Soulfly “Live Ritual NYC MMXIX”

As the world stops due to the pandemic, any music, any sound, any conversion of energy is eagerly swallowed up in kind. Presented with the new Soulfly EP recorded back in February in NYC, the anticipation is palpable. The play button is pressed and soon the drums fill my auditory headspace followed by Max Cavalera’s gruff voice that The Summoning has begun and before you scream ‘Bring it!’ the explosion of noise drives the soul upward. This mass injection of anarchy driven punk metal music releasing endorphins rarely felt in recent times.

Once you’re immersed in the sound, you can feel the energy all around you. The chaotic and speed driven solos, especially during I and I from Marc Rizzo are incendiary. The breakdowns vibrating like a steam locomotive powering up.

The 7-set track list is heavily weighted towards the current album Ritual and during Under Rapture Max takes on both vocals through that slow grooving head banging chorus. There are nods to the beginning with the turbo charged punk rocker Fire that is dealt out in under two minutes.

When you watch a Soulfly show, it’s all about getting the crowd moving be it via a circle pit, moshing or singing and Max is a powerful ringmaster in this world. It doesn’t matter that there are mistakes, the rough sounding guitars and vocals all add up to what a Soulfly show is about; spontaneity and anarchy wrapped in metal riffs.

Ritual has Max, never shy of utilising indigenous music in his songs, in full force imploring the crowd through the Native American chant that flows throughout the song before bringing the EP home with Back To The Primitive.

During this crisis, this is the best we can hope for in live music, a blast of disorderly mayhem, crushing sounds and the imagination that you are there in person. This EP does it best to put you down the front, chanting with your people and having a great time. Soon we all will be.

Album Review By Iain McCallum

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