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Conquer
Conquer
6th album by Soulfly
Released on AUS: July 23, 2008
ROTW: July 29, 2008
Record label Roadrunner
Produced by Max Cavalera
Number of tracks Standard edition: 11
Special edition: 14
iTunes: 16
Duration Standard edition: 57:11
Special edition: 71:00
iTunes: 79:08
Genre(s) Thrash metal, groove metal, death metal
Singles 2
Previous album
Dark Ages
Next album
Omen
Special edition cover
Conquer special

Conquer is the sixth Soulfly album, released in 2008. The album continues the direction left off from Dark Ages with a lot of changing tempos and breakdowns. The making of this album was influenced by Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death and Slayer, as well as the making of the first Cavalera Conspiracy album released earlier in 2008. The special edition of this album is packaged with bonus DVD. Max Cavalera first proposed this album to be titled Cobra, after the Android app he has.

Notable songs on this album are "Unleash", "Blood Fire War Hate", "Touching the Void", "Doom", and the bonus track "The Beautiful People", a Marilyn Manson cover. Conquer is one of three Soulfly albums that doesn't have title nor quasi-title track — the others are 3 and Omen.

Background Edit

Lineup Edit

Conquer has the same lineup as the previous two albums and as well as the next. It is the sixth Soulfly album with vocalist Max Cavalera at the helm, while it is the third for all other members — guitarist Marc Rizzo, bassist Bobby Burns, and drummer Joe Nunez.

Production Edit

Max Cavalera led his bandmates into The Porch Recording Studio in Orlando, Florida on September 12, 2007 to record Conquer with Tim Lau doing engineering duties. They also went to Egypt where they capture ethnic music to be included as interludes and outros for some tracks. Max complimented on recording pieces in Egypt for the album: "I like to mix cultures. Other Soulfly albums were more Eastern / Caucasoid-oriented. Releases of Sepultura was more Brazilian. Egypt is very much affected Conquer. We went there in the City of the Dead. This cemetery, where people continue to live next to the dead. It's crazy, wild and cause tremors. I had no idea that a trip to Cairo has so much influence on this album." The recorded songs were mixed by Andy Sneap at Backstage Recording Studios in Derbyshire, England in early 2008. It was then mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound Studio in New York City.

Max Cavalera stated that songwriting for the album Conquer had been heavily influenced by Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death and Slayer, which he declared would make Dark Ages sound like a pop album. The making was also influenced by the recording of the first Cavalera Conspiracy album just two months prior to the recording of this Soulfly album.

Release Edit

Conquer was officially released on July 23, 2008 in Australia, although the album had leaked early onto file-sharing networks. It was released on July 29, 2008 for the rest of the world, including the United States, Canada, and Europe. Its release label is Roadrunner.

The collector's edition of the album was released, containing three bonus tracks and a DVD. The DVD features a full live concert from Warsaw, Poland on July 13, 2005 and the music video for "Innerspirit" from the previous album Dark Ages. The iTunes edition features 16 tracks, including three studio bonus tracks and two live songs, one of which is a Sepultura cover.

Charting Edit

There were more than 8,400 copies of Conquer CDs solid in the United States during the first week of its release, debuting at #66 on the U.S. Billboard 200, their highest peak since their 2002 release, 3. The country with the highest peak for Conquer was in Germany at #15, followed right by Austria at #16, Belgium at #17, and Australia and Switzerland at #19. Austria and Belgium spent the most times on chart for the album at eight weeks apiece, followed by seven weeks for France, and six weeks for Germany and Switzerland. The chart closest to the US's peak was UK, which peaked at #64.

Chart Weeks Peak
Australia Top 100
2
#19
Austria Top 75
8
#16
Belgium Ultratop 200
8
#17
Dutch Top 100
5
#33
Finland Top 50
1
#20
France Top 150
7
#39
Germany Top 100
6
#15
Italy Top 100
1
#80
Japan Top 250
4
#76
Swiss Top 100
6
#19
UK Top 100
1
#64
US Billboard 200
2
#66
World Top 40
1
#34

Title and cover art Edit

Max Cavalera originally intended to name the album Cobra, after the app on Android he has, but after going over the lyrics of this album after recording was finished, he changed the title to Conquer. Here's the reason for the chosen title according to Max Cavalera — "I think it’s an open title; when I made it, the album was about fear, whatever the kind of fear you have… Conquer fear… it’s a very deep subject. It’s very difficult to conquer your fears. But I think also it has changed: you can conquer music, you can conquer obstacles that’s on your way, problems… You can conquer metal (laughs)… It’s an open title, like Arise was… What’s arising? Who’s arising? I don’t know… It’s just a name, you know. An open name. It’s better to do like this; a lot of fans have their own idea of what is Conquer and what is Arise." He said this saying was inspired by how Alexander the Great conquered fear during his battles.

The three-eyed, ten-limbed creature shown on the regular album cover resembles Yamantaka, the conqueror of death in Buddhism. Each of her six arms holding six battering weapons represent the number of Soulfly studio albums released at the time of Conquer release, plus her foot holds the weapon crafted in Soulfly logo. The special cover shows the skulls completely covering the ground in front of the pyramid with arches. Both of those artworks were created by Android Jones.

Music and lyrics Edit

Conquer continues the musical direction left off from Dark Ages with thrash metal returning as the biggest influence, followed by groove metal and traces of death metal. Other genres like nu metal, tribal and experimental sounds are also featured on this album. Conquer features a lot of changing tempos and plenty of breakdowns. Some of this album's songs resemble the early Sepultura albums Schizophrenia and Beneath the Remains in style.

A majority of the lyrics in Conquer is about war, blood, destruction, suffering, and hatred.

Songs Edit

The first track and second single of the album, "Blood Fire War Hate", features Morbid Angel vocalist David Vincent. "Unleash", the album's lead single, and its accompanying music video features Dave Peters of Throwdown. "Warmageddon" explores war and Armageddon, hence its portmanteau. Its makeup is similar to Sepultura song "Dead Embryonic Cells".

"Fall of the Sycophants" can alternatively be called "Destroy This Fucking Place" due to the fact that this phrase appears in about every other line in lyrics. The intro of "Doom" is copied off the beginning of the Metallica song "Hit the Lights". "For Those About to Rot" has outro recorded by the Nile River in Egypt when Cavalera encounter them and recorded it during his trip. The title "Touching the Void" is inspired by Black Sabbath song "Into the Void" and its music is heavily influenced by Black Sabbath as it contains doom metal and sludgy riffs, with outro recorded by French dub artist Fedaya Pacha. "Soulfly VI" is a progressive rock ballad instrumental that was recorded in a Florida swamp near Orlando.

There are three heavy metal bonus tracks that succeed "Soulfly VI", two of those were originally recorded by another band. "Sailin' On" was first recorded by Bad Brains and "The Beautiful People" was recorded by Marilyn Manson. "The Beautiful People" was recorded and released for the Kerrang! compilation Higher Voltage!: Another Brief History of Rock few months before Conquer began recording. The iTunes version of Conquer contains two more tracks following "The Beautiful People" — Sepultura cover "Roots Bloody Roots" and medley of "Jumpdafuckup" and "Bring It", both recorded live in Poland.

"Burndown" and "Axis of Wrath" were going to be included as tracks, but neither made the cut.

Durations Edit

The standard edition of the album lasts just over 57 minutes, the special edition lasts 71 minutes, and the album on iTunes lasts just over 79 minutes. The longest track on the album is "Touching the Void", lasting nearly seven and a half minutes, while the shortest is "Enemy Ghost", lasting three minutes. Two out of eleven tracks on the standard album last in the order of four minutes, but seven out of eight bonus tracks across both special edition and iTunes last in the order of four minutes.

Tracklist Edit

  1. "Blood Fire War Hate" ("B.F.W.H.") (released as single) (feat. David Vincent) – 4:58
  2. "Unleash" (orig. titled "Wall of Death") (released as single) (feat. Dave Peters) – 5:10
  3. "Paranoia" – 5:30
  4. "Warmageddon" – 5:22
  5. "Enemy Ghost" (orig. titled "War Ghost") – 3:02
  6. "Rough" – 3:27
  7. "Fall of the Sycophants" ("FOTS"; alt. titled "Destroy This Fucking Place") – 5:09
  8. "Doom" – 4:58
  9. "For Those About to Rot" ("FTATR"; orig. titled "Rot") – 6:45
  10. "Touching the Void" – 7:25
  11. "Soulfly VI" (instrumental) – 5:20
Special edition bonus tracks
  1. "Mypath" (alt. titled "Not Yours") – 4:43
  2. "Sailin' On" (Bad Brains cover) – 4:41
  3. "The Beautiful People" (Marilyn Manson cover) – 4:24
iTunes bonus tracks
  1. "Mypath" (alt. titled "Not Yours") – 4:43
  2. "Sailin' On" (Bad Brains cover) – 4:41
  3. "The Beautiful People" (Marilyn Manson cover) – 4:24
  4. "Roots Bloody Roots" (Sepultura cover; live in Warsaw, Poland 2005) – 3:24
  5. "Jumpdafuckup/Bring It" (live in Warsaw, Poland 2005) – 4:43
Collector's edition DVD
Live in Warsaw, Poland 2005
  1. "Prophecy"
  2. "Downstroy"
  3. "Seek 'n' Strike"
  4. "No Hope = No Fear"
  5. "Jumpdafuckup/Bring It"
  6. "Living Sacrifice"
  7. "Mars"
  8. "Brasil"
  9. "No"
  10. "L.O.T.M."
  11. "Porrada"
  12. "Drums"
  13. "Moses"
  14. "Frontlines"
  15. "Back to the Primitive"
  16. "Eye for an Eye"
  17. "Innerspirit" (music video)

Reviews Edit

  • 411MANIA (8/10) – "The album still shows Max and band in the peak of their career. The album proved that metal is still burning brightly and hopefully will continue to do so for years to come."
  • Chad Bower of About.com (4.5/5) – "Outstanding", with "great musicianship and songwriting" and "new styles, sounds and experiments, which also hit the mark."
  • David E. Gehlke of Blistering.com (7.5/10) – "Conquer is pure, classic Max, without the pretentious Brazilian instrumentation and pointless guest spots."
  • Chart Attack (4/5) – "A short break from the recording of the first Cavalera Conspiracy album reignited Max, causing him to release the heaviest Soulfly album yet."
  • 1234SLAYER1234 of Encyclopaedia Metallum (40%) – "Some riffs stick out and catch your ear, however they are often repeated far too many times to remain interesting, plus ambient sections are irritating, lyrics are childish, and bass is inaudible."
  • Dave Pirtle of Last Rites – "Conquer falls somewhere in between Dark Ages and Prophecy in terms of both content and quality. While it is at least equally as heavy as Dark Ages, it does employ much of the instrumentation that was heard on Prophecy (but thankfully, no marching band)."
  • Nikos Patelis of Metal Invader – "Hardcore beatings, extreme thrash speeds and many implements of weird sounds that have nothing to do with metal" and deems the album "dark as hell."
  • Goat of Metal Reviews (90/100) – "Conquer is more rounded than the earlier Cavalera Conspiracy release; it's more of an album rather than a collection of songs, and the inevitable ethnic elements are woven into the fabric of metal rather than remaining separate as we’ve become used to with Soulfly, giving Conquer an almost proggy feel."
  • Lord of the Wasteland of Metal Rules (4/5) – "The long-rumored reunion with his brother and former Sepultura mate [Igor Cavalera] may be ways away yet if Max keeps the momentum going with Soulfly, Conquer is definitely another step on the path to redemption."
  • CorrosiveMind of Metal Underground (3/5) – "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. Also the intricate guitar work truly helps to show Rizzo’s talent as a musician...."
  • Dominic Hemy of Planet LoudConquer is "tighter, heavier, more diverse, more original, and far more engaging than Inflikted."

Personnel Edit

Performers

Band members

Guest/session musicians

Songwriters
Audio engineers
Supervisors
  • Max Cavaleraproduction
  • Gloria Cavalera – management
  • Oasis Management – management
  • Christina Stajanovic – assistant management
  • Bryan Roberts – assistant management
  • Monte ConnerA&R
  • Piotr Wolanski – film direction on DVD
Cover artworkers
  • Android Jones – cover artwork
  • Charles Dooher – art direction
  • Max Cavalera – art direction
  • Mr. Scott Design Inc. – package design
  • Eddie Malluk – band photography
  • Leo Zulueta – Soulfly logo
Booking agents
  • International Talent Booking – booking
  • Ian Sales – booking
  • Rod MacSween – booking
  • Steve Zapp – booking
  • Artist Group International – booking for North America
  • Justin Hirschmann – booking for North America

Album navigation Edit

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Conquer

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Omen

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