Soulfly – Belfast, Limelight 2 – 3 February 2016

Max Cavalera certainly believes in keeping it in the family.  Or maybe it’s a case of keep your friends close but your family closer.  Whatever it may be, the last couple of Soulfly tours have gone out under the ‘Maximum Cavalera’ banner, with bands featuring both his sons and his stepson among the supporting cast.  However, as the latter, Richie Cavalera, revealed in his interview with PlanetMosh, this most likely is the last time that this particular package hits the road, with the younger members of the clan doing their own thing in the future…

Igor Cavalera of Lody Kong live in BelfastThe youngest Cavalera, Zyon, is of course pulling double duty behind the drums, as Lody Kong kick off proceedings to a disappointingly small crowd.  It may be that daddy doesn’t have the pulling power he used to (in years gone by Soulfly had packed out the much bigger neighbouring Limelight 1 on numerous occasions).  It may be that it’s a midweek school night.  Whatever, the venue is less than half full:  which is probably just as well, with the secondary bar area given over to gear storage and the amount of room the collective merchandise tables take up!  But, that doesn’t in any way dampen the quartet’s enthusiasm, as Igor Cavalera screams “let’s go muthafuckers” and the band launch into their frenetic hardcore-infused thrash.  They keep up a fierce pace, played with intensity and plenty of energy and positive attitude. Igor cajoles the early comers to “make enough noise so Max can hear you on the bus outside”:  but, to be honest, the response is a lot more muted than he wants, but nevertheless the band deliver an enjoyable and suitably motivated 30-minute set.

  • Lody Kong’s debut album, ‘Dreams And Visions’, is released via the Mascot Label Group on 25 March.

Richie Cavalera of Incite live in BelfastNext, it’s the turn of stepbrother Richie and Incite to see if they can whip the fans into a frenzy.  Well, after a remarkably quick turnaround – given that they had to build a second kit, thus reducing the amount of stage space quite drastically.  The band hit their groove immediately, their dynamic thrash characterized by tightly infused rhythms and fuelled by taut, heavy beats.  The highly technical nature of the material, and especially Rome’s winding guitar, is hidden in the natural energy of both the songs and the performance.  Richie is very much in the mould of his stepfather: a dynamic frontman, exuding passion and commitment from every pore while encouraging the crowd to bang their heads ’til their necks break – it’s just a pity that only a relative few respond positively.  New single ‘Stagnant’ is fierce and intense in its live delivery, and the band definitely live up to their name in terms of the fiery energy which they generate on stage.

  • Incite’s new album, ‘Oppression’, is released via minus HEAD Records on April 22.  Watch our interview with Richie Cavalera HERE.

Matthew Young of King Parrot live in BelfastThe break sees another kit replacement, but it’s a testimony to the efficiency of the crew and the camaraderie between the bands that it is completed in double quick time: in fact, some fans don’t even have time to get a drink at the bar before Matthew Young (no relation?) climbs onto the security barrier, mic cable tightly wrapped around his huge fist and King Parrot launch into their intense grind-infused traditional hardcore, played at the sort of hyperspeed that would help the Millennium Falcon outrun even the fastest Empire pursuit.  Young is a frontman very much in the mould of a young Rollins or Anselmo.  In between stomping along the limited front of stage available to him and standing on the barrier, he also displays a penchant for throwing water over the audience – but they lap it up and give as good as they get, firing pints of the stuff straight back at him!  Young stops the show mid-set to have a deserved go at those who are more interested in filming and photographing it than joining in the fun at the front:  “Suddenly everyone’s a fucking photographer!” he snarls.  “Tell you what, for the rest of the set stick your ‘phone up your arse… I won’t be calling you!” before firing a well-aimed spurt of water directly at one culprit’s device.  Behind Young, KP’s sound is underpinned by thick crunchy bass lines and some serious double kick action from Todd Hansen, with some tasty melodies intertwined into their high energy attitudinal hardcore.  It’s powerful stuff.

Mike Leon of Soulfly live in Belfast‘We Sold Our Souls To Metal’ is nigh on the perfect start to Soulfly‘s set, and right from the off it is clear that Max is in euphoric form.  By ‘Blood Fire War Hate’ he has every fist pumping and voice raised, while ‘Refuse/Resist’ opens up the first floor-filling pit of the evening, as the Cavalera tribe need no second invitation to “destroy this place”.  His repeated calls to “jump da fuck up” are also met with enthusiasm – although there are a few puzzled faces a bit later when he calls for a wall of death…  Stage left, Marc Rizzo is shredding as if his life depends on wrenching every ounce of passion from his instrument, while Zyon is amazing, fulfilling all his dad’s commitment and defiance in giving him his deserved place behind the kit, and Mike Leon is as solid and dependable as ever, anchoring both the bottom end of the sound and the right hand side of the stage like the proverbial concrete block.

Max is both relaxed and commanding, confident in what he is doing and comfortable in the knowledge that he has the undivided attention and loyalty of every living organism in the room.  Even though he only takes the occasional stab at his guitar, often turning his back during Rizzo’s solo spots to disguise the fact that he’s not playing – and Incite’s Rome is clearly visible behind the speaker stack twiddling knobs and pushing bottoms to fill out the sound – he can do no wrong.  The pace of the hour-long set is relentless, an unrepenting – and unrepentant – homage to Cavalera’s 30+ year metal heritage, ploughing everything from his early Sepultura masterpieces (such as a fast and furious ‘Arise’) through his ten album Soulfly catalogue.

Max Cavalera of Soulfly live in Belfast‘Roots Bloody Roots’ is fucking incendiary:  this is Max’s song, and he proves it with a passionate delivery which is met with an equally passionate response, while ‘Eye For An Eye’ brings the evening to a suitably huge climax.  As the frontman descends from the stage, we’re treated to a brief burst of ‘The Trooper’ before the other three band members also quit the stage in a wall of induced feedback 60 minutes, almost to the second, after they had first took to it.

Set list:

We Sold Our Souls To Metal – Archangel – Blood Fire War Hate – Refuse/Resist – Sodomites – Prophecy – Tribe – Seek ‘N’ Strike – Babylon – Arise / Dead Embryonic Cells – Frontlines – Back To The Primitive – Roots Bloody Roots – Jumpdafuckup / Eye For An Eye

Watch our exclusive interview with Max Cavalera, in which he reveals his plans to mark the 20th anniversary of the ‘Roots’ album, HERE.

Soulfly’s UK tour continues at the Academy 3 in Manchester tonight (Friday 5 February), and then as follows:

Saturday 6 February – Norwich, Waterfront
Sunday 7 February – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Monday 8 February – Brighton, Concorde 2

  • Photographs by The Dark Queen
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About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff