Soulfly
Ritual


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (268 Reviews)
October 23rd, 2018 | 75 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Forever a Ritual. Soulfly stay the course.

Ritual is one of those unremarkably remarkable albums. For what it’s worth Max Cavalera has been part of his own musical movement for the better part of thirty four years, spreading influence through the likes of Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy and of course Soulfly. History lessons aside, Soulfly have been pumping out groove based thrash bangers since the late nineties with varying levels of success and memorability. Ritual is a return to form, to memorability within the Cavalera camp. That’s not to say that Soulfly needs an over lift or an upgrade, rather the day to day musical works have seen their share of autopilot (even if that autopilot was/is consistently good to great) giving less stock to the staying power of Soulfly as a whole. 2018 kicks away the stigma of a band just going through the motions and offers listeners one of the year’s better mainstream metal albums.

Predictably, the new Soulfly album kicks off in the typical Soulfly manner. Tribal noises trickle through, building into a mid tempo groove complete with Cavalera’s “oi”. With all the focus on the Cavalera camp, it’s easy to forget that Soulfly’s roots are in fact... Roots, whether the band would like to admit it or not. The album’s title track (and opener) is the most Sepultur-ian track Soulfly has produced since the debut. Rituals succeeds in its simplicity, varying off the tried and true formula only where it needs to. With Randy Blythe’s (Lamb Of God) seminal shrieks and growls added to “Dead Behind The Eyes” Soulfly blast out an unwitting thrash onslaught, accessibly foregoing on self-indulgent nuances that scream “look at us!” A straight-forward carrying groove dominates the record, adding to the aging vibrancy of Max’s gruffly presented yells. The industrialist edges that meet with Soulfly’s metallic agenda offer up some of the band’s most sincere and well thought riffs (of debatably) the group’s career. The utmost thrash-y heaviness of the Ross Dolan (Immolation) featured “Under Rapture” again lifts the bar on the typical Soulfly soundscape.

Ritual is not an all out octane affair. The opening acoustic passages add some tribal flamenco semblance to “Demonized” before heading back into the predictable full-tilt riff fest that has dominated most of Cavalera’s career. In typical fashion, “Soulfly XI” offers up the smooth tones of brooding instrumental, complete with that all important saxophone melody to keep fans proverbially wetting their pants. It’s an excellent respite from the usually aggressive Soulfly that conscripts any album under that moniker. There is a question on the instrumental tracks placement however, as it would have definitely increased Ritual’s overall replay value had it broken the onslaught straight down the middle.

For most, if you haven’t been swayed into appreciating any post-Sepultura efforts from Max and his family, Rituals is the closest you’ll come to a musical conversion. While Cavalera and co. may just be bringing back their older musical styles (which to be fair, aren’t that different from their modern styles) it’s the band’s fans which benefit the most. With an emphasis on Soulfly’s rhythmic approach to the music they’ve been executing for the best part of two decades, there’s not a whole lot going on here that listeners haven’t heard before, but with renewed vigour and dedication to the very bones of the sounds that got the band to where they are Ritual will actually turn the focus back onto the Cavalera family. It’s amazing what a band can churn out, given that they just go back to their roots.



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2018


9387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Originally had this 3.5’d but this has grown a little. Who new Max still had it in him.

tyman128
October 22nd 2018


1299 Comments


great review, still need to check this out. The singles seemed very promising

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2018


9387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Definitely a grower of sorts : ]

ShadowNeko
October 22nd 2018


190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn sounds nice. Gonna jam it out later. Thanks

GhostB1rd
October 22nd 2018


2669 Comments


CHAOS

DISORDER

FEAR

MARTYR

BLOOD

FIRE

OOHHWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I'm Max. It me.

artiswar
October 22nd 2018


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BLOOD



FIRE



WAR



HATE



whether it's 2018 or 2008 Max still has nothing to say

GhostB1rd
October 22nd 2018


2669 Comments


Are those actual lyrics on this? Please tell me yes...

GhostB1rd
October 22nd 2018


2669 Comments


Nevermind, that's a song I've heard from like ten years ago.

However, there's like a 90% chance he's recycled those "lyrics" a bunch of times, so it still could be on target here.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 23rd 2018


9387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Instantly started layering those words into every soulful song ever... not a bad result

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2018


11682 Comments


Great review man, you have no idea how happy I am you gave this a 4, excited to jam (: How does it stack up to Savages and Archangel?

Toondude10
October 23rd 2018


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yep



it's a Soulfly album

Digging: Devin Townsend - Empath

BigPleb
October 23rd 2018


57851 Comments


Band is so damn dull.

Cavalera has been jaded for years now.

Risodo
October 23rd 2018


652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feedback! is laughable, but the rest of the album is quite enjoyable.

At first it was a 3.0/3.5 for me, but yeah, the consistence growed on me.

I'm not a huge fan of all the material that Max released after he left Sepultura, but i think i found at least one nice record from this atroucious project.

ShadowNeko
October 23rd 2018


190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Badass record I love it.

DatsNotDaMetulz
October 23rd 2018


3827 Comments


TBF to Max only one Soulfly album has less than a 3 on this site, and even then it's a 2.9. So he's been consistently decent-to-good to say the least.

artiswar
October 23rd 2018


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They've had multiple albums that were excellent.

DatsNotDaMetulz
October 23rd 2018


3827 Comments


Oh yeah Dark Ages and Enslaved were spectacular.

DatsNotDaMetulz
October 23rd 2018


3827 Comments


Does feel a bit like he saves his best material for Cavalera Conspiracy though.

artiswar
October 23rd 2018


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Prophecy, Dark Ages, and Conquer were great. Enslaved was good too but I haven't jammed it in a long time.

Toondude10
October 23rd 2018


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

idk I was never really into this band, they groove hard for sure but the style kinda grew off of me pretty quickly



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