Soulfly // Totem // Album Review


Soulfly is the king of groove. The impact Max Cavalera has had on the world of metal is undeniable. With some of the most impactful bands he helped create & with fantastic collaborations with Killer Or Be Killed, Cavalera Conspiracy & Go Ahead And Die, Max has written some of the most epic riffs of all time.

Now with their 12th album “Totem” Soufly shows he still has what it takes to write one of the best metal albums of 2022.

The team of Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Eternal Champion, Cro Mags)

 & Max is now the driving force of Soulfly & it couldn’t come at a better time for the band. As a unit Soulfly & Arthur have been able to produce a fresh album within the band’s catalogue that sounds modern but still keeps the core traditional elements of what makes Soulfly.

Creating that perfect tribal feel Soulfly always captures “Superstition” blasts open the album. Catchy as always the bouncing riffs Max writes get you hooked from the first note. Soaring guitar solos from Arthur Rizk are sprinkled through the album which has another layer that projects the songs into the atmosphere!

Next up is the death metal laced “Scouring The Vile” featuring the Floridan O.G John Tardy (Obituary). With thunderous drums & still keeping with the tribal rhythmic style, this track is a beast.

The vocal trade-off between Max & John is perfect for this track, and then the song switches to an out-all-thrashing attack, a nice way to break the track up. A quick song at only just under three minutes but does what it sets out to, crush all!

Now we get to “Rot In Pain”. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had told me this was a new Morbid Angel track. This track is swamped in death metal. Now, this isn’t saying the track is a ripoff. This track is 100% Soulfly but the fact Max is such an amazing songwriter that he can add death metal, grindcore & punk elements to a Soulfly album is why the band can stay so diverse after all these years.

As the track comes to a close it goes into a ferocious chaotic breakdown that is head spinning & mosh pit inducing.

The album’s half point gives us the title track “Totem” which is one of the strongest tracks on the album. A full-out barrage of pissed-off aggression.

A wall of feedback & Zyon Cavalera’s thick drum groove cracks open the track before the simple but sledgehammer of a riff starts & runs throughout the track.

A freight train of riffs keeps the momentum driving until the last note. Also showcasing Max’s closet Chaos A.D vocal performance we’ve heard in a while.

The closer on the album “Spirit Animal” is a nearly ten-minute epic & one of the best tracks Soulfly has ever produced.

As the opening riff repeats & builds intensity, chanting begins to set the tone for the track. The track is so epic & is a fantastic way to end the album on a different side of Soulfly that I hope returns!

Totem is 100% a Soulfly record, but what Max, Arthur & the rest of Soulfly have created is an album that stands up to modern ears & keeps the legacy of Soulfly strong & untouchable.

Joseph Mitchell

‘Totem’ will be available in the following formats:
  • CD Jewelcase
  • Blue Cassette (Limited to 300)
  • Long Box
  • CD Jewelcase
  • Sticker
  • Pin
  • Vinyl
  • Black
  • Gold
  • Bundle
  • Album Shirt
  • CD Jewelcase
‘Totem’ was recorded at Platinum Underground in Mesa Arizona by John Aquilino and Arthur Rizk with assistance from John Powers. Produced by Max alongside Arthur Rizk (Kreator, Code Orange), the album boasts guest appearances from John Powers (Eternal Champion), Chris Ulsh (Power Trip), and John Tardy (Obituary). Arthur Rizk was also responsible for playing lead guitar on the record.
Album artwork for the album created by James Bousema.
TOTEM tracklisting:
  1. Superstition
  2. Scouring The Vile
  3. Filth Upon Filth
  4. Rot In Pain
  5. The Damage Done
  6. Totem
  7. Ancestors
  8. Ecstasy Of Gold
  9. Soulfly XII
  10. Spirit Animal
Max Cavalera | Vocals & Guitar
Zyon Cavalera | Drums
Mike Leon | Bass Guitar
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