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Soulfly

Although we were all raised to not judge a book (or a CD) by its cover, an exception can be made with Soulfly's sixth studio effort, Conquer.

The cover depicts an ancient warrior with six arms holding six different weapons. Forget that little crisis in the Middle East; the real war is the one metal legend Max Cavalera and his bandmates have declared on the music industry.

Whereas the first three Soulfly albums featured different artists backing Cavalera, Conquer is the third straight album featuring the same band. With the members seeming comfortable and trusting each other's talents, Conquer offers listeners a more mature and progressive sound.

As a whole, Conquer may expand Soulfly's legacy much like the Black Album did for Metallica. Instead of writing a typical multi-metered metal album from start to finish, Conquer is chock-full of tempo, dynamic, speed and melody changes.

"Touching the Void" is Cavalera's salute to heavy-metal pioneers Black Sabbath. In what Cavalera refers to as "slow doom metal," the riffs are scaled back and ultra-distorted, and would surely make riff-master Tony Iommi proud.

Continuing a trend of traveling to foreign countries to collaborate with native musicians, Cavalera took a trip to Egypt that set the tone for Conquer. Cavalera recorded a jam session he had with a gypsy band by the Nile River, which resulted in the spine-chilling outro to "For Those About to Rot."

Tracks like "Blood Fire War Hate," "Unleash" and "Fall of the Sycophants" offer lessons in brutality, cementing Cavalera's legacy in the metal history books.

More by Jon Hobson

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