Members: Max Cavalera, Marc Rizzo, Joe Nunez, Johny Chow
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Albums: Soulfly (1998); Primitive (2000); 3 (2002); Prophecy (2004); Dark Ages (2005); Conquer (2008); Omen (2010);
With a unique blend of thrash metal and Brazilian influence, Soulfly has been one of the most innovative bands of the last 10 years. Though the band has gone through numerous lineup changes throughout its history, the group remains among the most popular in the niche groove metal genre.
Soulfly was formed in 1997 by guitarist and lead singer Max Cavalera, who remains the only founding member in the band today. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1998, which was a moderate success. The album found its way into the Billboard Top 200, eventually peaking at number 79.
The record became certified gold in 2005, and its success hinged largely on the impressive list of artists Soulfly got to contribute. Limp Bizkit, Cypress Hill and Fear Factory all made appearances on the album.
Encouraged by the success of the band’s debut, Cavalera and Soulfly released a follow up in 2000 with Primitive. The record received critical praise and remains the band’s most popular album more than 10 years after its release. The record is Soulfly’s highest charting release as well – - it peaked at number 32. Much like its predecessor, the album featured a number of well-known artists including Sean Lennon and Slayer’s Tom Araya.
Despite a shifting lineup in the early part of the decade, Soulfly’s third album, 2002's 3, prompted the band to go on an extensive world tour. Although they had been touring, Cavalera and his new band mates still managed to record a new album soon after completing their shows.
2004’s Prophecy signaled a shift in sound, in which the band incorporated many exotic influences into their music. Tracks such as “Defeat U,” “Moses,” and “In the Meantime” were all praised for their considerable worldliness.
The second half of the decade saw a return to a more dark sound following a tragic several years. The 2005 album Dark Ages may not have been as commercially successful as their other ventures, but its emotional heft was well received by fans.
Since then, Soulfly has been able to persevere, and the band released its most recent album, Omen, in May 2010. In support of the record, the group embarked on another ambitious tour that concluded at the end of that year.
Though Cavalera has ridden a tumultuous road, Soulfly has survived throughout the years and shows no signs of packing it in.