Sound — 9
Now this is more like it! After having a rather nu-metal flavour for their previous efforts, Soulfly's new record comes as a breath of fresh air to those who were findig their older stuff a little stale and dated. Dark Ages, Soulfly's fifth studio output, has a sound that brings back memories of Arise and Chaos A.D. Opener 'Babylon' kicks out a chugging riff to throw you sideways with it's heaviness and screeching chorus, whilst following track 'I and I' is the first of the many thrashier tracks on the alum, with head-breaking speed and ferocity and a blinding solo. First single 'Carved Inside' is possibly one of the best songs Soulfy will ever write, it's brimming with anger and technicality whilst still keeping that tribal rhythm that Max Cavalera is so well known for. Although in my opinion, second single 'Frontlines' is the cream of the crop, nothing but blistering, lightspeed thrash metal. This song is well worth the price of the CD alone. The brutality continues with songs like 'Fuel the Hate' and 'Bleak', a slightly more melodic break in 'Innerspirit', the third single, and the traditional self-titled instrumental (which might I add, is spectacular on this record). So we have the best of everything, heaviness, technicality, melody, tribal rhythms and the phrase 'I don't give a ten times over. Brilliant. But as with all of Soulfly's records, the tribal stuff might not appeal to everyone.
Lyrics — 7
I haven't actually read the lyrics too often to be honest. 'Frontlines' is (yet another) war protest song, although with a chorus reading 'I don't give a f--k, you don't give a f--k' it's not one of the more varied songs lyrically. 'Fuel the Hate' is self explanatory with generic metal lyrics, and that's really as far as I got with lyrics. Admittedly, the lyrics match the instrumentals really well and Max's voice is second to none. I just wish that there was a little (just a little) more singing.
Overall Impression — 9
This albums great. It shows that Max is breaking away from the nu-metal sound that he's harboured since his late Sepultura days and he's finally bringing the thrash back, being a thrash fan, that's somehting I was really pleased to hear. Most impressive songs on the record are Frontlines, I and I, Innerspirit and Soulfly 5, in fact, the whole album is impressive. it's certainly a step up from the rather lacklustre album 'Prophecy', which got too mellow about halfway through the record. Dark Ages balances everything perfectly. Again, the only thing that will really put some people off this album are the tribal rhythms, you'll hate them at first unless you're a Soulfly fan, but they grow on you in the end. The good far outweighs the bad. All in all, one of the most underrated metal albums of the 21st century. The digipak edition contains three bonus tracks; Salmo 91 (an instrumental track) and live renditions of Seek 'N' Strike and Prophecy from The Song Remains Insane DVD.