Archangel (2015) by Soulfly: A thoroughly elaborated epos and uncompromising metal journey

Soulfly released their 10th album, Archangel, on 14 August 2015 through Nuclear Blast. For whatever ignorant reason, I simply did not get around listening to this masterpiece until recently. However, after finally having placed it right next to my CD player on my desk, I gave it a dozen of spins, and this is what I think of it:

Archangel is a thoroughly elaborated 37-minutes epos that does not necessarily reinvent the band, but offers an uncompromising and astute thrash metal journey to any metal aficionado. All songs are killers, there are absolutely no fillers. It is impossible for me to choose my favourite songs, but if I would have to try, I would name Bethlehem’s Blood, Sodomites, and Archangel.

Soulfly live 17 February 2016 at Schuur Lucerne, Switzerland
Soulfly live 17 February 2016 at Schuur Lucerne, Switzerland | Photo: Sebastiano Mereu

Even though raw energy is an attribute I strongly associate with Soulfly in any case, the band was able to encapsulate even more raw energy in Archangel than I expected. The album gives me the impression of being a more mainstream thrash metal album in the catalogue of the band and I perceive that as a very good thing. The sound is unmistakably Soulfly, which is obviously awesome. Max Cavalera told me during a recent interview that he likes to keep things interesting and does not simply go with what is necessarily expected. That said, I feel Archangel turned out to be along that thought. The listener can still recognise the album as a Soulfly work, but it sounds more refined than the predecessors Savages (2013) and Enslaved (2012) – even though both these albums are great in their own context.

Soulfly is currently touring Europe with Lody Kong and Incite from the Maximum Cavalera family and have King Parrot as special guests with them. I got to see the line-up last night and it was great. No need to tell you that Soulfly was pure metal and absolutely phenomenal.

Go rock out with them if they come to your city. If you are into metal in general, this you should not miss.

***

“Archangel is all killer, no filler. The 10 songs clock in at a compact 36 minutes, with not a wasted riff or self-indulgent tangent. Soulfly have always been a solid band with a strong fan base, but they have really stepped up their game this time around. For those who haven’t heard the band in a while, Archangel may pleasantly surprise you.” – Chad Bowar, loudwire.com

“The brutality and aggressive new sound that Soulfly bring to Archangel does take a few listens to get used to but once you’re into the groove this ends up being an album that true fans are going to love. Expert guitar playing, a political theme and Max Cavalera letting out some anger… what isn’t to like?” – Dave Griffiths, heavymag.com.au

“Whilst it doesn’t tread new waters, Archangel is a solid metal album, proving that Soulfly are still very much a force to be reckoned with. Well worth a listen.” – Donnay Clancy, mosh.hitthefloor.com

““Archangel” is the most daring and freshest album SOULFLY’s come up with since “Prophecy”.” – Ray Van Horn, Jr., blabbermouth.net

“Archangel, an apt title to indicate Soulfly’s spreading of wings towards a more mature style, is the grand and fitting next step in their mystical, musical journey.” – Riley Rowe, metalinjection.net

Maximum Cavalera Tour Europe 2016

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer