After calling in a herd of mersh-metal guest stars on the previous Soulfly album, Primitive, singer/guitarist Max Cavalera goes back to basics on the bandís third disc. Producing by himself for the first time, he continues to buffer the vehemence he cultivated as the original frontman of Brazilian thrash kings Sepultura with a healthy dose of indigenous sounds from his native land. But as the albumís venomous first single, "Seek íní Strike," attests, the band are more interested in leadfooted power riffing than in radio play this time around.
Which is not to say theyíve forsaken pop: Ill Niño singer Cristian Machado gets spiritual with Cavalera on "One," the prettiest song here. Cavalera saves his most vicious grooves for the discís twin tirades against rock-star bullshit, "L.O.T.M." and "Four Elements," and the series of mellow percussion interludes that punctuate the album give it a stoner-rock vibe. The bandís willfully eclectic approach is summed up by the two cover songs: "One Nation," by American cult thrashers Sacred Reich, and "Sangue de Bairro," by Brazilian rock legend Chico Science. Cavaleraís vision doesnít make for the most cohesive albums, but he continues to excel at creating metal thatís both challenging and accessible.
(Soulfly open for Slayer on Saturday August 17 at the Palladium in Worcester. Call 800-477-6849.)