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Soulfly - Dark Ages

2005 Roadrunner Records :: Reviewed by skeksis on 2005-11-17

Upon hearing the first couple tracks of 'Dark Ages', I had to recheck the album cover to make sure it didn't have a sticker proclaiming it was the reformation of Sepultura and to make sure it did indeed say Soulfly on it! Oh yes, the reviews are all in and 'Dark Ages' is a killer record that will shame anything Sepultura has done since 'Roots'. Heck, given the ferocity of the thrash in the record, its safe to say this is the album that should have been released after 'Arise'! It's simply that good kiddies! Like many I was, well, heart broken to say the least when Sepultura split. And for all the talk of now having two bands for the price of one, there has been a serious lack of quality music on both camps side, with both the remaining Seps and Max and his new project releasing sub par 'Roots' like nu-metal rubbish. There was some glimmer of hope with 2004's 'Prophecy' but its here were Max comes full circle. I'm still not sure if the credit should go to guitarist Marc Rizzo (ex-Il Nino and all the better for it) and drummer Joe Nunez who are reportedly huge Sepultura fans for the return to form or Max himself. Maybe is just doesn't matter because 'Dark Ages' positively rips. Tracks like 'Babylon', 'Bleak', and the title track could have easily come off of 'Roots or' 'Chaos A.D.'. But its tracks like 'Carved Inside', 'Frontlines', 'Fuel the Hate', 'I and I' and 'Arise Again' rival the best tracks off of 'Beneath the Remains' or 'Arise'. Seriously, the main riffs 'Frontlines' will give you goose bumps. Guitarist Marc Rizzo does a pretty spot on Andreas in most of the leads and goes one further by throwing in some nice flamenco interludes. The guy has a solo record out on Shrapnel and he wouldn't have had the chance to if he didn't have chops. Joe Nunez does a killer job here, beating the skins in a style not dissimilar to what one would expect Igor to play as well, albeit with a little less tribal sounding parts in there (than again, you really didn't see those on 'Remains' and 'Arise' anyway). Like every Soulfly record, you have our disposable tracks, but their few and you can easily skip right over to them. This record hasn't left the player since it was released and the nostalgia you'll get hearing Max over these riffs is such a welcome change to all the crap that's being released, including the last Sepultura album. I really hope the Seps are paying attention to this, because this is how it's done! Welcome back Max, we sure has hell missed you!!!