Our top 10 Soulfly songs list presents ten of the best songs released by an American band distinguished for its blend of nu metal with heavy metal, alternative metal, and death metal. The band was formed in 1997 by Max Cavalera after he left the Brazilian metal legends Sepultura. Max teamed up with bassist Cello Dias (current member of Against All Will), drummer Roy Mayorga (current member of Ministry), and guitarist Jackson Bandeira to form the initial band’s lineup.
Soulfly’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
Without hesitation, the band hit the studio to record its first studio album, Soulfly. This nu-metal eponymous debut LP was issued in 1998 through Roadrunner Records. Soulfly catapulted the band to mainstream and commercial success instantly. The album peaked at number sixteen on the UK Albums chart, rising to position seventy-nine on the Billboard 200. Soulfly also appeared on the album charts of ten more nations.
The album was Gold-certified in the US and Australia while it was Silver-certified in the UK. Soulfly remains the band’s most successful album release to date commercially. The album featured members of Fear Factory, Limp Bizkit, Dub War, and Deftones. “Bleed,” “Tribe,” “Umbabarauma,” and “Eye for an Eye” are some of the best songs from the band’s debut album.
Soulfly’s Album Releases over the Years
After the release of its critically and commercially acclaimed album, Soulfly went on a world tour to meet its new fans while promoting the album. The band also shared stages with other reputable artists including Tool, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Snot, and System of a Down. Soulfly went on to release its sophomore LP, Primitive in 2000. The album’s success was built upon the momentum the band had gathered thanks to its acclaimed eponymous first studio album.
Primitive peaked at number thirty-two on the Billboard 200, rising to number forty-five on the UK Albums chart. The album sold half as many copies compared to the band’s debut album. Some of the biggest songs by Soulfly from the album include “Back to Primitive” and “Son Song.” Primitive featured members of Slayer, Deftones, Will Haven, and Slipknot. Soulfly would soon after the album’s release hit the road for tours, sharing stages with Morbid Angel and Pantera.
The band would later release its third studio album, 3 in 2002. 3 was a success having it peak at number forty-six on the Billboard 200. The album also made it to number sixty-one on the UK Albums chart. Songs on the album were mostly a fusion of nu-metal and groove metal. “Downstroy” and “Seek ‘n’ Strike” are some of the musical gems by Soulfly featured on this album. Unfortunately, the album was not as commercially successful as the band’s sophomore album.
Two years later, Soulfly returned with its fourth studio album, Prophecy. Prophecy managed to rise to position eighty-two on the Billboard 200. It also peaked at position one hundred and three on the UK Albums chart. “Prophecy” is the most popular song by Soulfly from the album. In 2005, the band released its fifth LP, Dark Ages. Dark Ages saw the band take on a blend of thrash metal and death metal sounds. The album received a fair reception by the band’s fans, peaking at number one hundred and fifty-five on the Billboard 200. “Carved Inside” and “Frontlines” are the biggest songs by Soulfly from the album.
Conquer, issued in 2008, marked the band’s sixth studio album. The album was a success in the mainstream, peaking at number sixty-six on the Billboard 200. It also managed to rise to position sixty-four on the UK Albums chart. “Blood Fire War Hate” and “Unleash” are the best Soulfly songs from the album.
Soulfly returned in 2010 with its seventh LP, Omen, hoping to rekindle its commercial success. The album went on to peak at number seventy-three on the Billboard 200. While the album was a success in the mainstream, it failed to catapult the band to its desired levels of success. “Rise of the Fallen” is among songs by Soulfly from Omen that were highly acclaimed.
The band went on to issue its eighth studio album, Enslaved in 2012. Enslaved marked the band’s last album issued through Roadrunner Records. The album managed to rise to position eighty-two on the Billboard 200. Some of the musical gems featured on this album include “World Scum” and “Redemption of Man by God.”
Life after cutting ties with Roadrunner Records saw the band sign a recording contract with Nuclear Blast. Savages, issued in 2013, marked the band’s first album through Nuclear Blast and its ninth overall. The album rose to number eighty-four on the Billboard 200, peaking at number one hundred and eighteen on the UK Albums chart. “Bloodshed” and “Master of Savagery” are some of the best Soulfly songs from the album.
In 2015, the band released yet another album entitled, Archangel. Archangel peaked at number one hundred and thirty on the Billboard 200, a position fairly lower than most of the band’s previous releases. Nevertheless, the album managed to feature some of the biggest songs by Soulfly including “Sodomites” and “Archangel.”
Ritual, released in 2018, marked the band’s eleventh studio album. This was the first album by Soulfly not to make it on the Billboard 200. However, it peaked at number twenty-two on the UK Albums chart. “Dead Behind the Eyes,” “Evil Empowered,” and “Ritual” are some of the musical gems by Soulfly from the album. Ritual is the band’s most recent album with a new album, Totem scheduled for release in 2022.
Soulfly has over the years remained relevant in the metal scene. The band made its impact on the nu metal scene with its first three studio albums before evolving into a thrash metal/groove metal/death metal ensemble. Despite the band’s lineup changes, Max Cavalera has been present in all incarnations. His son Zyon Cavalera also joined the band as its drummer in 2012. Here we present the ten best Soulfly songs of all time.
# 10 – Ritual
Opening our top 10 Soulfly songs list is the charming hit “Ritual.” The serves as the album title track of the band’s 2018 eleventh studio album. One of the reasons this song became a fan-favorite to many is its aggressive yet exquisite thrash groove metal beats. Great is an understatement of what Zyon Cavalera’s drumming on this song feels like. “Ritual” also has its sounds evocative of tribal music, especially at the song’s beginning. Thanks to the sonic richness in songs like “Ritual” Soulfly went on to win the Best Thrash Metal Album accolade in the 2018 Metal Storm Awards.
# 9 – Rise of the Fallen ft. Greg Puciato
“Rise of the Fallen” is one of the best Soulfly songs off the band’s seventh studio album, Omen. The song was penned by Max Cavalera and Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Max and Greg also share vocals on this magical metal song. Vocalist Greg Puciato’s thoughts about the song saw him compare the sound of “Rise of the Fallen” to Sepultura’s 1993 fifth LP Chaos A.D.
“Rise of the Fallen” has its lyrics allude to fallen soldiers who now resurrect from their graves now avenging their death the leaders of evil the system. The song’s sounds majorly feel like a blend of thrash metal and groove metal. However, it features some death metal riffs.
# 8 – World Scum ft. Travis Ryan
Coming in at number eight on our top 10 Soulfly songs list is the fury-filled hit “World Scum.” The song was penned by Max Cavalera and Travis Ryan of the deathgrind band Cattle Decapitated. Max Cavalera and Travis Ryan also share vocals on this thrash metal/death metal song.
Initially, the band wished to feature the vocals of Adam Warren of the deathcore band Oceano on this song. However, Travis Ryan was called to replace Adam. “World Scum” has its lyrics allude to global disasters such as war, famine, and torture.
# 7 – Unleash ft. Dave Peters
Conquer, the band’s sixth album, was home to some of the biggest groove metal/death metal hits by Soulfly. One of the musical gems we find from the album is the seventh pick of our top 10 Soulfly songs, “Unleash.” The song was penned by Max Cavalera and Dave Peters, the current vocalist at Throwdown.
Max Cavalera and Dave Peters share vocals on this alluring. Soulfly’s vocalist Max also acknowledged Dave’s input to the song, especially on the lyrics. Max also added that “Unleash” is the closest thing Soulfly has done to Pantera. “Unleash” has its lyrics allude to unbridling violence a number of times for calamitous repercussions.
#6- Seek ‘n’ Strike
Number six on our top 10 Soulfly songs list is the raging hit “Seek ‘n’ Strike.” The song is featured on the band’s third studio album, 3. “Seek ‘n’ Strike” was penned by Max Cavalera who is also the producer of the song and the overall album. The song was released as a single together with “Downstroy.”
“Seek ‘n’ Strike” is among the few last songs by the band to feature the band’s nu metal sound. The song alludes to a society’s desire to fight for its rights. “Seek ‘n’ Kill” has its title inspired by Metallica’s hit “Seek & Destroy,” from the band’s debut album, Kill ‘Em All.
Soulfly is by far the band’s most acclaimed album, thanks to its outstanding nu metal sound and lyrically-rich songs. “Tribe” is one of the best Soulfly songs from the album. The song was penned by Max Cavalera with some of its lyrics alluding to the Brazilian leader Zumbi. Zumbi is best known for his pioneering acts against the slave trade.
“Tribe” is performed partly in Portuguese, having it also features sounds of the single-string berimbau. The song became a fan-favorite song and one of the most played songs in Soulfly’s concerts. “Tribe” is the band’s highest-charting song on the UK Singles chart, peaking at number seventy-eight.
“Prophecy” is one of the biggest songs by Soulfly from the band’s fourth studio album. The song’s sound finds Soulfly mixing its signature metal sound with tribal music. Max Cavalera’s growling vocals and March Rizzo’s inspirational guitar work are the major highlights of this song.
Lyrically, “Prophecy” alludes to visions of catastrophic tribal wars in the new millennium. David Ellefson (former member of Megadeth) plays this song’s bass guitar.
#3 – Bleed ft. Fred Durst and DJ Lethal
We visit the band’s eponymous debut album once more to find the fourth pick of our ten best Soulfly songs, “Bleed.” The song is among the releases inspired by Max Cavalera’s heart-breaking moment that followed after the sudden death of Dana Wells, his stepson. “Bleed” has its lyrical theme pegged around pain and madness.
Max Cavalera was joined by Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst in penning the lyrics to the song. The two also share the vocal role on this moving hit. Fred’s vocals add a rap element to the song’s overall sonic feel. The song is also included on the soundtrack of Faust: Love of the Damned. “Bleed” made it to number eighty-eight on the UK Singles chart.
#2- Back To Primitive
Concert staples are always fan-favorite and so is our number two song “Back to Primitive.” The song is among the musical gems by Soulfly from the band’s sophomore studio album, Primitive. “Back to Primitive” is a politically-charged song. Its lyrics allude to relegating the national administration to a confined ethnic civilization.
“Back to Primitive” features tribal music backed by tribal drumming and the berimbau sounds in the song’s intro. The song is among the most played songs by Soulfly in the band’s concerts. “Back to Primitive” went on to rise to number one hundred and twenty on the UK Singles chart.
#1- Eye for an Eye ft. Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares
Our number one pick for the ten best Soulfly songs list takes us back to the band’s eponymous debut album. “Eye for an Eye” is the album-opening track to the band’s debut album. Max Cavalera is credited for penning the lyrics to this song. The song also features guitarist Dino and vocalist Burton on the vocals.
Dino and Burton are members of the American heavy metal band Fear Factory. Burton and Max give a brutal and uncompromising vocal delivery in this song. “Eye for an Eye” has become the band’s signature song since its release. In fact, the band plays it last in all its concerts.
Feature Photo; Stefan Bollmann, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons
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