Hailing from a corner of the globe better known for the breezy sounds of samba and the bossa nova, Brazilian speed-metal sensation Max Cavalera logged plenty of hard miles fronting Sepultura for twelve years. But following the mysterious death of his beloved stepson Dana Wells in 1996, the dreadlocked showman once described as the "Bob Marley of Metal" decided to pursue a more worldly sound with Soulfly. And although his headbanging hybrid showcases heavy riffs and pulverizing vocals, Cavalera isn't afraid to stretch the boundaries of the mosh pit to include decidedly non-traditional instrumentation: South African and Caribbean percussion, Aboriginal didgeridoo, nylon-stringed mariachi and flamenco guitars, and ancient Moroccan bagpipes made from sheepskin. On its fourth full-length, Prophecy, Soulfly even enlists Serbian gypsies and a full-blown horn section to flesh out Cavalera's more spiritual side. A self-described "soldier of God" and "born-again anarchist," Mad Max manages to explore sociopolitical themes and world music without compromising his sonic brutality. Go figure.
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