Soulfly: Metal Icons

Good Things Festival Lineup is STACKED - do not miss these Brazilian gods!
Josh Groom
November 22, 2022
Manning Bar

If you're headed to Good Things Festival you already know that the lineup is an absolute BEAST.

If you don't have them tickets yet - get em NOW. Get em HERE.

But just in case you weren't aware of the lineage of this truly wicked band - let's do a quick recap.

Soulfly is the mighty phoenix that rose from the ashes after a messy end to the first chapter of Sepultura - the OG groove metal legends from Brazil.

Formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, Sepultura were the heaviest, thrashiest, most intense and undeniable band on the planet. They really found their identity in the early to mid-nineties, delivering three of the finest albums in the genre to this day - Arise, Chaos AD and Roots - each one a iconic slab of brutal hardcore, driven by thunderous Brazilian percussion. Max's voice is a weapon and his punctuation grunts underlined the unapologetic political message of the band.

His guitar style is entirely unique, he's known for playing his guitar with only four strings; with the B and high E strings opted out.

The inspiration struck when he broke both strings one day and he did not bother to replace them. A friend later commented that the guitar looked better without them, thus it became his trademark.

From these three albums alone came a punishing plethora of crushing and unforgettable tracks, including Territory, Rattamahatta, Dead Embryonic Cells, Roots Bloody Roots and Refuse/Resist, just to name a few. If you're not familiar with Sepultura - these tracks are a great place to start.

Sidenote - that heartbeat sample on the intro to Refuse/Resist is Max Cavalera's then unborn son Zyon in-utero. He is now the drummer and percussionist for Soulfly.

During this extremely fertile period for Sepultura, Max and Igor collaborated with Alex Newport of noise metal outfit, Fudge Tunnel to form the band Nailbomb.

This unit put out just one studio album - followed by a recording of their only live performance at 1995's Dynamo Open Air Festival, entitled 'Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide.'

The collective disbanded shortly after the show - but the live album is pretty much perfect from start to finish - a savage obliteration of a performance. They play the set with the unbridled urgency of musicians on fire - a furious middle finger to the rising tide of over-produced, disposable pop flooding the market.

After Sepultura tore itself apart ( which I won't go into - as it was messy and there are conflicting reports ), Max was invited by the Deftones ( also performing at Good Things 2022 ) to feature on 'Head Up' from their second album, 'Around the Fur.'

It was during this extremely violent vocal session with Chino that the term Soulfly was born.

Soulfly then exploded onto the metal scene with a self-titled album that blended nu-metal with thrash and groove, whilst still maintaining those apocalyptic drum lines and cataclysmic riffs. It's an absolutely huge album, infectious and primal - a guttural roar, filled with rage, blistered by sadness and a meaningful tribute to Dana Wells, Max's stepson and best friend who passed during the making of the album.

The band has gone on the release 12 studio albums - the most recent being this year's 'Totem' - 40 minutes of unrelenting chaos that is easily as heavy as anything the band has delivered, whilst also making room for musical invention and vocal debauchery.

It's melodic, it's weird ( in the best possible way ) and it keeps the malicious aggro at the forefront.

In short - this is a band you need to see live.

Either at Good Things Festival or one of their sideshows - this will be a very special lineup, featuring Dino Cazeres of Fear Factory as a special guest.


Good Things Festival

Sydney Sideshow

All photos by Josh Groom.

Watch gig →
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