily keeps up the quality.
Max Cavalera has long ceased to break musical boundaries like early Sepultura and Soulfly once did. Instead ‘Savages’ just takes all the best elements of Soulfly and throws them together into one relentless onslaught of riffs. Liked the death metal focus of last years Enslaved? The fantastically named ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ does a good enough job of blasting your brains out. What about the chug of Dark Ages era Soulfly? Opener ‘Bloodshed’ does that well enough. Tribal metal? The eight minute long ‘El Comegente’ does a good job of mixing up traditional instrumentation with trademark Cavalera brutality.
The production job on ‘Savages’ additionally helps make Soulfly sound as sleek and fierce as ever, although that’s hardly surprising with Terry Date behind the desk. With a history of producing bands such as Pantera and Deftones it’s no surprise that the groove at the heart of Soulfly’s attack sounds perhaps the sleekest it has sounded on record.
At the end of the day if you didn’t like Soulfly before then don’t expect ‘Savages’ to change your mind – this is a straight up metal record just like Soulfly have written for the past fifteen years. It’s not going to turn heads but then it doesn’t need to. Soulfly aren’t a group that need to reinvent themselves continuously and ‘Savages’ is glorious proof of this. A very competent effort.
Savages is out now through Nuclear Blast Records.