Max Cavalera and his crew are here again with a new album and I must say right off the bat that Prophecy has been the most confusing album to come across to me this year, and probably even in this millennium. It experiments with so many different elements that I cant even say that this is fully a metal album. But that is clearly what Max has wanted to make with this new record, so lets delve in.
The first minutes of the record are tried and true Soulfly with
the crushing powerchords and bouncing rhythms carrying Maxs heartfelt screaming.
Cavalera has gotten nice energy into his singing for the album and even his
natural but funny English accent doesn’t take the credibility off of his
tales of persistence and spirituality. After the first four songs of standard
modernized thrash, comes the first experimentation. Mars begins as
a very usual Soulfly pounder, but at the end it first fades
down to acoustic flamenco guitar playing, and after about a half a minute of
that, switches to a minute of full-blown reggae. The next one, I Believe is
again a more mellow but traditional Soulfly tune, one of the
best ones on the record. But then the oddities take a whole new level. Moses
begins with a straight on horn section and a Jamaican-sounding guest vocalist
singing like a darker Bob Marley. Maxs love for reggae comes in play again.
Then in the middle the song transforms into a mosh-pit terrorizer in Soulflys
own way, and again switches back to the reggae jamming. At this point I was
baffled about this album. The bravery to display such diversity sure was impressive,
but it was a matter of the mood of listening if this bravery was good or bad
for the music in my ears.
The horns and many more uncommon instruments are audible participants in other songs as well, and this kind of “tribal metal-flamenco-reggae”-triangle is being tread throughout the whole album. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not so successfully. Porrada is a strange mix of latin acoustic jamming and ruthless punk-infected thrash. Then in the middle of the “experiments”, songs like Born Again Anarchist and In The Meantime display the harder edge of Soulfly pretty well. Soulfly 4 is a mellow, very nice tribal instrumental in the vein of the classic Kaioawas. Wings is another new departure featuring a guesting female vocalist, who reminds me of a bit more soulful and less angry version of Sinergys Kimberly Goss. A very untraditional song for Soulfly, but a working one at all of its soothing, melodic drifting. Don’t ask me about the ending of the song which is a Mexican-sounding horn-tune that could be imagined palying in the background of breaking a Pinata. A reader here on MR later informed me that it is not a Mexican tune, but in fact Serbian march song titled "Mars na Drinu (March on Drina)". It is an old military march (played on trumpets and horns) dating form the times of the first world war. The production is top notch on the record, with the slight exception of the drums getting a bit buried in the heaviest parts.
This is a very confusing album. Because I cant really say that the experimentation
would make the album unaccessible to hard core metalheads. Songs like Defeat
U and Born Again Anarchist are very heavy with nice riffs and
brutal drumming. The new sounds on some of the other songs just may go over
peoples heads if they don’t listen to it carefully. That sure happened
to me even after having listened to this one for a week. So give this a shot
at the store and remember, there are several totally different music styles
mashed together here in many ways. Its as likely that you will like it as it
is that you will hate it. But in the end, it is undoubtedly Soulfly
and even more, undoubtedly Max Cavalera. This man certainly has a strong vision
of his music, but at times it can sure be a confusing vision at that. Very diverse
one, this baby. Have a try at the store and see for yourself.
Killing Songs :
Defeat U, Mars, I Believe, Born Again Anarchist, Soulfly 4 & Wings
|Aleksie quoted 75 / 100|
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