Mad Max Lives
Soulfly with Cold
at Batschkapp in Frankfurt, Germany on June 2, 1998

by: Matthias Noll
These days I don't look forward going to shows that feature more than two bands. Of course "value for money" has its appeal, but it seems that it's more often "quantity for money", which is a completely different thing. Fortunately, at least for me and some of my friends who share my opinion, Limp Bizkits, who were announced as one of the bands in tonight's package, jumped off the tour for unknown reasons. No offense toward LB fans intended here.

At 2100, Cold entered the stage and played for about 50 minutes. The band was unknown to me and their dark melancholic style, in my opinion, left a lot to be desired. Reminding me sometimes of a lightweight version of Tool mixed with bits and pieces of Killing Joke, their song material sounded rather samey and, due to a lack of good and crunching riffs, failed to rock most of the time. On the other hand, the melancholy and emotion in their songs failed to impress, as there were no real climaxes but a constant whining feel that made me start to yawn halfway through the set. The crowd reacted in a friendly manner, applauding after each song, but in general stayed rather calm.

A long break followed, during which the audience grew more and more impatient. Members of the crew appeared on stage over and over again to check one more time if the towels were in the right place and other important stuff. As the crowd grew more impatient by the minute, a lot of yelling and cursing took place until finally the lights went down and tonight's headliner took the stage. Soulfly's opener "Eye for an Eye" blasted through the PA. The guitar sound hit the audience as if made of concrete, the tribal style drums, a monstrous bass, Max's growling vocals, everything received the right attention in the mix, blending into a crunching wall of sound that made the crowd bang and jump like crazy from the front row to the back of the venue. Guitarist Logan Mader, with a new hairstyle that made his head look like some kind of exotic vegetable, jumped up and down, his guitar providing Soulfly with an improved metallic edge. More songs from the Soulfly debut followed with the excitement and energy from both band and audience constantly keeping its high level. As expected, some Sepultura goodies were offered during the show: a medley of "Beneath the Remains" and "Dead Embryonic Cells". Later in the set, "Roots", "Spit" and "Straight Hate" brought back memories of Brazil's finest band. While the downtuned guitar sound failed to provide the lightning fast "Beneath the Remains" with enough power, the newer Sepultura stuff sounded absolutely killer. Too bad the band played none of the Nailbomb covers I had expected. The Gloria and Max vs. Sepultura bullshit that fuels the daily soap opera on several Soulfly and Sepultura websites luckily didn't play a role that night and Mr. Cavalera never mentioned the split and its circumstances throughout the set. With the constant banging, slamming and stage diving that took place in the Batschkapp (an old bomb shelter from WW2, by the way) the place reached temperatures that came close to being unbearable. Therefore, Max was constantly showering the front rows and himself with water. After about 55 minutes, the show reached a climax with "No" and right after that was already over. Having paid quite some bucks for the ticket, I should have left disappointed, but the quality of the Soulfly show was truly compensating for that. If this band manages to keep a high quality level with its future releases, I'll come back to see them anyplace anytime. Let's wait to hear what Sepultura have to offer with _Against_. Hopefully we'll experience two fantastic bands emerging from the split.

(article submitted 1/9/1998)


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