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Prophecy
Prophecy album
4th album by Soulfly
Released on JPN: March 24, 2004
UK & BEL: March 29, 2004
ROTW: March 30, 2004
Record label Roadrunner
Produced by Max Cavalera
Number of tracks Standard edition: 12
Limited edition: 18
Duration Standard edition: 56:46
Limited edition: 78:29
Genre(s) Groove metal, nu metal, alternative metal, world, thrash metal
Singles 1
Previous album
3
Next album
Dark Ages
Limited edition digipak cover
Prophecy2

Prophecy is the fourth Soulfly album, released in 2004. The album showcases a combination of metal music and world music, with the former recorded in Arizona and the latter recorded in Serbia. The album features 12 tracks and the limited edition features five additional tracks recorded live from Hultsfred Festival, including songs from the previous albums and Sepultura covers.

Notable songs on this album are its only single and title track "Prophecy", "Execution Style", "I Believe", "Moses", and "Wings".

Background Edit

Lineup Edit

Max Cavalera recruited a whole new line-up for the fourth album. Joe Nunez was back behind the drum kit having worked on the Primitive album with Marc Rizzo formerly of Ill Niño on guitar. There are two bassists playing as members of Soulfly on ProphecyDavid Ellefson of Megadeth for five tracks plus outro on another and Bobby Burns of Primer 55 for seven tracks.

Cavalera explains on Roadrunner Records website that he wants to use different musicians as part of the group for each album.

"This is an approach that I've wanted to do for a while. I never wanted Soulfly to be a band like Metallica, with the same four guys. On every Soulfly album, we've changed the line-up and it will probably continue that way. In order to do that, I had to start from the inside out and bring in people who caught my attention, that I had never played with before, and create this."

After the release of this album, he would go on to keep these musicians as he felt they worked with him the best.

Production Edit

The album was recorded in fall 2003 in Mesa, Arizona, but all of the world music pieces were recorded in Serbia. While in Serbia, he recruited their well-known punk quintet Eyesburn to come to the studio to collaborate on the song titled "Moses", including Nemanja Kojic (Hornsman Coyote) on vocals. After recordings were done both in Arizona and Serbia, all the songs were mixed in Seattle, Washington, meaning they rearranged and adjusted sounds in order to have good musical flow. The finished songs were then mastered for CD, vinyl and digital download in New York City.

Release Edit

The album Prophecy was released on March 24 in Japan, March 29 in UK and Belgium and March 30 for the rest of the world. This is the fourth of eight Soulfly albums to be released through Roadrunner record label. The limited edition digipak features five live tracks recorded at Hultsfred Festival in Sweden in addition to the twelve tracks that came on the standard release.

Charts Edit

Prophecy reached a peak of #82 on the US Billboard 200 chart and stayed on that chart for one week after the album was released, which is the lowest peak of any country for the album. On the other end is Ö3 Austria Top 40 (actually a top 75 chart despite its name), which reached #15 and stayed on that chart for eight weeks, the most weeks spent of any chart. Prophecy had the second highest peak of all of the Soulfly albums on the Austria chart after their previous album 3, which reached just one step higher than this one. Prophecy is the only Soulfly album to date that charted on the Poland and Portugal charts, reaching #33 on the top 50 and #27 on the top 30 charts, respectively.

Chart Weeks Peak
Australia Top 100
1
#49
Austria Top 75
8
#15
Belgium Ultratop 200
6
#53
Dutch Top 100
5
#51
France Top 150
7
#38
Germany Top 100
6
#24
Poland Top 50
1
#33
Portugal Top 30
1
#27
Swiss Top 100
6
#39
US Billboard 200
1
#82

Title and cover art Edit

Max Cavalera had long believed that faithful people have divine will. He imagined that these people are better predictors towards their pleasant goals. Due to his beliefs, he came up with Prophecy as title for the fourth Soulfly album. Prophecy is a term commonly found in glossaries of spiritual terms. Max said "The title Prophecy is really open. It's not that I have a prophecy. It's like Chaos A.D. with Sepultura. It's an open title to let people pretty much imagine what they want. Let the imagination take over. It's better that way, with the music and some of the lyrics, to be more open and not so black and white."

The standard cover appears to be a tome showing the crowned Lion of Judah holding a flag. The Lion of Judah symbolizes the spiritual protection and victory as well as the Rastafarian movement. The special cover shows the same image as the standard cover but yellower with broader flag surrounded by broad silvery edge.

Music and lyrics Edit

Max Cavelera had shown an interest in world music as shown on the 1996 Sepultura album Roots, featuring musical elements by indigenous peoples in Brazil. This approach continues on Prophecy with Cavalera travelling to Serbia to record with traditional musicians, such as Ljubomir Dimitrijević. Some tracks on the album feature instruments from the Middle Ages, including sheepskin bagpipes and Serbian gypsies.

On the band's website, Max Cavelera said that he founded the band "with the idea of combined sounds and spiritual beliefs." This album encompasses several metal genres – groove metal, nu metal, thrash metal, alternative metal, and even death metal, and as well as several nonmetal genres besides world music, including reggae (especially on the track "Moses"), acoustic, experimental, lounge, and even R&B exclusive to the track "Wings".

Lyrics on the Prophecy album focuses on his spiritual beliefs and faiths with the clearest statement of his beliefs on the track "I Believe" containing a spoken part in the middle where Cavelera expresses his faith.

Songs Edit

"Prophecy" is the only single of the album, released on February 14, 2004, around a month-and-a-half before the apt-titled album itself. The song has stories about tribes destroying cities in the desert then marching to Mountains of Zion. "Living Sacrifice", which could've been released as a single, is about letting the soul travel around the world. "Execution Style" contains the lines 'Ready aim fire', which would abbreviate to "R.A.F.", the song which was removed from the track list before it was finalized. "Defeat U" is the album's shortest song that features Danny Marianino and Mark Pringle on vocals.

"Mars", in the sense of this band, means the god of war, not a planet. The first half of "Mars" is metal while the second half is reggae-influenced acoustic. "I Believe" mentions the story about Cavalera's belief in God and immortality. "Moses" is essentially an reggae-metal song featuring all of the members of the band Eyesburn. The song features a trombone by one of the Eyesburn members, most notably in the beginning.

"Porrada" is a Portuguese title with Portuguese lyrics. "In the Meantime" is a Helmet cover written by Helmet songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Page Hamilton.

"Soulfly IV" is the Soulfly's fourth eponymous instrumental that utilizes several tribal instruments as well as sitar, flamenco guitar and keyboards. Asha Rabouin performs feminine vocals on a uniquely R&B song "Wings", which is the album's closer following the instrumental track. "Wings" contains the hidden track "Marš na Drinu", a brassy composition created by Stanislav Binički in 1916 to celebrate the victory by Serbians in the Serbian War.

All six of the bonus tracks on this album were recorded live at Hultsfred Festival in Sweden, two of those tracks are Sepultura covers and four others are tracks from their first two albums.

Durations Edit

The standard edition of Prophecy lasts 56 and three quarter minutes while the limited edition lasts 78 and a half minutes. The longest track is "Moses", lasting seven and two third minutes, while the shortest is "Defeat U", lasting two and a sixth minutes. On the standard edition containing all of the songs recorded in 2003, exactly half of the twelve tracks last more than five minutes.

Tracklist Edit

  1. "Prophecy" (title track; alt. titled "This Is the Prophecy") (released as single) – 3:35
  2. "Living Sacrifice" – 5:03
  3. "Execution Style" (orig. titled "Xecution"; alt. titled "R.A.F." ("Ready Aim Fire")) – 2:18
  4. "Defeat U" (feat. Danny Marianino and Mark Pringle) – 2:10
  5. "Mars" – 5:23
  6. "I Believe" (orig. titled "Believe") – 5:53
  7. "Moses" (feat. Eyesburn) – 7:38
  8. "Born Again Anarchist" – 3:42
  9. "Porrada" (Portuguese for "Shitload") – 4:07
  10. "In the Meantime" (Helmet cover) – 4:45
  11. "Soulfly IV" (instrumental) – 6:03
  12. "Wings" (contains the hidden track "Marš na Drinu") – 6:03
Limited edition digipak (live at Hultsfred Festival 2001 in Sweden)
  1. "Back to the Primitive" – 4:09
  2. "No Hope = No Fear" – 4:22
  3. "Spit" (Sepultura cover) – 2:32
  4. "Jumpdafuckup/Bring It" – 4:26
  5. "The Song Remains Insane" – 2:19
  6. "Roots Bloody Roots" (Sepultura cover) – 3:58

Reviews Edit

  • John Serba of AllMusic (4/5) – Most well-done album by Max Cavalera possibly since his career with Sepultura. There are many organic influences; the album was tagged the "Bob Marley of metal."
  • Don Kaye of Blabbermouth.net (7/10) – "A strong, if disjointed effort, yet Soulfly itself sounds more and more like a project searching for new ground, instead of a growing and developing rock act."
  • CMJ – "The tracks on Prophecy have worldly textures and a distinct vibe that furthers Soulfly's status as a fluid musical tribe."
  • Kristof of Metalfan.nl (80/100) – "Ethnic and exotic songs made the album complete."
  • Elmar Salmutter of Metal Hammer (6/7) – "A small trip around the world in 55 minutes in which nothing seems contrived, it everything fits together."
  • Aleksie of Metal Reviews (75/100) – "The album experiments with so many different elements that this is not fully a metal album."
  • Vik Bansal of musicOMH – "As if to prove how far Cavalera has come from those late ’80s thrash days, the album is dedicated “to God, the Most High”, and is littered with religious art and professions of faith."
  • Adrien Begrand of PopMatters – "Although a bit inconsistent for about half an hour in the album's second half, the magic is indeed back."

Accolade Edit

In 2005, Prophecy was ranked number 306 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.

Personnel Edit

Performers

Band members

Guest/session musicians

Songwriters
Audio engineers
  • John Gray – engineering, recording, digital editing
  • Sam Hofstedt – additional engineering
  • Staffan Schoier – recording engineering on live tracks
  • Ulf Ostling – recording engineering on live tracks
  • Terry Datemixing
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
Supervisors
  • Max Cavaleraproduction
  • Helena "Nenne" Zetterberg – production on live tracks
  • Soulfly – production on live tracks
  • Gloria Cavalera – executive production, management
  • Christina Newport – management
  • Oasis Management – management
  • Monte ConnerA&R
Cover artworkers
  • 642 – artwork, graphics, photograph
  • Fabien Cornut – artwork, graphics
  • Nick Steever – photograph
  • Leo Zulueta – Soulfly logo
Booking agents
  • Justin Hirschman – booking for USA
  • WAGI – booking for USA
  • International Talent Booking – booking for worldwide
  • Rod MacSween – booking for worldwide
  • Scott Thomas – booking for worldwide

Album navigation Edit

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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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