Soulfly
Omen


3.5
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
May 24th, 2010 | 64 replies | 20,763 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Added dynamics and tight execution make Omen one of Soulfly's most interesting and varied releases to date

While 2005’s Dark Ages was a revitalization of sorts, its follow-up Conquer brought back the all-important question: is it time for Soulfly to call it quits before they succumb into mediocrity, or have the guys got any unused tricks left up their sleeves to break out of their comfortable yet extremely repetitive zone? Conquer wasn’t a bad album at all, in fact it was a pretty fun listen, but it was just too much of the same old. Thick grooves, little variety, overbearing chugging, Cavalera’s gruff shouts and screams – all of this had been done before by Soulfly many times, and more successfully mind you. It did make one think about the possibility of them retiring soon - it seemed like Max Cavalera had nothing left to say with Soulfly. Now, in 2010, Omen is bound to answer the aforementioned question, and that it does.

Omen is still strictly a Soulfly record – that becomes evident straight from the get-go – but what it surprises the listener with, is how unexpectedly diverse it is for a Soulfly album. That is somewhat relative, as for a metal album Omen isn’t really that multifarious, but when you compare it to some of Soulfly’s past efforts like Conquer and Primitive, it does sound a lot more varied. Omen is still run by thick, digging grooves and chugging guitarwork, but this time around the lead guitar has been given a lot more conspicuous role, which means there are some pretty stellar leads constantly playing over the chugging. The opening track "Bloodbath & Beyond" is a complete opposite of this, being practically a full-fledged thrash song with relentless chugging, but onwards from the second track "Rise of the Fallen", the leads are perpetually prominent. Solos aren’t few and far between either, regularly making their way into the songs – a feature never before used by Soulfly. They’ve had solos in some of their songs in the past, but never have they been prominent throughout the album. Time signatures are also more salient on Omen, as Cavalera has finally noticed he shouldn't fill a full LP with 55 minutes of corresponding, nonstop chugging, like it was on Conquer. It might be fun for a while, but eventually the constant chugging wears one down.

What else is surprising on Omen, is the paucity of tribal beats and native instruments. This lack of tribal themes was already exhibited on Conquer, and Omen firmly continues on that path. Is the omission of them for the better or worse is actually very hard to say, because while they did compliment earlier Soulfly releases well, there is a strong possibility they might’ve become trite and uninspired if used too much. So in that aspect, the exclusion of them seems like a potentially good move. Besides, the band are thankfully still ending their albums with self-titled instrumental pieces, and "Soulfly VII" might even be the best of the series yet. Incredibly chill and laid-back, it finishes the album on a terrific note.

When all is said and done, Omen is still a Soulfly album through-and-through, but added dynamics and more diverse song structures raise it above most of the band’s back-catalogue. Omen shows that Soulfly have still room to improve and evolve, and it's clearly too early to count them out. If they slowly but surely keep modifying their nu-thrash sound like they have done on Omen, and avoid stagnation, Soulfly have the potential to go far. Max Cavalera and co. have clearly got plenty left to say.



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user ratings (159)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
While there is nothing new by Soulfy’s standards, this is a more interesting and positive release ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

stream: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/

Pretty nervous as this is my first review as a contrib.

ShadowRemains
May 24th 2010



20238 Comments


damn bro, didn't realize you were a contributor, nice work

review is good, pos'd

guess I'll have to check this out

SCREAM!
May 24th 2010



9973 Comments


Well done man! You can stop being nervous now :P

Good job on the contrib status too

Digging: Agalloch - The Serpent and the Sphere

Kiran
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



6000 Comments


congratulations on contributor!

BigHans
May 24th 2010



26455 Comments


Congrats. I'm partial to Jump the Fuck Up with Soulfly/Corey Taylor.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a bunch guys, it's appreciated!

cvlts
May 24th 2010



8954 Comments


oh shit! contributor!

bout time...

Waior
May 24th 2010



11425 Comments


You brought Benzum from the dead! Told you this would happen inevitably. Your contributing status, that is, not zombie-Benzum. But they're both pretty cool.

Good review again. Welcome to the clan.

bloc
May 24th 2010



34675 Comments


About time you made contributor, congratulations man.

PS. Band sucks

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you gents and you're right Benzum, this does call for a celebration

jingledeath
May 24th 2010



7104 Comments


Super review and congrats on the new status Contributorstyles :D

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a bunch Irad! You've been a most loyal follower of my reviews from almost day one. Cheers buddy.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


congratz again man, never was a soul fly guy

3ddie
May 24th 2010



84 Comments


It doesn't sound as Reign in Blood-ier like Max was saying before the release..... too much groove...



anyway.... I like this...

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ 3ddie
look into the news article, I responded to your Reign In Blood comment there

also, cool, an unexpected feature!

3ddie
May 24th 2010



84 Comments


Metalstyles
yep.... I didn't know he was saying that about the Cavalera Conspiracy album....



this is more than just "listenable" (something that some SF records aren't)




MutnikSpusic
May 24th 2010



560 Comments


is this brütal?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is this brütal?
it's pretty heavy but I wouldn't say it is brutal, no

ianjulian
May 24th 2010



621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

marc rizzo

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



30873 Comments


Nice review dude, completely forgot this leaked a LONG time ago

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild



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