After losing his way on 3 and then finding his feet once more on Prophecy, Max Cavalera feels that Soulfly returned to his thrash metal roots with their fifth studio album, 2005's Dark Ages and then followed it up with an album that "people thought was even better"in 2008's Conquer.
In this 4th part of our 5-part Discography series with Soulfly's mainman, Cavalera walks us through the making of these two albums before bringing us full circle to the band's current release Omen tomorrow. Read his insights below and be sure to check back for the final installment tomorrow!
"Dark Ages was a complete departure from anything commercial. We went heavy all the way. It’s a black album cover, it’s a dark album with songs like ‘Frontlines’, ‘Carved Inside’, ‘Babylon’ and ‘I and I’.
It’s a return to the thrash metal feeling from the Sepultura days, I rewrote a lot of riffs that had been inside me for a long time.
It was a dark time too- we had the death of Dimebag in the same month we were in the studio, and my first grandson also died. That’s where the name Dark Ages came from.
I think it was a very strong record all the way through. I got to know the guys better and Marc became more and more exciting with the guitar, doing more things. He wanted to play fast all the time – we were like “How much faster can you go?!” He had a good influence on the band – he was really into the whole thrash metal thing, and he loves bands like Slayer and ‘Arise’-era Sepultura. He reminded me that I had this fire inside, which I think I’d forgotten. He brought that out."
"Conquer was recorded in Orlando in a house. One of Bobby’s (Burns, bassist) friends, Tim, had a studio, he’s a metalhead with Slayer posters all over the wall. It was cool. It was like a friend that you had 20 years ago, and you go stay in his house. He was totally into the music, and he helped me produce and engineer the record.
The first thing we did on Conquer was a collaboration with David Vincent from Morbid Angel on ‘Blood Fire War Hate’. That started the album off like… well… serious business! You had to wonder how we could get heavier after that kind of song. We also had ‘Unleash’, which was the single, with Dave from Throwdown. They’re one of the best hardcore bands around today. The rest was all our own material, ‘Enemy Ghost’, ‘Warmageddon’ – stuff that we still play today, really strong songs, but I think ‘Blood Fire War Hate’ is the strongest one.
Conquer got really amazing reviews. A lot of people really like it. It came out of Dark Ages which people thought was our best album, but people thought this was even better."
If you missed any of the previous parts of Max Cavalera going through Soulfly's catalog, check them out in the links below:
Soulfly's latest album Omen is out now. Get it online RIGHT HERE.