At the dawn of the new millennium, Rolling Stone declared, “SOULFLY seem built to last.” More than two decades, countless worldwide tours, and a dozen albums later, that prophecy rings true.
Underground icon, extreme metal trailblazer, third world warrior, and leader of a diverse and dedicated tribe, Max Cavalera not only survives but thrives, blasting out riff after killer riff.The same voice, body, and spirit which launched SOULFLY in 1997 summons impossibly heavy noise to this day, throwing down ten slabs of monstrous music on SOULFLY’s twelfth album, 2022’s Totem.
Produced by Max alongside Arthur Rizk, whom Revolver described as “the secret weapon behind POWER TRIP, CODE ORANGE, and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY,” Totem attacks without apology. It brims with the blackened-thrash and death metal bite of modern SOULFLY classics like Ritual (2018) and Archangel (2015), with nods to the heavy groove of Primitive (2000) and Prophecy (2004)
“I really dig what Arthur does in the underground scene, with records by bands like OUTER HEAVEN, PISSGRAVE, BLACK CURSE,” Max explains. “Those are crazy productions, man. They’re off-the-wall and crazy-sounding. I wanted a SOULFLY record with a sonic character like that, so Arthur was the perfect guy. At one point during the production, he came up to me and he was like, ‘You know Max, we’re not just doing another SOULFLY record. We’re doing the best SOULFLY record.’ I liked that attitude.”
Among the most prolific musicians in the genre’s history, Max led SEPULTURA from Brazil to the world stage, making fans out of Ozzy Osbourne, DEFTONES, and Dave Grohl along the way. He co-founded NAILBOND, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, GO AHEAD AND DIE, and KILLER BE KILLED, issuing album after album to spirited acclaim from critics and fans. But no project is as singularly identified with Max as SOULFLY, whose gold-selling self-titled debut arrived with unrivaled determination and spirit.
SOULFLY, the moniker Max conjured, is an original portmanteau like "Lookaway” or "Straighthate.” The idea rose from one of the indigenous spiritual practices that inspire Max. "Many South American tribes believe the souls of their ancestors fly around them when they play music.They can even feel the souls of the animals sacrificed to create their instruments.It's heavy shit.”
Max first envisioned SOULFLY as a band with an evolving lineup, eager to “shake the tree” with an infusion of new creative blood from time to time. Many amazing players and guest musicians appear throughout the discography. Totem is the band’s fourth album with Zyon and second with bassist Mike Leon. It’s also the first SOULFLY album without guitarist Marc Rizzo since 2004.
Roughly 25 years since the band began, essential Soulfly bangers like "Jumpdafuckup," "Back to the Primitive," "Downstroy," "Eye for an Eye,” “Ritual,” and “Dead Behind the Eyes” are celebrated live just like Cavalera classics "Roots Bloody Roots," "Refuse / Resist," "Territory," and"Dead Embryonic Cells." Bursting with hunger and energy forged by more than three decades as a heavy metal force, Totem is a suitably brutal, vibrant, extreme, and uplifting entry into the SOULFLY canon.
SOULFLY's savage anthems of aggression push extreme music to its bludgeoning limits while injecting it with brilliant moments of trippy nuance and dissonance. Like all innovative musical heroes, Max makes anthems for the people.SOULFLY is a celebration of family and legacy. Whatever Max Cavalera hammers out on the bridges of his four-string guitars, it always sets souls free.
At the end of the year, SOULFLY will head to Australia to play a couple festivals as well as headlining dates. The trek will feature FEAR FACTORY’s Dino Cazares as a special guest as he has joined the band for the past 2 U.S. tours.