May 9, 2016 Soulfly Tear Down Revolution Amityville, NY 4-29-16 w/ Suffocation, Battlecross, Abnormality, & Lody Kong
Sometimes the end of one journey is the beginning of another. With that in mind, Metal band Soulfly’s story began when Frontman Max Cavalera left the very successful Sepultura. A band that he started in 1984 with his brother Iggor as teenagers in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, it was a bittersweet exit for the humble man. Thankfully Cavalera persevered and Soulfly forged their own path as a Groove Metal band writing about spirituality and religious themes. Over the course of the band’s ten studio albums, beginning with their 1998 self-titled debut all the way through to 2015’s Archangel, Soulfly has expanded their writing to include many themes and topics including war, slavery, anger, violence, and hatred.
Making the band’s story that much more compelling, it was in 2012 that Max Cavalera’s son, Zyon, began playing drums in Soulfly, showing Cavalera’s passion for family. Now garnering a tight lineup of Max, Zyon, Mike Leon on bass, and Marc Rizzo on guitar, Soulfly is once again on the road touring in support of their latest offering, Archangel. Launching the run on April 22nd in San Antonio, Texas, the tour will continue all the way through May 20th, where it will end in West Hollywood, California at Whisky a Go Go. Adding some spice to the already tasty pot of Metal, Death Metal masters Suffocation, joined by Battlecross, Abnormality, and Lody Kong join Soulfly on the bill. A week in, the tour already leveled a handful of towns in its path, and on Friday, April 29th, found its way to Amityville, New York to play at Revolution Bar and Music Hall.
To say this stacked bill drew a tremendous crowd would be an understatement. Adding to it all, Staten Island Thrash Metal outfit Sicada opened the night playing songs from their debut EP, Requisition. As a new band, they are already generating buzz and they offered a strong set, proving themselves a great primer for the night. The touring bands were next to take the stage and first up was Lody Kong. Showing the bloodlines of Metal run deep within the Cavalera family, brothers Zyon and Igor Cavalera formed Lody Kong in 2011. On this evening at Revolution, they would be joined by brand new members Travis Stone on lead guitar and Noah Shepherd on bass. Sharing their father’s passion for aggressive music, the band delivered a set of Thrash, Hardcore, and Punk-tinged Metal. Playing tracks from the self-released 2012 EP, Bird, 2013’s No Rules, and the recently released Dreams and Visions, this young band had energy for days. Needless to say, Lody Kong fired up the already anxious crowd, ready for more brutality to come.
Next up was Abnormality who hails from Marlborough, Massachusetts. Hitting the scene back in 2005, they have since amassed a large following led by Vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy, Drummer Jay Blaisdell, Bassist Josh Staples, and Guitarists Sam Kirsch and Jeremy Henry. Grinding up listeners, their visit to Long Island was no different and they attacked the room with their straight up Death Metal style. Sundaramurthy shocked those unfamiliar with her style as she growled from the edge of the stage providing the contrast of beauty and pure, unfettered aggression. Furthermore, Abnormality ran through selections from their small, but powerful, catalog including selections from 2010’s The Collective Calm In Mortal Oblivion, 2012’s Contaminating the Hive Mind, and 2016’s Mechanisms of Omniscience. The crowd reacted strongly to the band, asking for more, but unfortunately Abnormality’s performance had concluded. Those still foggy on who they are need to arrive early to catch their set.
Keeping the energy level high, Canton, Michigan’s Battlecross began their work, and work they have. Earning the reputation of road dogs, Battlecross is once again touring the US and leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Kyle (Gumby) Gunther immediately brought the crowd to him as the lanky figure appeared in a Chewbacca shirt, himself sporting a similar long beard and hair, the resemblance was strong. He addressed the crowd and showed an appreciation for where he was, as did the rest of the band. Guitarists Tony Asta and Hiran “Snickerdick” Deraniyagala began “Force Fed Lies” as the band moved the crowd to aggression from the start.
Moving on, “Not Your Slave” and “Scars” followed as Alex Bent and Don Slater crushed the low end with a complex foundation of drums and bass rooting the band. In constant motion, Gunther often led the band in windmills. Hair swirled and the audience churned in the circle pit near constantly as Gunther proclaimed, “We are all fucked, This song is about our government!” as the band began “Blood and Lies.” Rattling the floor, “Flesh and Bone” and “Push, Pull Destroy” rounded out the high-energy Thrash experience. Praising the crowd throughout the set, they conquered the room in typical Battlecross fashion.
As direct support for the night, Suffocation was about to take over. A hometown show for the band, native to Long Island, every time they visit a local club it is an event for Long Island Metalheads. It has been that way for almost three decades now and over the course of seven studio albums, Suffocation has built a name as international Death Metal icons.
Taking the stage without long-time Guitarist Guy Marchais, in his place was the newly recruited Charlie Errigo occupying the right side of the stage. It was no surprise to see founding member and Vocalist Frank Mullen take his place center stage surveying the crowd. Fans may recall it was in 2013 Mullen announced that he would be stepping back from full-time touring with the band leading to various stand in lead vocalists, but as always, he is always present for the hometown crowd. To his left stood fellow founding member Terrance Hobbs on lead guitar, Bassist Derek Boyer, and behind him on the drums, was Kevin Talley.
As Mullen surveyed his followers, he and Suffocation began “Thrones of Blood,” which provoked the crowd to begin to move violently along with the music. Spawning a circle pit, “Catatonia” and “Breeding the Spawn” followed as Mullen furiously chopped the air and growled at the gathering as the band later crushed with “Mass Obliteration,” “As Grace Descends,” and “Liege of Inveracity.” The technical ferocity continued with “Funeral Inception” and, like a machine, Talley delivered blasts along with double bass drums with precision and power. Meanwhile, Hobbs shredded blistering lead after blistering lead over the crowd while newcomer Errigo matched his intensity as he ripped fast and complex riffs. Coming on like a ton of bricks, “Souls to Deny” and “Pierced from Within” were next while, in his signature stance, Boyer’s blonde hair flailed as his fingers seemed to float up and down his fretboard. This bled right into “Infecting the Crypts,” which closed out the relentless set of Death Metal. All in all, Suffocation commanded their hometown crowd as they erupted with approval.
The time had come for Soulfly to conquer the crowd. Last visiting Revolution Bar and Music Hall in 2014, the band was welcomed back with open arms. As the band took over in front of a now denser crowd, fans moved closer to the stage as Max Cavalera thanked all of the bands and talked about the great lineup that played that night. With son Zyon behind the drums and Mike Leon on bass, Max and Rizzo began the storm “We Sold Our Souls to Metal.” Bringing on an adrenaline rush, the gathering bounced as Max bellowed, “Scream for me Amityville !” and began to call for the crowd to help sing the chorus. An epic start, “Archangel” came before “Ishtar Rising” as fists flew into the air, and fans thrashing on the floor.
Soon, Zyon and Leon laid down the thudding intro to “Blood Fire War Hate” as Max roared from behind a microphone stand made of human bones. A track from the album 2005’s Dark Ages, “Carved Inside” had the audience grooving hard in the pit before they began screaming and shouting when it was time for Sepultura’s “Refuse/Resist.” A welcomed offering from Max, it was then back to Soulfly’s Archangel album with “Sodomites” before 2002’s “Seek and Strike.” At this point, Max had the crowd bouncing up and down on command during “Babylon” and thereafter on “Tribe,” a signature Soulfly track from their first album.
Not letting up, Max and company went into “Arise,” which led into another Sepultura cover, the favorite known as “Dead Embryonic Cells.” Revved up, letting their emotions fly, the crowd churned and stomped throughout “Frontlines” before “No hope No Fear,” then erupted as they heard “Roots Bloody Roots,” another classic track by Sepultura. Adding even more fun to the show, Cavalera led the crowd in a chant of “Ole’, ole, ole, ole, Soulfly, Soulfly !” before the band went back to 2000’s Primitive album with “Back to the Primitive.” Then there was “Jumpdafuckup,” which had fans turning their heads searching for Corey Taylor as they slammed into each other. Finally, Soulfly ended the barbaric set with another signature cog in their armor, “Eye for an Eye,” as the crowd cheered with all their might until the music stopped.
Simply put, Max Cavalera has once again brought a tremendous touring bill to his fans with Soulfly, Suffocation, Battlecross, Abnormality, and Lody Kong. A true celebration of Metal and family, this tour provided many styles of Metal – from Thrash, to Groove, Death, Hardcore, and Punk. The formula worked as a full house enjoyed a killer evening of Metal.