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Soulfly – The Soul Remains Insane Award winner

The Soul Remains Insane
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 11 June 2022, 10:40 PM


On a personal note, I have always been a fan of SEPULTURA's earlier albums, starting from the blackened strong debut, "Morbid Visions", up until the Thrash Metal classic "Beneath The Remains". When the 90s era of the band came around, even if it was also considered as quite the career rise for the Brazilian band, it didn't sound the same to me. When "Roots" was released in 1996, gliding upon the successful emergence of Nu Metal, I broke contact completely.

It took me a while to understand that the coming of "Roots", and Max Cavalera's departure from SEPULTURA, began a new wave of music by a person, which his soul became even deeper attached to his creations. One can call it maturity, one can see it as evolution, yet Max Cavalera's story has only just begun when his next in line baby, SOULFLY, came to power, and it was quick.

Departing from SEPLUTURA, along with losing his stepson, Dana Wells, the vocalist / rhythm guitarist, Max Cavalera, started exploring within world music, while maintain Metal as a core of operations. SOULFLY drove the wave of Nu Metal, but defined new laws into the game, creating a type of modernized form of Metal that isn't afraid of daring, attributing uniqueness to a complicated 90s era for the genre that made it sound and feel different.

Now, years after SOULFLY switched to an extreme pattern of Metal, involving Death and Thrash Metal, BMG returned to the earlier years of Max Cavalera's musical breed, with a special boxset, "The Soul Remains Insane". Consisting the band's first four offerings, along with a compilation of remixes and various tracks, "Soulfire", the critical, and quite aggressive, messages that were spewed from Mr. Cavalera return to life once again in a combo.

The Pros

Dissimilar to the BMG reissues of the Noise Records artists, or even one of their latest projects, SKID ROW, "The Soul Remains Insane" is a special sort of Boxset. The boxset itself is in high quality, bearing a fresh artwork, made by Curt Evans, displaying SOULFLY's emblem along with the emblems of each of the albums featured.

Within the boxset, I first found the booklet, well actually not that booklet that I was expecting to be honest, but for the better. Similar to the Noise Records reissues, such as KREATOR and RUNNING WILD, but even more broadened, the booklet of "The Soul Remains Insane" is a story, liner notes by Ryan J. Downey. Downey, along notes and interviews with Max Cavalera, portrays in an interesting pattern, the story of SOULFLY in its earlier years, how it came to be, and how it had developed on the first four albums. It must be said that this is an important piece of musical history, right there, a story of pioneer.

The booklet also includes a variety of photos of SOULFLY in its previous incarnations, with one page featuring a stack of show and tour posters, along with magazine covers, portraying Cavalera and his newfound legacy. I guess that some of these photos never really saw the light of day, and probably featured within this booklet for first time ever.

While wandering through booklet, I already inserted the first CD of the bunch, the debut, "Soulfly". The CD was taken out of a cardboard sleeve, similar to the additional four CDs included within boxset. Listening to the CDs one by one, with headphones, the sound is extraordinary and clear, the remastering task by Dave Turner surely did the trick of bringing these massive tunes to 2022.

If you were looking for bonuses from each CD, there are none, as the albums are in their original tracklists. However, I trust that the compilation present, titled "Soulfire", will have you feasting up. It contains a variety of songs, including a number of special mixes.

The Cons

At first thought, the lack of lyrics' booklets for each of the albums had a little bit wondering, in particular since it is quite a hefty release. Nevertheless, at least partially, the richly written booklet of the entire boxset covered the absence of lyrics.

Furthermore, it felt quite good to hold a digipack for each CD, as it was on the SKID ROW reissues, as if each record received a sole special treatment. Being in cardboard, I believe that visually, it felt little low. On the other hand, the CDs, and of course the audio mentioned, are the real prize money, where quality is concerned.


"The Soul Remains Insane" is where Max Cavalera receives the honors he deserves, covering his earlier career choices that made SOULFLY to become the monstrosity that were, and still remain today, even if in different form. If you are a Metalhead, no matter if less a fan of the 90s or not, this is a crucial musical documentation of Metal history, and it has to be given the proper chance for a sheer digestion.

4 Star Rating

1. Soulfly
2. Primitive
3. ॐ
4. Prophecy
5. Soulfire
Max Cavalera – Vocals / Rhythm Guitars / Berimbau / Sitar
Cello Dias – Bass ("ॐ")
Bobby Burns – Bass / Backing Vocals ("Prophecy")
Marcello D. Rapp – Bass ("Soulfly", "Primitive")
Mike Doling – Lead Guitars ("Primitive", "ॐ")
Marc Rizzo – Lead Guitars ("Prophecy")
Jackson Bandeira – Lead Guitars ("Soulfly")
Roy Mayorga – Drums ("ॐ")
Joe Nuñez – Drums ("Primitive")
Record Label: BMG


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