Members: Max Cavalera (guitar and vocals), Marc Rizzo (guitar), Bobby Burns (bass), Joe Nunez (drums)

Active: 1997 - present

Brazilian heavy metal singer Max Cavalera formed Soulfly after leaving Sepultura in 1996. He recruited a lineup of Roy Mayorga on drums (formerly of Thorn), Jackson Bandeira on guitar (formerly of Chico Science) and former Sepultura roadie Marcello D. Rapp on bass with Cavalera on guitar and vocals.

On the band's website, Max Cavalera said that he founded the band "with the idea of combined sounds and spiritual beliefs." As well as leaving one of the world's most popular heavy metal bands, he had to deal with the unsolved murder of his stepson and best friend Dana Wells. The first self-titled album was released in 1998 and reached number 82 on the Billboard 200.

Max Cavalera featured on the Deftones album Around the Fur in 1997 on a song called "Headup" about Wells' death. As payback, Chino of the Deftones recorded a song on the album Primitive, in the song "Pain." The influence of nu-metal appeared on the Primitive album of 2000 which did not please all of the band's fans. However, Primitive was the most successful album by the band in the US reaching number 32 on the Billboard 200 and number 11 on the US independent charts. Joe Nunez replaced Roy Mayorga on drums for the Primitive album. Max Cavalera produced the third album 3 released in 2002 which reached number 46 on the Billboard 200 in that year. Mayorga was back behind the drumkit for the 3 album.


Cavalera recruited a whole new lineup for the Prophecy album. Joe Nunez was back behind the drumkit with Marc Rizzo formerly of Ill Ni?o on guitar. There are two bassists playing as members of Soulfly on Prophecy - David Ellefson formerly of Megadeth and Bobby Burns of Primer 55. Cavalera claims to have done this to have a mixture of old and new school metal on the album.

Max Cavalera explains on the bands website that he wants to use different musicians as part of the group for each album. "This is an approach that I've wanted to do for a while. I never wanted Soulfly to be a band like Metallica, with the same four guys. On every Soulfly album, we've changed the line up and it will probably continue that way. In order to do that, I had to start from the inside out and bring in people who caught my attention, that I had never played with before, and create this."

In Sepultura, Cavalera had shown an interest in world music as shown in Roots, featuring elements of the music of Brazil's indigenous peoples. This approach continues on the Prophecy album with Cavalera travelling to Serbia to record with traditional musicians. On the track "Moses", an explicit statement of his religious beliefs, he works with Serbian band Eyesburn featuring reggae influences from one of his heroes Bob Marley. Other tracks on the album feature instruments from the Middle Ages, sheepskin bagpipes and Serbian gypsies.

Prophecy was released on March 30, 2004 and as at April of that year had reached a peak of number 82 on the Billboard 200 although it has reached the top 50 of the Australian album charts.

In February of 2005, Soulfly released their first DVD, entitled The Song Remains Insane. This was a biographical look at the band which contained live footage from all over the globe, interviews, and all of the bands music videos.

That fall, on October 4, 2005, Dark Ages was released. Many critics have described Dark Ages as a return to to Cavalera's thrash and death metal roots of the early Sepultura days, however the world metal influence found on the first four Soulfly albums is definitely present. In fact, this time, Cavalera traveled to five different countries - Serbia, Turkey, Russia, France, and the United States - in order to record all the sounds that he desired to have on the new album.

The core band on Dark Ages was still comprised by Max Cavalera, Marc Rizzo, Joe Nunez, and Bobby Burns, but on this album, Dave Ellefson came back to lend his talents to a couple tracks, Eyesburn vocalist Coyote sang on "Innerspirit", Stormtroopers Of Death vocalist Billy Milano and Russian singer Paul Fillipenko screamed on the hardcore influenced "Molotov", and Max's stepson, Ritchie Cavalera of Phoenix based Incite, sang on "Stay Strong".

Soulfly is currently supporting Dark Ages on a world tour and will be soon going to Europe with Skindred in the spring of 2006.


1998 - Soulfly
2000 - Primitive
2002 - 3
2004 - Prophecy
2005 - Dark Ages


1998 - Umbabarauma
1998 - Bleed
2000 - Back To The Primitive
2002 - Seek 'N' Strike
2004 - Prophecy
2005 - Roots Bloody Roots
2005 - Frontlines
2005 -Carved Inside


2005 - The Song Remains Insane


1999 - Tribe

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