Soulfly are on the road promoting their 2015 album Archangel. Landing in Brighton for the final stage of the UK leg, the show featured heavy weight support from Incite and Australia’s King Parrot.
Storm Imogen heralded the bands’ arrival with a fierce gale and crashing waves on Concorde II’s doorstep. If metal is about one thing, it’s drama and the night was set for plenty of that.
Despite this being Soulfly’s tenth studio album, this was always going to be about Brazilian metal legend Max Cavalera. The shamanic front man rose to fame with Sepultura in the 80s and 90s and has a cult following across the globe. His tribal rhythms are often credited with inspiring new breeds of rock including the nu metal movement that brought bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn to prominence around the turn of the century. Now the sole original member of Soulfly, he’s joined by son Zyon on drums, Marc Rizzo on lead and Mike Leon providing a stonking bass.
Incite, headed up the bill with a high energy performance, headed up by Max’s eldest son Richie Cavalera. Staccato drums from Derek Lennon-Lopez punctuated Richie’s fast paced lyrics, doing his best to whip the crowd into a frenzy. It was a shame they weren’t on second as the Monday night audience were still getting their beers in and needed a bit of warming up, but the group are clearly going places.
Ozzy thrash metallers King Parrot hit the stage around 8.30. Singer Matthew Young seemed to be trying to channel Ozzy Osbourne, grimacing at the audience, but spraying water and showing his bum didn’t win over the crowd, still only filling half the room. Their perhaps best known track Bite Your Head Off got a moshpit started, but only briefly. The crowd were clearly there for one thing.
And then he was on stage. Opening with Archangel’s title track We Sold Our Soul to Metal the crowd were immediately entranced. Such is Cavalera’s power over his followers. The band romped through a mix of Soulfly and Sepultura hits, expertly building the energy in the room and releasing it into the moshpit, swirling like the roiling waves outside. Crowd pleasers Eye for an Eye and Roots Bloody Roots sent the moshers into a frenzied whirl. I was reminded how good natured metal fans are, as a fan got knocked to the floor, he was immediately helped up, even while the crowd chanted “Blood, Fire, War, Hate”.
Max’s tribe were fully in the swing of it now. An encore was inevitable, and Max got into his second wind – joined on stage by Young and the junior Cavaleras to deliver Ace of Spades in a brilliant tribute to Motorhead’s Lemmy. Clearly the proud dad, not only of sons Richie and Zyon but of all his protégés on stage.
The jubilant crowd piled out into the night, clearly pleased they had braved the elements to pay tribute to one of metal’s favourite sons.
By Sam Elfer
Images by © Xavier www.xcphotography.uk