It’s crazy to think that this is Soulfly’s eighth studio album. It’s even crazier to think that this is Soulfly’s best album yet fourteen years into their career. Calling Enslaved the best Soulfly album of their career seems odd because that would mean that the seven previous albums weren’t good. They were. Enslaved is just better than all. It manages to take all that Sepultura amazingness Max is known for and the Cavalera Conspiracy thrash to this untouchable place. Roots was the beginning and Enslaved is the culmination of 16 years worth of blood, sweat, and tears (Pretty sure Max Cavalera doesn’t cry, though).
Having some fresh blood on board might also be the reason for this reinvigoration as Tony Campos (Static X, Ministry, Prong) joins on bass and former Borknagar drummer David Kinkade now sits behind the kit. The end result is a 53 minute opus that transcends everything that Max Cavalera ever set out to do. From the apocalyptic “Resistance” through to the triumphant legacy empowering (Especially since it features Richie, Zyon, and Igor Cavalera Jr.) “Revengeance”, Enslaved just oozes metal and greatness.
First single “World Scum” is great just for the fact the opening bass and drum barrage introduce Campos and Kinkade to the tribe in a glorious way but the fun doesn’t really start until the one-two punch of “Gladiator” and “Legions”. There’s some great thrash metal within each but the real kicker is the time shifts each goes through in just over four minutes apiece. “Gladiator” with its’ “Hail Caesar” chorus switching to a tribal breakdown and then a sonic guitar attack and “Legions” which slams listeners from the start and then gets faster and faster with a groove that gets sicker with each listen.
Elsewhere, “Redemption Of Man By God” (Featuring Devildriver’s Dez Fafara) builds to a fury as Cavalera and Fafara battle each other until one of the most menacing outros plays the song out. “Treachery” is “Arise” on speed. There’s no other way to describe it while “Plata O Plomo” introduces some flamenco guitar to the mix and features Campos taking some lead vocal lines.
It’d be wrong not to tell you about the Deluxe Edition with three extra tracks. It not only continues the story of Enslaved (“Slave” and its’ “Refuse/Resist” meets “Roots Bloody Roots” vibe alone is worth the price of admission) but is also the only place you’ll find “Soulfly VIII”. No Soulfly fan can miss that one.
Soulfly Enslaved is out on March 13th on Roadrunner Records.