SOULFLY come back once again with their fourth album (you can tell how many are in their catalog from the number after the “Soulfly” track) and this time the band is getting themselves on the right track. They have continuously been getting better and better with each release so I expected this one to be slightly more cohesive. And it is. But it still doesn’t quite make the cut of where I think this band should really be.
Once again, just like with their last album “3”, SOULFLY starts off with a magnificent bang. With the air raid siren guitar tone of the title track, I knew that I was in for something good. And the first half of the album is quite good. SOULFLY is really coming together nicely and “Prophecy” is a major step forward for the band.
Part of this new more cohesive sound I have to attribute to Max Cavalera’s new backing band. Returning is drummer Joe Nunez from the second album but both guitarist and bassist are new to the band. Normally, pulling a new backing band together has a tendency to weaken a band’s chemistry but with this line-up it feels as though SOULFLY is stronger then ever. The music feels deeper and more solid on “Prophecy”. A lot more of the Thrash and Death Metal roots from Max’s past are showing up in this release and I think a lot of this can be attributed to the arrival of the new guitarist, Marc Rizzo.
Marc Rizzo’s ability to shred, solo, play melodies, and perform acoustic sections has just added whole new levels to SOULFLY. His presence cannot be understated on this album and considering his past with ILL NIÑO, I had no idea that he was as good as he is. Max has found a guitar player that finally fits his style of writing and can add to it, something that SOULFLY has been missing since the beginning.
But unfortunately, as with some of the earlier releases, “Prophecy” still isn’t a perfect album. Once again the album does fall quite quickly during the latter half. Starting with the ending of the oddly structured “Mars” and moving into the Reggae Metal sounding “Moses” the album does begin to fall back into the rut of the previous releases. The tribal elements don’t flow with the Metal elements quite as well and the song writing seems to weaken. And ending the album with the alternative indie rock sounding “Wings” was a strange way to finish off an album that starts so explosively.
“Prophecy” is still an amazing step for the band. The first half of the album is quite possibly the best material the band has done up to this point and the addition of Marc Rizzo and a backing band that compliments the material well has done wonders. I would still would have enjoyed to see the band push through to the end with how the album started and blend the tribal elements a bit more. Still it’s a decent release and the next step for SOULFLY.
Songs to check out: “Prophecy”, “Defeat U”, “Living Sacrifice”.
(Online September 14, 2008)