Soulfly leader Max Cavalera does some things prophets do: He utters curses, looks scary, and declaims, in no uncertain terms, that those things which do currently piss him off will soon pass away (or better yet, get “downstroyed”), to be supplanted by things unknowable but probably even scarier. When, in the midst of the deep Serbian reggae-metal “Moses,” Cavalera rages, “Father of creation, give me inspiration!!!,” you believe this guy’s got a direct line to somebody—somebody he wrestles with moment by moment.
Like any good preacher (and plenty of current metal producers), Cavalera knows the value of polysemia (as we in the liturgical biz like to say—hence our fruitful rallying cry, “Church won’t get anemic, if you keep it polysemic!!!”), so he and the band provide many beautiful soft segues between raging pronouncements of “In a sea of shit you drown!!!” and whatnot (flamenco guitarist Marc Rizzo gets some notable workouts). All these flights of fancy, not least the goofy mariachi march at Prophecy‘s end, keep things more believable than heavy-handed, but make no mistake: Max Cavalera has seen into the Armagideon Abyss and knows of its magnificence and horror. Get caught up in the eschatological lurch of “Living Sacrifice” and you may try to repent of something.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 15, 2005