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Soulfly's new box is five discs of straight-up brutality and explosive, esoteric rackets

Boxed belligerence from Brazil’s metal dread Max Cavalera and Soulfly on The Soul Remains The Same: The Studio Albums 1998 to 2004

Soulfly: The Soul Remains Insane packshot
(Image: © BMG)

Max Cavalera’s departure from Brazillian metallers Sepultura in 1996 seemed like a seismic event, but both he and his ex-bandmates made light work of establishing new legacies. 

The Soul Remains Insane recounts the first few years of a bold new dawn for Cavalera, with each of his band’s first four albums represented, and a disc of B-sides and other curios thrown in. 

Even taking Fred Durst’s petulant yelp on Bleed into account, 1998’s self-titled debut still takes the roof off. Exuberance has always been one of Cavalera’s chief weapons, and whether delivering straight-up brutality on Eye For An Eye or duelling with Skindred’s Benji Webbe on Quilombo, Soulfly was riotous and irresistible. 

One too many guest cameos made Primitive (2000) slightly harder to love than its predecessor, but Son Song (featuring Sean Lennon) was an inspired meeting of minds. 

Far better were 3 (2002) and, in particular, Prophecy (2004), which showcased a newfound love of Serbian folk music and some of Soulfly’s heaviest material to date. 

The final disc boasts gnarly covers of Discharge and Black Sabbath and some unhinged remixes, and three minutes of jaunty berimbau playing. Cavalera’s delight in making an explosive, esoteric racket shines through every last bit of it.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.