at Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, January 27, 2003

From the ashes of Brazilian metal legends Sepultura arose Soulfly, founded by flamboyant vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Max Cavalera. He was more or less single-handedly responsible for some of the most brutal and inventive music to be heard in the nineties – I’m thus happy to report that his new outfit is even harder and faster…

While being subject to quite a lot of changes since starting up back in 1996, the band’s lineup currently includes drummer Roy Mayorga (and what a fierce drummer he is!), bass-player Marcello D. Rapp and guitarist Mikey Dolling. This tour which has taken them to Norway’s easily forgotten capital of Oslo is in support of their last outing, the cleverly titled “3”. Prior to that they’ve released the critically acclaimed Soulfly and follow-up Primitive, receiving more mixed reviews. However, without a doubt their last effort marks a return to form and their visit on these shores was therefore much anticipated.

With three album’s worth of material under their belts they’ve got plenty of songs to choose from and it’s thus somewhat of a surprise that they also incorporate stuff from Cavalera’s Sepultura days, most notably Propaganda and the brilliant Roots. But as was also very much the case with Sepultura there is far more to Soulfly than just hard-hitting and mind-blowing melodies. They also find room for a solid dose of social commentary in the form of several songs dealing with various political issues, ranging from the horrors of September 11th to the injustice enforced upon the underprivileged Brazilians by their not too democratically-minded government.

Anyway, what are they like live? Well, pretty much what you’d expect: It’s all about an incredible energy and intensity, leaving no soul untouched and taking no prisoners in the process! It’s full throttle right from the start to the very end and it’s hard to imagine many acts around able to match a performance like this one. It’s obvious that Cavalera has lost none of the aggression and aggravation of his more youthful days, but he manages to utilize and turn it into something positive and powerful as opposed to falling into that slump of negativity that so many other metal bands do. All in all I strongly recommend checking this band out, whether by picking up their albums or seeing them live.

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