Real name: Max Cavalera, Roy Mayorga, Marcello D Rapp, Mike Dolling
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Soulfly is a heavy metal band started by Max Cavalera in 1997 after his decision to leave Sepultura. The band, which incorporates elements of thrash metal and nu metal as well as Brazilian and African world music influences, has released five albums so far; Soulfly, Primitive, 3, Prophecy, and Dark Ages.
On the band's website, Max Cavalera said that he founded the band "with the idea of combined sounds and spiritual beliefs." As well as leaving one of the world's most popular thrash metal bands, he had to deal with the unsolved murder of his stepson and best friend Dana Wells. The first self-titled album, Soulfly was released in the spring of 1998 and reached number 79 on the Billboard 200.
Besides fronting Soulfly, Cavalera has branched out into other areas usually not associated with heavy metal musicians. He became a much-sought-after speaker at music conventions, as evidenced by his appearances at CMJ's New Music Marathon in New York and Holland's Crossing Boarder Festival, both in late 1997, and signed on to sing a TV commercial for Sprite in his native land of Brazil.
Max Cavalera explains on the bands 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."
Prophecy was released on March 30, 2004 and as at April of that year had reached a peak of number 82 on the Billboard 200 although it has reached the top 50 of the Australian album charts.
In February of 2005, Soulfly released their first DVD, entitled "The Song Remains Insane". This was a biographical look at the band which contained live footage from all over the globe, interviews, and all of the bands music videos. In August of 2005 Roadrunner Records reissued their self-titled first album as part of the label's 25th anniversary celebration.
That fall, on October 4, 2005, Dark Ages was released. Many critics have described Dark Ages as a return to Cavalera's thrash metal roots of the early Sepultura days; however, the world metal influence found on the first four Soulfly albums is definitely present. In fact, this time, Cavalera traveled to five different countries — Serbia, Turkey, Russia, France, and the United States — in order to record all the sounds that he desired to have on the new album.
The core band on Dark Ages still consisted of Max Cavalera, Marc Rizzo, Joe Nunez, and Bobby Burns, but on this album, Dave Ellefson came back to lend his talents to a couple tracks, Eyesburn vocalist Coyote sang on "Innerspirit", Stormtroopers Of Death vocalist Billy Milano and Russian singer Paul Fillipenko screamed on the hardcore influenced "Molotov", and Max's stepson, Ritchie Cavalera from Phoenix-based "Incite", sang on "Stay Strong".
As of 2006 the current lineup of Soulfly is:
- Max Cavalera (guitar and vocals) (1997-)
- Marc Rizzo (guitar) (2003-)
- Bobby Burns (bass) (2003-)
- Joe Nuñez (drums - also on Primitive) (2000-2001, 2003-)