Soulfly - Prophecy
Roadrunner Records
Experimenting Tribal Metal
12 songs (55.03)
Release year: 2004
Soulfly, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
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
Other albums by Soulfly that we have reviewed:
Soulfly - Archangel reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Soulfly - Savages reviewed by Goat and quoted 65 / 100
Soulfly - Enslaved reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Soulfly - Omen reviewed by Goat and quoted 79 / 100
Soulfly - Conquer reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 /100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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