After an opening interlude, “World Scum” blasts off with a barrage of double bass and screaming riffs. The tempo slows down to an ominous groove halfway through before picking back up. Travis Ryan from Cattle Decapitation guests on the song, and his gargling vocals mesh well with Cavalera's. It is a promising opening.
There are other high points on Enslaved, such as “Redemption Of Man By God,” with guest vocalist Dez Fafara of DevilDriver. When the best songs are ones with guests, that isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the album's quality. And to be fair, there are a few other excellent songs like “Plata O Plomo.” It features flamenco guitar and Portuguese lyrics.
Unfortunately those are watered down by some filler songs in the middle of the album that aren't horrible, just adequate. And when a legend like Max Cavalera is making an album, just adequate doesn't cut it. The production is good and the musicianship is tight, but some of the songs are lacking.
The album's closer is a family affair. Richie Cavalera (vocals), Zyon Cavalera (drums) and Igor Cavalera, Jr. (vocals/guitar) all guest on “Revengeance.” For a father and uncle, it must be a great feeling to have them following in his footsteps. The song itself is an aggressive, nu-metal tinged crusher.
There are several really strong songs on Enslaved. Soulfly fans will find plenty to sink their teeth into, but there's some gristle mixed in with that steak.
(released March 13, 2012 on Roadrunner Records)