SOULFLY – Dark Ages

SOULFLY - Dark Ages


RoadRunner Records
Release date: October 4, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Back in 1996, the Heavy Metal community was totally rocked when Max Cavalera announced that he was leaving Sepultura. That year Sepultura had released Roots, an album with a lot of tribal sounds. The good news came about one year later when Max announced the formation of Soulfly. This resulted to their first album, simply entitled Soulfly. Max’s intentions were crystal clear. He wanted to write experimental music, bringing in a lot of sounds that were strange to Heavy Metal. His deep emotional and spiritual songwriting indeed found a strong response among many Metalheadz!

This is the band’s fifth full-length release, featuring the same line up present for the previous album, The Prophecy, a fact that indicates a strong chemistry between the musicians. The album was produced by Max and mixed by Terry Date (Deftones, Pantera, White Zombie).

The dark feelings that totally affected Max’s songwriting came from two tragedies that took place last year. The first was the sudden loss of his grandson, and the second was the tragic death of his longtime friend Dimebag Darrell.

After a short intro, comes the track “Babylon.” This song follows the Soulfly pattern with compact rhythm section played with low tuned guitars. Max is screaming the lyrics in his unique way that comes straight from his heart. “I and I” starts with a fast-paced riff, fitting perfectly into the almost Hardcore vocals that brings Sepultura’s sound into the surface. Just before the classic Thrash guitar solo, comprising some Slayer–ish tremolo and fast-finger tapping, there is a tempo change with some classic guitar tones and atmospheric samples.

The bass guitar intro opens for the next song, “Carved Inside.” By this time it becomes clear that the tribal sounds are being left aside for a while to prove that Soulfly can play like and even better than Sepultura. Max’s growl in “Arise Again” is just the start for some neck-wrecking guitar rhythm that will cause some serious crowd moshing in future gigs. Some antiwar lyrics in Russian are sung during “Molotov,” which represents Max’s respect for the Punk scene. There is a guest appearance by Billy Milano from S.O.D. who sang his lyrics over the phone!

The up-tempo song, “Frontlines,” gets Soulfly back to its basic Thrash/Speed Metal roots, and closes with some beautiful classic guitar arpeggios. The primitive instincts are finally awakened with “Innerspirit.” Max’s grunts and some tribal percussion instruments do the job, while the clean vocals (courtesy of a Serbian artist named Coyote) and the almost reggae guitar work create the perfect sound diversity.

In “Corrosion Creeps,” the past meets the present. The guitar riffs and solos come from the time when Sepultura were releasing Beneath the Remains, while the song closes with the classic Soulfly traditional tones. The tribal tones comprising some Brazilian string instruments and drums are nothing but a teaser just before the entrance of the best riff of the album in “Riotstarter.” This song features some Prodigy samples and loops bringing to mind their hit “Firestarter.” The heaviness on “Bleak” comes with the ton heavy main rhythm guitar riff along with Max’s screaming the song title during the chorus lines. The Metal sounds in the background were actually recorded during the maintenance works in Hagia Sofia in Constantinople. “(The) March” is a one minute song with an industrial atmosphere due to the samples and drum machine loops… and nothing more special. The Thrash sound returns with full force in “Fuel the Hate.” The vocals (screams) are perfectly mixed in order to lyrically describe all the pain and the agony coming from these Dark Ages we’re living in currently. “Staystrong” comes to remind us that there is more inner power than we can imagine in order to confront all of life’s difficulties. Max’s son makes an appearance in singing and writing the lyrics about Moses (Max’s grandson). The pain of Moses is perfectly described during the lyrics, which say, “Oh God take away the pain I’ll give my life instead.”

This is the fifth full-length release of the Soulfly tribe, so their “Soulfly V” puts an end to this audio journey. The Brazilian/French musician Stephan helps to close this album with some peaceful melodies. Max has added some real sounds of rain and thunder to better flavor the song.

This is by far the best album created by Max Cavalera and his tribe until Soulfly number 6 is born. Everyone can be more than sure that “The Song Remains Insane”.


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.