01. Resistance
02. World Scum
03. Intervention
04. Gladiator
05. Legions
06. American Steel
07. Redemption of Man By God
08. Treachery
09. Plata O Plomo
10. Chains
11. Revengeance

RATING: 8/10

All these years later and SOULFY still brings it proper with the kind of tribal-infused thrashing aggression and groove that could only be connected to one man, guitarist/vocalist Max Cavalera. He wasn't the only reason SEPULTURA blazed trails, as evidenced by the more than respectable catalogue of the Derrick Green era, but he damn sure leaves a permanent mark on whatever he touches. SOULFLY celebrates its 15th anniversary in tiptop shape with an album in "Enslaved" that not only roars like a lion; it pounces on its prey like one too.

Along with guitarist Marc Rizzo, bassist Tony Campos (STATIC-X), and drummer David Kinkade (BORKNAGAR, ARSIS, MALEVOLENT CREATION), Cavalera leads an attack that is often up-tempo (yet changed up in all the right places), fierce in a way that straddles the line between death metal and thrash, and written with one foot in the past and one in the present (think "SEPULFLY"). As if that weren't enough, Dez Fafara (DEVILDRIVER) and Travis Ryan (CATTLE DECAPITATION) contribute to the knockout with forceful blows of their own. Collectively then, the sound of "Enslaved" is one that is comfortably familiar, yet never staid, and as heavy as anything we've heard from the band. The songwriting is consistent across an album that reveals several highlights, including a brutal stomper called "World Scum" with its gang shouted chorus and cracking tempo shifts, "American Steel", and "Gladiator", each one a real SOULFLY gem. The pace is slowed for the most part on closers "Chains", an especially dark one, and "Revengeance", a beefy, monstrous, and soul purging cut about Cavalera's slain stepson Dana Wells. The latter song is made extra special by the appearance of stepson Richie (vocals) and sons Igor (vocals) and Zyon (drums).

If there is one thing that is conspicuously absent on "Enslaved" it is filler. The term can't even be applied to album opener "Resistance", an epic intro with a grotesque down tuned riff, drums of thunder, and distorted words spoken by Cavalera declaring that it is better to die a free man than live as a slave. A speeding nod to old school toughness called "Intervention" is similar to "World Scum" for the way it launches itself at the listener, while "Plata O Plomo" (with Tony Campos also contributing on vocals) absolutely shines when Rizzo breaks into some beautiful flamenco guitar.

Neither rules nor boundaries have been broken here. All SOULFLY does is open up a big ole can of Whup Ass on "Enslaved" to go along with songwriting that sticks and performances that are energetic to say the least. If Max has mellowed with age you sure as hell wouldn't know it listening to "Enslaved".


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).