The enigma that is Soulfly continues to amaze and astound. Just when you think you have Cavalera pegged with what's coming next, he goes and throws one of the nastiest curveballs around and leaves you with your mouth hanging open at what just happened.
Title cut, "Archangel", is one hell of a way to start the album off--with Cavalera's trademark growl. "Sodomites", with guest vocals by Todd Jones of NAILS, is a kick ass, riff-heavy track with an eerie choral in the background of the chorus that will send a chill down your arms. "Ishtar Rising" has a very deceptive industrial-styled intro before it launches groove-heavy. "Live Life Hard" features Matt Young from King Parrot handling the more hardcore/punk-styled screams and wails. It's a crusty, crushing punk-infused track that packs a serious punch. "Shamash" is an Arabesque track featuring another haunting choral backing. This paired with the ferocity of the guitars and Max's venomous growls gives it an extra element of aggression. "Bethlehem's Blood" is a straight up banger with some doomy parts as well as some very well-placed atmospheric instrumentation that brings things down a little before ramping up to its furious pace again. "Titans" is the next track and consequently my favorite from the album. Chronicling the war of the Titans from Greek mythology, it's as epic as it is heavy. The lyrical content is some of the finest on the album and the music is both incredibly heavy and at times otherworldly. You'll find yourself playing this one over and over. "Deceiver" is a thrash-infused ripper with some serious groove thrown in for extra head banging. "Mother of Dragons" closes the album out with appearances from Richie Cavalera (Incite), Anahid (Master of Persia), and Igor Cavalera (LODY KONG). It's one of the slower tracks, yet it still possesses the heaviness that is apparent throughout the album.
Overall, I could not be happier with this album. The subject matter being so mystical and covering so many different myths and legends just really gets my creative blood flowing. Then you add in the heaviness and beauty of the music and you have a recipe for what may just be Soulfly's greatest album.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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