It's been about 12 years now since singer-guitarist Max Cavalera left Brazilian metal gods Sepultura and formed the Phoenix-based Soulfly. Some fans still haven't gotten over it, but for the most part, his musical efforts over the past dozen years have been an ample salve for the wounded. Often at least as heavy as the band Max departed, Soulfly has brought together primal rhythms, experimental electronics, a few dub/reggae textures, and pummeling riffs in ways that typically please the brutal (yet secretly melody-hungry) hearts of legions of dedicated headbangers. Sure, Max and band dipped into the nü-metal pool there for a couple albums in the early '00s — and caught plenty of flak for it from some of the faithful — but they've steadily and gratifyingly returned to the super-weighty, electrifying, uncompromising, riot-inciting, no-bullshit attack of the early days, particularly on thrashy new disc Conquer, which I bet gives even Slayer's Tom Araya nightmares. There have been whispers of late that Max and his once-long-estranged brother (and Sepultura bandmate) Igor are considering a reunion of the original Sepultura lineup, which I guess would be cool, but Soulfly's recent output in particular has been so strong that, perhaps, the old band is best left to history (or whatever lineup they're trotting out these days).
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