When you mention the name Max Cavalera in metal circles, it commands attention. Max's involvement in metal music is unmistakable and his contributions to the genre are undeniable. From the early days of Sepultura to Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy, Max has left his mark on heavy music for 25+ years. Max, and now his boys, Richie, Igor and Zyon, are here to stay and leave your ears shredded for years to come. In fact, Zyon is now the new full time drummer for Soulfly. I had the pleasure of seeing Soulfly earlier this year in a small club setting with Zyon pulling double duty with his band Lody Kong and later with Soulfly and he was amazing.
As Enslaved was by far my favorite Soulfly release to date, I was very anxious to get my hands on Savages. Bloodshed leaps out of your speakers and is the first to assault your hearing. The song is heavy and could very easily fit on Chaos A.D. If there is one thing you can expect from Max and Co., it's a groove laden thrash sound, and Bloodshed brings it with reckless abandon! Max brings his son Igor, from Lody Kong, on vocals and he brings a youthful air to the song. Cannibal Holocaust is the next juggernaut. It's fast and thrashy, yet melodic. Max's gruff vocals never get old and you will find yourself headbanging to this song-no matter where you are! Fallen is a different animal all together. It has the classic groove, but injects a totally different feel. The guitars take a front seat here, compared to vocals. The song is everything Soulfly is about, probably my favorite here. Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla grabbed my attention, as perhaps, the corniest song title of the year, but the song is catchy and infectious. Neil Fallon, of Clutch, throws his guest vocals in and the song quickly turns into a circle pit inducing feast. Lesson here: Never judge a song by it's title! Master of Savagery is another brutal assault, which will appease any of the old school Sepultura fans who never cease to give Max shit about his dabbling in Nu-Metal years ago.
The album starts to wander a bit after this. In true Soulfly fashion, Max always keeps you guessing. Napalm Death's Mitch Harris contributes to K.C.S with an ear splitting, almost annoying tone. This is the only song that made me wince, and it is basically his vocals that do it here. I don't know why, because I like Napalm Death, but it just doesn't work here. Soulfliktion closes the album in true Max fashion, groovy and full of riffs.
All in all, I do like Enslaved a bit better, but Savages is a solid Soulfly offering. I commend Max on his status in the metal world and his ability to always lay down his brand of groove infused tribal thrash.