Soulfly: Enslaved

Ex-Sepultura man’s group release eighth studio album.

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Featuring a new line-up that includes guitarist Marc Rizzo, Tony Campos on bass and drummer David Kinkade, Soulfly’s latest album represents a long-standing ambition of group leader Max Cavalera to compose a concept album about slavery.

Coming from Brazil as he does, it’s an idea that has potential and particular contemporary relevance, with a mostly black underclass suffering either exploitation as workers or forced by circumstance into an outlaw existence and probable imprisonment.

However, any such resonances the listener will have to bring themselves to this album, which has something of a CGI feel to it, like some Playstation variation on Spartacus, with Cavalera’s mic-gobbling, gnarly roar adding more texture than text.

That said, the music is a fine and fast cut above, from the brutal, machine percussion of opener Resistance, the state of the art, stainless steel guitar of Gladiator and the overall feeling of emancipation from the usual goth/metal clichés.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.