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Omen
Omen
7th album by Soulfly
Released on JPN: May 18, 2010
GER: May 21, 2010
EU: May 24, 2010
ROTW: May 25, 2010
Record label Roadrunner
Produced by Max Cavalera, Logan Mader
Number of tracks Standard edition: 11
Special edition: 14
Duration Standard edition: 40:34
Special edition: 51:37
Genre(s) Thrash metal, groove metal, hardcore punk
Singles 1
Previous album
Conquer
Next album
Enslaved
Special edition cover
Omen special

Omen is the seventh Soulfly album, released in 2010. The song elements in this album are similar to the previous album Conquer, but they are shorter and more aggressive, adding up to the band's second shortest album to date. The figures on the front cover to the right are based from the Tusken Raiders of Star Wars.

Notable songs on this album are "Rise of the Fallen" (the only single of the album), "Lethal Injection", "Jeffrey Dahmer", "Bloodbath & Beyond", and Sepultura cover "Refuse/Resist".

Background Edit

Max Cavalera stated about the songwriting process for the band's seventh album, "We're thinking about making the songs a little shorter, so if you can imagine maybe a little bit like Minor Threat mixed with [Slayer's] Reign in Blood mixed with Soulfly, with still some world music, but much smaller, and the songs not so long — shorter. It'll be more aggressive than Conquer even, because it'll be shorter — it'll be like when Slayer did Reign in Blood, [that] kind of thing."

Lineup Edit

Omen is the fourth consecutive Soulfly album to have the same regular lineup (since Prophecy, released six years prior), but it is the last album to feature bassist Bobby Burns and drummer Joe Nunez before they were departed. Marc Rizzo performs lead guitar on this album as well as flamenco guitar in few of the tracks. Frontman Max Cavalera mainly performs vocals and fretting four-string rhythm guitar as always, as well as occasional sitar.

Production Edit

Soulfly entered the Edge of the Earth Studios in Los Angeles, California on November 6, 2009 to begin recording their seventh album with Max Cavalera and Logan Mader both producing. They recorded mainly in El Roacho Recording Studio but drums were recorded in the neighboring studio The Lair. The recording was finished on December 13, 2009.

Release Edit

In 2010 Omen was released through the Roadrunner label. It was released in Japan on May 18, in Germany on May 21, and then other parts of Europe on May 24. It was released everywhere else around the world on May 25, including the United States and Australia. The album was originally set to release on May 4.

Omen comes with special edition containing three additional tracks after the last standard track, all are covers of original songs by another band, including "Refuse/Resist" by Sepultura. The pack also comes with bonus DVD containing songs played live from With Full Force Festival in Germany.

Charts Edit

The album reached #73 on the Billboard 200 US chart. It is also charted on Japan Oricon at #63, the highest peak of any Soulfly album released in Japan. Omen was the #1 album on the Greece chart. It barely made the World Top 40 chart at #40. France spent the longest time of any chart at six weeks, followed by Belgium at five weeks, and Germany at four weeks.

Chart Weeks Peak
Australia Top 100
1
#38
Austria Top 75
3
#19
Belgium Ultratop 200
5
#50
Dutch Top 100
2
#42
Finland Top 50
1
#44
France Top 150
6
#58
Germany Top 100
4
#13
Greece Top 75
2
#1
Japan Top 250
2
#63
NZ Top 40
1
#30
Swiss Top 100
2
#15
US Billboard 200
1
#73
World Top 40
1
#40

Title and cover art Edit

While touring for Soulfly in UK, Cavalera saw a spray paint on the wall and it just said 'Omen'. He immediately went on to propose that Omen will be the title of the Soulfly's seventh album. The proposed album title was confirmed on November 13, 2009, about one week into the recording.

The seven figures in album art of Omen (on the standard cover there are three on the front cover and four more on the back), are meant to represent that this is Soulfly's seventh studio album. Each of the seven figures, inspired by the fictional Star Wars creatures the Tusken Raiders, were also meant to represent each of the seven deadly sins from what they hold in their hands. In fact, Cavalera saw David Ho's stylized depiction of Tusken Raiders created for LucasArts and requested an album cover similar in style. Travis Smith laid out the art and Ho made the cover for the Soulfly album. The special cover again shows the Tusken Raiders but obviously a different picture where four are easily seen standing behind one another unlike the standard cover that shows the soldiers standing side-by-side.

Music and lyrics Edit

Omen resembles Cavalera-led Sepultura album Chaos A.D. in musical elements, though flavoring is bit different. It continues musical and lyrical aggression since Dark Ages, but having more punk elements, while thrash metal and groove metal are the main genres. The seventh album continues the build-up influences of death metal since it debuted in traces back in their fourth album Prophecy. Unlike the previous six Soulfly albums, Omen lacks the use of tribal instruments. Cyber tones can occasionally be heard on Omen, such as in the tracks "Rise of the Fallen" and "Mega-Doom".

The lyrics on this album were written about violence, wars, killings, end of the world (doom), and uplift. The song "Jeffrey Dahmer" contains lyrics about the cannibal serial killer of the same name, while "Lethal Injection" deals about that method of poisoning.

Songs Edit

Omen's leadoff track is "Bloodbath & Beyond", which the title was inspired when the tour bus where Max was on passed by Bed Bath & Beyond store and then he punned it. "Rise of the Fallen", the only single released from the album, features Static-X-like riff with cyber tones, then a sitar signals the death metal riff to roll in. The song features Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan. "Great Depression" plays such a thrashy riff that it sounded like train derailing, before abruptly settling down into Hellhammer-like riff for choruses. "Lethal Injection" features Prong vocalist Tommy Victor and the song contains Prong-like elements in it. "Kingdom" showcases an unusually melodic vocals by Max Cavalera.

The title "Off with Their Heads" was inspired from the punk rock band Off with Their Heads. "Vulture Culture" is a rhyming song title that has hints of Nailbomb sounds and punky riffs.

"Soulfly VII" is the seventh Soulfly-titled instrumental track that has tropical music vibe to it.

The special edition features three more tracks following "Soulfly VII". "Four Sticks" is a Led Zeppelin cover and is also instrumental but of metal variety. "Refuse/Resist" was basically recorded by Max Cavalera for the second time, one for Sepultura and one for Soulfly. The Soulfly song features teenager and Max's son Zyon on drums, whom he was featured as fetus' heartbeat at the very beginning of the Sepultura song. "Your Life, My Life" features another Max's son Igor on drums and the song was originally recorded by Excel.

Three songs that were intended to be on this album weren't recorded, including the title track "Omen", "Apocalyptic Clash", and "7 Daggerz". Following the omission of the proposed title track, Omen is one of three Soulfly albums that doesn't have title nor quasi-title track — the others are 3 and Conquer.

Durations Edit

Omen was the band's shortest standard edition album, at just over forty and a half minutes, until Archangel was released five years after Omen came out. The special edition lasts just over 51 and a half minutes, which kept the streak going for Soulfly albums containing all of the studio recording to last at least 50 minutes until the release of Archangel. This whole album including the bonus tracks does not have any song lasting at least 300 seconds or five minutes, the only Soulfly album to not have any. The longest track on the album is the Led Zeppelin cover "Four Sticks", which lasts 279 seconds or 4 and two third minutes. The shortest track is the leadoff track "Bloodbath & Beyond at 150 seconds or two and a half minutes. Counting the bonus tracks, nine songs last less than four minutes, which is tied with Soulfly and Archangel for most.

Tracklist Edit

  1. "Bloodbath & Beyond" – 2:30
  2. "Rise of the Fallen" ("ROTF") (released as single) (feat. Greg Puciato) – 4:32
  3. "Great Depression" – 3:57
  4. "Lethal Injection" (feat. Tommy Victor) – 3:05
  5. "Kingdom – 3:54
  6. "Jeffrey Dahmer" – 2:52
  7. "Off with Their Heads" ("OWTH") – 4:22
  8. "Vulture Culture" – 4:01
  9. "Mega-Doom" (alt. titled "Visions") – 3:04
  10. "Counter Sabotage" – 3:50
  11. "Soulfly VII" (instrumental) – 4:22
Special edition bonus tracks
  1. "Four Sticks" (instrumental; Led Zeppelin cover) – 4:39
  2. "Refuse/Resist" (Sepultura cover; feat. Zyon Cavalera) – 3:10
  3. "Your Life, My Life" (Excel cover; feat. Igor Cavalera Jr.) – 3:13
Deluxe edition DVD
Live at the With Full Force Festival, Germany on July 3, 2009
  1. "Blood Fire War Hate"
  2. "Sanctuary" (Cavalera Conspiracy cover)
  3. "Prophecy"
  4. "Back to the Primitive"
  5. "Seek 'n' Strike"
  6. "Living Sacrifice"
  7. "Enemy Ghost"
  8. "Refuse/Resist" (Sepultura cover)
  9. "Doom"
  10. "L.O.T.M."
  11. "Molotov"
  12. "Drums"
  13. "Warmageddon"
  14. "Polícia" (Titãs/Sepultura cover)
  15. "Unleash"
  16. "Roots Bloody Roots" (Sepultura cover)
  17. "Jumpdafuckup"
  18. "Eye for an Eye"
  19. "Unleash" (music video)

Tentative tracklist Edit

The following was the tentative track listing of Omen as of March 26, 2010. The listing has since been shuffled except for the first two tracks and the final four tracks including the bonus tracks.

  1. "Bloodbath & Beyond"
  2. "Rise of the Fallen"
  3. "Counter Sabotage"
  4. "Jeffrey Dahmer"
  5. "Lethal Injection"
  6. "Great Depression"
  7. "Mega-Doom"
  8. "Kingdom"
  9. "Off with Their Heads"
  10. "Vulture Culture"
  11. "Soulfly VII"
  12. "Four Sticks" (bonus track)
  13. "Refuse/Resist" (bonus track)
  14. "Your Life, My Life" (bonus track)

Reviews Edit

  • Jay H. Gorania of About.com (4/5) – "It is brutal and fast, though not necessarily as intense or interesting as the releases marking Cavalera's early and mid-period work. Yet this is a transition from what has become a mediocre band to one that sounds vital and refreshing."
  • Gregory Heaney of AllMusic (4/5) – "Omen is like thrash metal comfort food."
  • Gears of Rock (5/5) – "Cavalera has dropped another huge atomic hit on Omen."
  • Patrick Verhoeven of Lords of Metal (86/100) – "Omen, without even a moment being a copy of the earlier work, is a typical Soulfly album, full of boundless energy and pure, raw thrash. Well done Max!"
  • Aditya Mehta of Mehta Kya Kehta? – "Omen has short, no-bullshit songs that have timely changes, chuggy riffs, great dynamics, highly enjoyable guitar solos and Max fucking Cavalera in top form."
  • Pandie Suicide of Metal Assault (8.5/10) – "Production is close to perfect, capturing the raw, gritty essence of metal yet combining it with clear, delicious, recording, mixing and production that ensures nothing is lost in the assault of heaviness being thrown at us, while still maintaining the integrity of the style of music."
  • The Metal Observer (8/10) – "This album proves that Soulfly are still moving into new territory with focuses on more hardcore elements and thrashy moments, but its lack of tribal elements and subdued use of Rizzo’s amazing guitar talent tend to make it feel more like a step backwards from the last album."
  • Axl Rosenberg of MetalSucks – "It is by and large, far less nu-metally and considerably more old-Sepultura-ish than Soulfly has been in the past. Hell, a lot of the songs on the release are Sepulturic enough that they could be Cavalera Conspiracy songs."
  • Dasher10 of Metal Underground (1/5) – "It's almost like Max sleepwalked through songwriting, making the most generic and uninspired music that he's made since Primitive. Correction, the most generic and uninspired music that Max has ever made, period."
  • MetalMattLongo of Mind Over Metal – "Omen contains some of the band’s finest moments in years as these veteran musicians have really come into their own, displaying a maturity matched only by their ferociousness."
  • PopMatters (5/10) – "Cavalera sounds more focused than usual, his lyrics are more angry than spiritual, the band leans more towards thrash than nu-metal, and the production keeps things rather simple, clean and loud as all mainstream metal, but always emphasizing the physicality of the rhythm riffing."
  • John Daly of Reflections of Darkness (7/10) – "Omen is a good album, with a few good tracks, yet it doesn’t stand out as a whole and it lacks a certain feeling which normally adds a touch of “magic” to Max Cavalera’s output."
  • Sonic Abuse – "Max has continued the streak of excellence that has marked much of his recent output and created a concise thrash album that is relevant, timely and hugely enjoyable."
  • Sphere Magazine – "Soulfly have stepped up the game that they have grounded since 1998. They have managed to branch out from the roots that were planted and grow those extra branches, making a newer and far richer sound."
  • Sputnikmusic (3.5/5) – It "exhibits the same rough formula but unlike other Soulfly albums these tracks display a higher level of writing style, musical ability and a better use of creative ideas in a more mature and cohesive manner."
  • Fred Phillips of Teeth of the Divine – "Like Dark Ages and Conquer, Omen still has a few leftovers from the more commercial sound of Soulfly’s early days, but they’re fading and easily being overpowered by the tribal thrash that we know and love."

Personnel Edit

Performers

Band members

Guest/session musicians

Songwriters
Audio engineers
  • Logan Maderengineering, mixing, mastering
  • Frank Machel – film editing on DVD
  • John Sherwood – film production on DVD
  • Matthias Mirke – film production on DVD
  • Ross Levine – film production on "Unleash" (music video)
  • Carol Ann Macahilig – DVD authoring
  • Marc Schettler – audio mixing on DVD
Supervisors
  • Max Cavaleraproduction
  • Logan Mader – co-production
  • Gloria Cavalera – management
  • Oasis Management – management
  • Bryan Roberts – assistant management
  • Cliff Roman – assistant management
  • Christina Stojanovic – assistant management
  • Monte ConnerA&R
  • Frank Machel – film direction on DVD
  • Robert Sexton – film direction on "Unleash" (music video)
  • Tom Hutten – DVD coordination
Cover artworkers
  • David Ho – cover art
  • Gail Marowitz – art direction
  • Myriam Santos-Kayda – band photography
  • Kevin Estrada – back cover photography
  • Travis Smith – layout
  • Leo Zulueta – Soulfly logo
Booking agents
  • Justin Hirschman – booking
  • Rod MacSween – booking
  • Ian Sales – booking
  • Steve Zapp – booking

Album navigation Edit

Soulfly

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Primitive

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3

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Prophecy

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Dark Ages

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Conquer

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Omen

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Enslaved

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