Originally formed by Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera in 1997, following his dramatic and acrimonious departure from the band he formed as a youth with his brother Igor, Soulfly has undergone a pretty dramatic journey. Still written off by many due to the nu metal leanings of their early days (indeed, online metal database of choice, The Metal Archives, has only recently accepted the band), Sepultura actually made a pretty convincing shift back toward the more brutal side of Max’s musical personality with 2005’s Dark Ages, arguably the group’s finest hour.
Coming only a year after the Enslaved album, which somewhat lacked dynamics, Savages is a feisty record that returns to the familiar blend of hardcore, thrash and groove metal. There’s also a hint of Carcass in a couple of numbers, such as the memorably named Ayatollah Of Rock’n’Rolla, but the most noteworthy feature is the installation of Max’s son Zyon as drummer, in place of Norwegian skinsman David Kinkade. While not as technical as his predecessor, it would appear that Zyon’s presence has lit a new fire in the band’s belly, though it is, once again, long-serving guitar powerhouse Marc Rizzo who provides the hypnotic backbone to the songs. Dayal Patterson