Making thrash metal and might into a family affair
“New millennium tribal war”: these lyrics ring in the ears of anyone acquainted with Soulfly's ultra heavy and world-music inspired metal. Thursday night saw the return of these tribal metal rockers to the Danish capital, and expectations ran high as Soulfly are somewhat regular performers on the Danish metal scene, having performed numerous times both at various locations in Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark.
As expected, Soulfly delivered a consistent yet face-melting performance with plenty of room for entertaining the audience, yet not refraining from performing a well-calibrated set of older and newer songs. Fans of the famous ‘80s thrash metal band Sepultura, which Soulfly's legendary vocalist Max Cavalera immortalised, were also treated nicely as Max and his troopers played numerous tracks from the Sepultura heydays.
Billed to support the band were Lody Kong, a groove/thrash metal quartet boasting two younger Cavaleras, Igor and Zyon, both Max’s sons. Despite their young age, Lody Kong played well, but struggled with technicalities throughout their small set. Next up on the bill was Incite, who play a similar concoction of metal, but with a much more aggressive approach. Vocalist Richie Cavalera (yet another Cavalera) tried with all his might to get the rather static audience moving. Incite performed a commendable warm up, yet experienced similar sound difficulties.
As soon as darkness swept the auditorium, the audience roared to receive the night's stars. Soulfly entered to the instantly recognisable squealing guitar of the track ‘Prophecy’. This was a perfect choice for an opening track, but the ‘oomph’ was non-existent, probably due to sound difficulties – the bass and rhythm guitar lacked volume to penetrate the audience. Luckily this problem was fixed eventually, and the entire Soulfly expression could be witnessed in rib-rattling tracks such as ‘Seek N Strike’ and ‘Back to The Primitive’. The audience did their fair share of moshing to crowd pleasers like ‘Execution Style’ and the traditional circle pit action commenced to wide enjoyment.
Having an ever-changing line-up with only Max as a founding member is usually not a sign of a successful band. Yet this time, the addition of his son Zyon as the man beating the animal skins was a wonderful surprise. The 20-year-old drummer plays with precision and edge, and the father-song dynamism is heartwarming. Seeing Max bring his family on the road indicates his fatherly side and his love of family, yet his involving family in his musical endeavours also shows that family cannot compromise his love of music and performing. Rather, he combines the two with great success.
Igor Cavalera also re-entered the stage to perform ‘Revengeance’ along with his father, a thumping fistpumping track from the latest release Enslaved. To seal the night off, Soulfly performed tracks like ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ and ‘Eye for an Eye’, and the audience erupted in satisfaction. Soulfly is a fantastic live band whose tribal metal is best witnessed live. I hope to see them return yet again.