Spun: Soulfly

By Trenton Shaw

Dark Ages, the latest album from Soulfly, starts out fast and does not relent. With the exception of a few interludes and “Soulfly V,” a pretty guitar ballad reminiscient of an entirely different band, this Soulfly album is a solid onslaught of militaristic drumming, deafening vocal cries and screaming guitars, resulting in a visceral listening experience.

Soulfly’s trademark tribal sound is still evident on Dark Ages, though it doesn’t interrupt the songs as much as it did on previous albums. “Riostarter” begins with a grimy Middle-Eastern-style congo and sitar march leading into a flury of piercing guitars, breakbeat drums and what sounds like an air-raid siren. The band branches out, exploring a range of textures and styles throughout the album, setting them apart from more formulaic metal bands.

Listeners looking for a reason to hate the world will find plenty of ammunition on Dark Ages’ illustrations of murder, chaos, and destruction. On “Bleak,” Max Cavelara shouts, “maggots crawling /Posers falling /Suffocating in garbage /So much trash /In excess /Feed your ego up your ass.” With song titles like “Corrosion Creeps,” “Carved Inside,” and “Fuel the Hate,” Soulfly creates a soundscape for the darkest apocalypse imaginable.

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