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Soulfly - "Conquer" (CD)

Soulfly - "Conquer" CD cover image

"Conquer" track listing:

1. Blood Fire War Hate
2. Unleash
3. Paranoia
4. Warmageddon
5. War Ghost
6. Rough
7. Fall Of Sycophants
8. Doom
9. Rot
10. Touching The Void
11. Soulfly VI

Reviewed by on December 4, 2008

"The intricate guitar work truly helps to show Rizzo’s talent as a musician..."

Blood. Fire. War. Hate. Those are the first words you hear on the new Soulfly album, entitled "Conquer." It starts off with an ominous war and tribal themed intro, and then the chanting of the aforementioned words begins to grow louder. This album picks up where the last album “Dark Ages” left off and seems as if the band hasn’t missed a beat. It’s what you’d expect from Soulfy with a few surprises thrown in the mix.

The album seems to keep up with the theme of most Soulfly records with war and Armageddon being very prevalent topics. “Warmageddon” is the fourth track on the album and its pretty self explanatory. The first two minutes of the song are instrumental, then the vocals kick in and the music gets a bit heavier. The song is full of chugging guitar riffs and features a blistering solo that you can tell is performed by Marc Rizzo. His guitar style has clearly influenced the last couple of Soulfly albums.

As much as I love Soulfly and their sound, the CD isn’t entirely exciting. The guitar work is very good and the music as a whole isn’t bad. I just feel as though the whole war and apocalypse theme has been played out a bit. Still, the music is catchy and if you’re looking for something heavy to head bang to, this will do the job. I visualize this band as more of a live act because they pack so much energy that I can’t help but jump in the pit every time I see them. However, on the last couple of albums the energy hasn’t quite been brought through like in the first two efforts.

The best song on the album is “Fall of the Sycophants” and it’s very fast, thrashy and heavy. The intricate guitar work truly helps to show Rizzo’s talent as a musician and it almost sounds more like his solo work than an actual Soulfly track.

Every album Soulfly makes has an instrumental track. Always titled sequentially “Soulfy I,” “Soulfly II,” “Soulfly III” and well, you get the idea. This album has one of those too. It’s actually kind of pleasant and mellow and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s usually a track thrown in the middle of the album but instead it’s the final track on this one.

There is a “collector’s edition” of this album, which contains the song “Mypath,” a cover of “Sailing On” by Bad Brains, and a cover of “Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson. The song “Mypath” is quite fast, thrashy and pretty much what you’ve come to expect from the band. The cover of Manson, well, I’m a fan of the original but not this one. It’s a different take on a song that’s well known. I’m not even a fan of Manson, but Max’s voice just doesn’t work for the style of vocals used in the original. If you’re a die-hard Manson fan, or liked the original, I’d suggest covering your ears or not listening to it entirely.

Overall “Conquer” is a mediocre album. It’s fast, heavy and has a lot of thrash metal elements, but sometimes returning to your roots (no pun intended) isn’t a good thing. Although it is an overall good effort, it’s just not as good as any other Soulfly album. It’s more thrash-inspired, and I love thrash metal. It’s just done to the point where it feels like they’re trying too hard. I’d still recommend this to any true Soulfly fan, as it’s worth a listen.

Highs: Very thrash inspired and heavy with great guitar work.

Lows: It seems to try too hard, it's uninspired, and not as good as other releases.

Bottom line: Pretty good album. Pick it up if you're a fan of the band.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)