As I turn the corner to the Sheffield Corporation I am met with the imposing vision of the Soulfly tour bus, emblazoned with the unmistakable logo adorned across the front of the trusty steed.
Soulfly haven’t brought a tour package with them on this mini tour, but instead have relied on local supports to warm the venues up for them on each date. On this particular date in Sheffield, they have enlisted the help of doomy, post metal sludge from the local streets, courtesy of Archelon, and the fast, thrashy Melodeath talents of Remus from Grimsby.
Both supports are allotted 30 minutes and Archelon open proceedings with ambient crushing riffs. They are monolithic and atmospheric in their deliverance and the tunes are heavy and melodic, if not a little stagnant. The band hold their own and the few that have gathered before them seem to be appreciative of the efforts.
Remus hit the stage with energy from the offset, and they seem to be loving every goddamn minute of their time on the somewhat cramped and limited stage. Each member of the band is grinning from ear to ear, and Marshall on the drums is definitely putting in a shift tonight, 30 minutes of pure crushing metal. Lince bounces around the stage like a mad man, almost taking out the entire drum kit at one point when he verges on the point of crashing on top of said kit. This 5 piece are certainly on a mission to prove a point tonight, and as the set draws to a far too soon end, their fast, heavy, thrash riffs and Melodeath have left a lasting impression.
The witching hour is upon us and the masses assembled in the Corporation have swelled tenfold in anticipation for Brazilian legends Soulfly, led by the patriarch that is Max Cavalera. There are still plenty of Sepultura shirts being fashioned in the crowd, and it’s hard to believe that it’s been 20+ years since Max departed the ranks of the thrash legends, but the healthy crowd here are here for one reason only, and that is to witness pure carnage.
Max strides out onto stage to a rabid crowd and a deafening roar, as they kick into the absolute behemoth that is ‘Frontlines’. The crowd go absolutely mental from the opening bars, and Zyon Cavalera provides a massive titanium back bone to which the others are orchestrated.
Max et al don’t give any respite before launching into ‘Prophecy’, ‘Fire and Porrada’ and the monumental ‘Blood, Fire, War, Hate’. Max then announces that they have been working on some new material and asks if we would like to hear a new song, to which the crowd nearly tear the roof off with the deafening response, before the band launch into ‘The Summoning’.
The rest of the set continues in a similar vein, each song being spat out with venom and passion, and soaked up by the assembled throng below. These thrash titans throw everything at it tonight and erupt harder and faster as each song passes. Each member of the band in overdrive and they grow meaner and hungrier as the set progresses. Max gives a nod to his other side, when they unleash a fresh, energetic cover of Nailbomb classic ‘Wasting Away’ and then they launch into the encore.
One could argue that the omission of any Sepultura material in the set tonight could have been a massive negative, but with 22 years passed, and the likes of Back to the Primitive and the dual assault of Jumpdafuckup / Eye for an Eye in their arsenal, Soulfly only need to look forward and concentrate on the future rather than looking back over Max’s epic shoulders.
Every soul in this building tonight is leaving, ecstatic and high on the 90 minutes they have just bared witness to, each black, band embossed shirt is dripping, wet with sweat, yet worn with such pride, as an emblem of the war they have just endured. The hordes flood out of the venue doors and disperse into the night, still reminiscing over the magic they have just been a part of tonight.
Just one plea, which I’m sure everybody will agree with, just don’t keep us waiting too long before you invade these shores again.
(Review and photos Phil Pountney)