Soulfly, City Of Fire – Metro, 09/09/10

Max Cavalera brings his band Soulfly to our shores about every two years, and it’s always been a pretty good show for the most part. This tour he was travelling with Canadians, City Of Fire. They have an impressive pedigree, with Fear Factory vocalist Burton C Bell and Fear Factory/Strapping Young Lad bassist Byron Stroud – plus um… three other guys. Their stage presence was that of a band much more than twelve months old; these guys played extremely well, performing an admirable hard rocking/metal set. I for one would like to see more of them.

Soulfly hit the stage with the cracking opener from Conquer, Blood Fire War Hate. They then headed straight into the monstrous Prophecy without stopping, and for the next sixty minutes the trend continued. Looking at frontman Max Cavaleras widening girth, it was a fine effort – is Max becoming the Meatloaf of metal? With seven albums to choose from, the setlist was quite varied, but thankfully there was more than just a token song or two from the new album Omen – a good chunk of the album was represented, a highlight being the thrashy blast of Rise Of The Fallen and the manic Jeffrey Dahmer; not to mention the twisted metal of opening track Bloodbath & Beyond, and the fierce grind of Kingdom.

The album, which saw Soulfly’s return to Sepultura-style thrash, Dark Ages is a fan favourite (after many lost interest in Max Cavaleras increasing use of world music in the previous two or three albums). From Dark Ages: Babylon; I And I; and Frontlines surged with their death metal tinged beats, and pure heavy goodness. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Soulfly gig without the powerhouse Back To The Primitive –bloody hell, it was a cracker as usual. Seek n’ Strike early in the set saw the beginnings of a circle pit, and by the time L.O.T.M. led into a cover of Panteras classic Walk it was on for everyone.

As expected, there were some Sepultura classics for all the old-school fans. The beauty of Refuse/Resist was undeniable, as was the totally epic Roots Bloody Roots. But holy fuck, we were treated with the totally expected Troops Of Doom! This sent many fans berserk, including myself. To wrap the night up, Soulfly kicked off with Jumpdafuckup before segueing into their classic Eye For An Eye. Unfortunately, no encore was forthcoming; all indications are that Max was off to buy some donuts.

The only real problem tonight was the main bar being closed, leaving fans to head to the outside bar to refuel, while missing the fun inside. But Soulfly pulled out all the stops in a flat-chat performance, leaving little room for anything serious to gripe about. And with City Of Fire putting on a hell of a show, this was a good night of metal at the Metro.

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