Review by Adam M on November 2, 2018.
Soulfly performs a style that very much could have followed Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. album. In fact, this album has a similar number of grooves and gyrations to that work. The album is aggressive, but manages to keep the grooves intact. The result is a well-balanced album that is far better than what has been produced by The Cavalera Conspiracy. The bludgeoning effect of the riffs is balanced with a mid-paced rollicking vibe that makes the song-writing quite consistent.
I really liked the more heavy approach on the likes of Under Rapture, which features Ross Dolan of Immolation. There is a large amount of variety on display as seen from that track. The band is able to weave a strong groove into their songs that makes them come to life and take over. The music is pretty consistently punishing, but manages to do so at a relatively medium pace. The somewhat tribal nature of the songs makes them more appealing and makes it feel like it could sit between Chaos A.D. and Roots quite nicely. Still the amount of adrenaline added to the whole thing makes it spark. It is clear that the band is having fun performing these songs which adds a vibrant vibe to the aggressive proceedings. This is just well made and fun music that is similar to a certain period of the Sepultura discography. Unfortunately the album does not overtake Chaos A.D., despite being great. This is a style that has been done plenty of times now by this band and Sepultura and has a limited appeal.
Despite the restrictions, Ritual comes away as a fun album that makes you care about the work that Max Cavalera is involved with. It has the right amount of drive to make for a high impact listen that has a lot of enjoyability factor involved as well.
Rating: 7.8 out of 10