|9th album by Soulfly|
|Released on|| UK: September 30, 2013|
US: October 1, 2013
JPN: October 2, 2013
EU: October 4, 2013
: December 13, 2013
|Record label||Nuclear Blast|
|Produced by||Terry Date|
|Number of tracks|| Standard edition: 10|
Limited edition: 12
|Duration|| Standard edition: 58:11|
Limited edition: 69:30
|Genre(s)||Groove metal, thrash metal, death metal|
| Previous album|
| Next album|
Savages is the ninth Soulfly album, released in 2013. It is the first Soulfly album to be released on Nuclear Blast, while all of their previous albums were released on Roadrunner Records. It is also the first Soulfly album to have Max's son Zyon as a regular member. Max Cavalera came up with the title Savages because he said today's humans are still savages.
In October 2012, around seven months after the release of Enslaved, drummer David Kinkade retired to focus on his personal life. In early May 2013, Soulfly announced that Max's son, Zyon Cavalera, will be the full-time drummer. Other members from Enslaved returned for Savages — Marc Rizzo on guitar, Tony Campos on bass, and the leader Max Cavalera on vocals and guitar.
The recording for the ninth Soulfly album began in late May 2013 in Studio X in Seattle, Washington. The recording was finished just before U.S. Independence Day. Then the songs were mixed in the same studio and were sent to New York for mastering. The album was produced by Terry Date, who also did mixing work for Soulfly albums 3, Prophecy and Dark Ages. Max said, "I was so excited to work with Terry Date, whom I consider to be one of the best producers of all time."
The United Kingdom was the first country where Savages was released, on September 30, 2013. A day later on the first of the month, the album was released in the United States, then the following day across the Pacific in Japan, and on October 4 it was released for the rest of Europe. Brazil, where Max was born in, will not see its release until December 13.
Savages marks the group's first record to be released on Nuclear Blast Records (their previous eight albums were released on Roadrunner Records). It was released in CD (limited edition digipak with two bonus tracks, and standard jewel case with no bonus tracks), limited edition vinyl, and digital download formats.
The album debuted at #84 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 4700 copies during the first week following the release. Savages is the only Soulfly album that did not chart in Australia (ARIA), but the only one to chart on the Hungary chart (MAHASZ). Every country that charted this album spent only one week on their chart, except for Belgium where it spent seven weeks. The country where the peak reached closest to #1 was Hungary at #37, and four countries peaked in the 40s.
|Austria Top 75|| || |
|Belgium Ultratop 200|| || |
|Finland Top 50|| || |
|France Top 150|| || |
|Germany Top 100|| || |
|Hungary Top 40|| || |
|Japan Top 250|| || |
|Swiss Top 100|| || |
|US Billboard 200|| || |
Title and cover art Edit
The word "savage" takes on a wide meaning surrounding aggression and rank, from primitive to violence. According to Max Cavalera on Blabbermouth, this album is "about the human condition right now. We have the Internet and we're working on missions to Mars, but we are still decapitating each other and blowing up marathons. We're still savages. Even with technology and how far we've come in the world, our spirit is still that of a savage." Max quoted in another interview, "[The title] fits with the rest of Soulfly history; it's a really strong title."
The front cover of Savages depicts the skull embedded in the blue-feathered bush. It is shown with its mouth wide open, like it's screaming. The cover art was designed and laid out by Ted Venemann and created by Paul Stottler by painting it, then Venemann photographed the painting for the front cover of CDs and vinyl, and distribution in the media. The art on digipak cover has the same cover as the standard, but with skull being slightly redder along with red wordmarks.
Music and lyrics Edit
According to reviews, Savages has some of the returning elements from early Soulfly albums, like Soulfly and Primitive, but thrashier with some death metal mixed in it. The album also has more grooves than recent Soulfly albums like Conquer and Omen. Max declared that "all of the things that make Soulfly are combined in Savages."
To go along with the title, the lyrics on this album showcases the elements of savagery including suffocation (such as getting burned), terror and violence that are happening to people of today's world. Many of the lyrics were inspired by the TV series Vice, which premiered six month prior to the release of Savages.
"Bloodshed" is the first of three singles released from the album Savages. It features father-son vocal duet between Max and his son (and Zyon's brother) Igor. "Cannibal Holocaust" is a cannibalistic song about hunting down people and the title is a copy of the film title. "Fallen" features monster-like growls by guest Jamie Hanks of I Declare War. The title of the song "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla" came from the film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. It is the third single of the album and features clean vocals by Clutch's Neil Fallon.
"Master of Savagery" is the quasi-title track and the second single of the album containing grooves similar to earlier Soulfly albums followed by bass solo. The musical elements embedded in "This Is Violence" resembles the album Death Magnetic by Metallica. "K.C.S." (full title is "Kill, Cut, Scalp") features Napalm Death singer Mitch Harris. "El Comegente" features Soulfly bassist Tony Campos singing in Spanish while Max Cavalera sings in Portuguese about the serial killer and cannibal Dorangel Vargas, a.k.a. El comegente, Spanish for "people eater." There is lengthy Led Zeppelin-like acoustic solo featuring the flamenco guitar by Marc Rizzo starting at around five minutes into the track.
The limited edition digipak of Savages comes with two additional tracks — "Fuck Reality" and the band's ninth eponymous instrumental "Soulfly IX", which is acoustic-filled and containing elements of jazz, reggae, and lounge.
The standard edition of Savages lasts for a total of 58 minutes and 11 seconds over ten tracks, while the digipak edition lasts 69 minutes and 30 seconds over twelve tracks. Roughly eight out of ten tracks on the standard edition and ten out of twelve on the digipak last five minutes or more, which is the most of any Soulfly album. "El Comegente" is the longest track of the album, lasting eight-and-a-quarter minutes. "Cannibal Holocaust" is the shortest track at three-and-a-half minutes, and one of the tracks lasting less than five minutes along with "This Is Violence".
- "Bloodshed" (released as single) (feat. Igor Cavalera Jr.) – 6:55
- "Cannibal Holocaust" – 3:29
- "Fallen" (feat. Jamie Hanks) – 5:55
- "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla" (released as single) (feat. Neil Fallon) – 7:29
- "Master of Savagery" (quasi-title track) (released as single) – 5:10
- "Spiral" – 5:34
- "This Is Violence" (alt. titled "Violence") – 4:23
- "K.C.S." ("Kill, Cut, Scalp") (feat. Mitch Harris) – 5:16
- "El Comegente" (Spanish for "People Eater") – 8:17
- "Soulfliktion" – 5:39
- Limited edition digipak bonus tracks
Reviews of Savages is slightly positive by critics with the aggregated score of 64% by Metacritic.
- Matt Hinch of About.com (3.5/5) – "For the most part, Savages is fairly typical Soulfly. It's a mix of the new and old without flip-flopping song to song, yet still way more aggressive and thrashy than their first three albums."
- The Age of Metal – "Savages is a chug fest packed full of attitude, body melting break downs and thought-provoking lyrics."
- James Christopher Conger of AllMusic (4/5) – This album continues the Soulfly tradition, "meant to be taken as both a warning and a rebel yell, offering up an audio invoice for our past transgressions and a shot of adrenaline for the war ahead."
- Blabbermouth.net (8/10) – This album's riffing connects well with Soulfly.
- Grande Rock (4/10) – "The songwriting formula is so predictable, generic and overdone (by Max) that it’s tiresome at long last. Certain song structures, same rhythms, bland melodies and pointless aggressiveness. Max probably needs a break so as to relax and fill his batteries again."
- Ryan of GutterBubbles – "It may be the most straightforward album that Max Cavalera has ever released." The album has "full of lean, brutal Max-style metal."
- Kerrang! (2/5) – This album has "too many songs utilising the same plodding, mid-paced grooves and simple, one-line refrains."
- J. Arielle of Killyourstereo.com (85/100) – "Savages shows Soulfly's musical evolution as in places it strays away from the aggressive and fast paced sounds that they previously used. There are also some great heavy tracks within to please all Soulfly fans, old and new. The guitar work is solid, the vocals are precise and there is even a hint of some cleans going on."
- Matt Longo of Last Rites – "This is a safe album for Soulfly, far cry from the thrash/death delivery of Enslaved. The band has regressed to an older, simpler version of itself — lacking recent focus, classic ferocity, and needed innovation."
- Robert Popovic of Live Reviewer (3.4/5) – With the release of Savages, "it is clear that not one hair on Max’ head is thinking of ever dropping Soulfly." Though he felt that "Max isn’t as angry as he used to be."
- AJ_Dias_ZA of Metacritic – "It is a more progressive, sometimes more psychedelic one, that when paired with Soulfly's trademark thrash/groove/tribal/world music sound sends forth an unrelenting behemoth of an album."
- Danm95VFF of Metacritic – "The lyrics are primitive (no pun intended) and Max Cavalera seems to re-use ideas from his previous works. It's often difficult to distinguish one track from another."
- Luke Saunders of The Metal Forge – "Overall, Savages lacks creative spark, despite the best efforts of Rizzo in particular, and the numerous dull marks and bloated length hampers the overall impact of the album."
- Sascha Dörr of METALNEWS.DE (6.5/7) – "Savages is consistently brutal, clearly different, and covers almost all the areas that Soulfly ever had." The riffs are "really primitive. The foundation is solid and unbreakable, the songs excellently expanded and do not overload."
- Goat of Metal Reviews (65/100) – Many songs on this album are unnecessarily long, dull, don't have many hooks and have less bite to it.
- musicOMH (6/10) – This album signals an end of bad situations.
- Record Collector (8/10) – "Savages is a feisty record that returns to the familiar blend of hardcore, thrash and groove metal."
- RockMusicStar.com – "Savages is a true metal masterpiece; it is uncompromising, relentless, and contains some of the heaviest riffs that Cavalera has ever composed."
- Rock Sins (7/10) – "The album didn't reinvent Soulfly as a group as it is a straight up metal record just like Soulfly have written for the past fifteen years."
- Scott Jessup of Sea of Tranquility (4.5/5) – The album showcases "intense mixture of gigantic riffs and grooves the band is known for, incorporating thrash and death metal and this is not an album packed with short songs or full of flat out speedsters."
- Soundcrave Magazine – "It's a perfectly produced and balanced out album. Certainly a must pick up for any metal fan."
- GordDaBoy of Stereokiller (2/5) – "Entirely too long, with riffs that don't fit and terrible transitions in between the gnar."
- Frank Rini of Teeth of the Divine – Was surprised that the intensity it experienced on Enslaved regressed on Savages.
- Max Cavalera – lead vocals, four-string rhythm guitar, didgeridoo on "Bloodshed", sitar
- Marc Rizzo – lead guitar, flamenco guitar, sitar
- Tony Campos – bass guitar, acoustic bass guitar and Spanish vocals on "El Comegente"
- Zyon Cavalera – drums, percussion
- Igor Cavalera Jr. – additional vocals on "Bloodshed"
- Jamie Hanks – additional vocals on "Fallen"
- Neil Fallon – additional vocals on "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla"
- Mitch Harris – additional vocals on "K.C.S."
- Max Cavalera – lyrics, music
- Neil Fallon – lyrics on "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla"
- Tony Campos – lyrics on "El Comegente"
- Audio engineers
- Terry Date – production
- Gloria Cavalera – management
- Oasis Management – management
- Bryan Roberts – assistant management
- Christina Stojanovic – assistant management
- Bryan K. Christner – legal representation
- Monte Conner – A&R
- Cover artworkers
- Paul Stottler – front and back cover art, bone design
- Ted Venemann – layout, photography, bone design
- Leo Zulueta – Soulfly logo
- Booking agents
- International Talent Booking – booking
- Rod MacSween – booking
- Steve Zapp – booking
- Artist Group International – booking for North America
- Justin Hirschman – booking for North America
- Cliff Roman – assistant booking for North America
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