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Max Cavalera returns with another endeavor from his decade-long project Soulfly, a full-circle return to heaviness of sorts for the Brazilian-born metal master. With help from guitar whiz Mark Rizzo, the 15-track DARK AGES opens the floodgates with less world beat instrumentations and motifs, yielding to a predominant amount more blast beat, as songs like the blistering opening tracks “Babylon” and “I And I” exhibit a renewal to angst-ridden aggression. And while Soulfly keeps the pedal to the metal, those atmospheric tribal jams significant of Cavalera’s proud South American tradition are still embedded in the overall sound of the band, as tracks like “Riotstarter”, “Soulfly V”, and the Sabbath meets Tito Puente vibe of “Innerspirit” aims to keep the band’s unique sound balanced. However, it’s songs like the brutal to beautiful transition of “Frontlines” that are most effective here, tracing over Sepultura’s undeniable heaviness while drawing from Cavalera’s vast musical pool that makes this disc the heaviest thing Max has done since he struck out on his own.
- Mike SOS