(8/10) The announcement of a new Soulfly album led to some curiosity, although the level of excitement wasn’t that sky high. This is mainly due to the fact that the last Soulfly releases didn’t have the firepower of the earlier album, like ‘Dark Age’ and the mind-blowing ‘Prophecy’.
‘Archangel’ showed a slight adjustment of direction and it’s ‘Ritual’ showcases a band that returns to the early trademarks. One of the key assets of Soulfly always has been an enormous groove factor that characterizes their sound. After some thrashier and more ‘experimental’ years, Soulfly returns to the ‘ritual’ of writing groovy songs, combined with an aggressiveness that fuels each of the track with a lot of power.
Soulfly often had guest appearances on their albums and also the new release doesn’t make an exception. ‘Dead Behind the Eyes’ is one of the tunes with Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blyth being in a vocal duel with Cavalera. This setup works nicely and increases the brutality of the song.
The second song that features a guest is ‘Under rapture’. Already the riffing in the beginning expresses some partly new territory for Soulfly. American death metal comes to your mind when listening to this sledgehammer song with Immolation’s Ross Dolan adding some deep growls to the mix. This new element works really well and fits perfectly into the song.
Next to these two titles, there is a lot of Soulfly groove metal in the offer. ‘Evil Empowered’, ‘Bite the Bullet’ and ‘Demonized’ deliver exactly what you could wish for as being an old-school Soulfly fan. ‘Feedback!’ adds a dirty rock’n’roll vibe to the total before ‘Soulfly XI’ closes the album, the latter being more a kind of acoustic outro, being the calmness after the storm.
‘Ritual’ is the bridge to the earlier Soulfly sound and features. It reflects an uncompromising band that puts a focus on heavy riffs, extreme groove and excellent solos. Soulfly fans can return to the ‘ritual’ of going for a new Soulfly album without having listened to it in advance. Bang your heads.
- Dead Behind the Eyes
- The Summoning
- Evil Empowered
- Under Rapture
- Blood on the Street
- Bite the Bullet
- Soulfly XI
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Groove Metal
Release Date EU: October 19th, 2018