Groove Metal

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Groove metal is also known as neo-thrash, post-thrash, or power groove, groove metal consists of slow or mid-tempo and down tuned thrash riffs, bluesy guitar solos, greatly emphasized drum work and harsh vocals. Pantera is considered the most important groove metal act and very much revolutionized the thrash metal genre, and were followed by other influential acts like Machine Head. So great was the impact on thrash metal by groove acts like Pantera and Machine Head that already established thrash metal acts changed their style in a more groovy direction. For example, speed metal veterans Overkill took a more groove metal oriented direction on "I Hear Black", as did Exodus on "Force of Habit" and Sacred Reich on "Independent". While these would quickly return to their roots, other bands, such as Anthrax, continued to explore groove metal to the extent that their music was not even considered as thrash metal anymore. In their exploration of groove metal on "Chaos A.D." and "Roots", Sepultura gave rise to the sub-subgenre of tribal metal, whose central feature is primitive and groovy riffage. Many alternative metal bands, especially those belonging to the nu metal wave, would draw on groove metal, and perhaps that is why many post-1993 releases by acts like Anthrax and Sepultura are considered alternative metal releases. Groove metal also found its way into death metal, giving birth to the subgenre of death 'n' roll, which is included under death metal on the MMA.

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Speed Metal and Thrash Metal):
  • Vim Fuego (leader)
  • Nightfly

groove metal top albums

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WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1 Album Cover La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1
WHITE ZOMBIE
4.38 | 19 ratings
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PANTERA Cowboys From Hell Album Cover Cowboys From Hell
PANTERA
4.20 | 105 ratings
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SEPULTURA Machine Messiah Album Cover Machine Messiah
SEPULTURA
4.33 | 13 ratings
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PANTERA Vulgar Display of Power Album Cover Vulgar Display of Power
PANTERA
4.08 | 73 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Burn My Eyes Album Cover Burn My Eyes
MACHINE HEAD
4.11 | 27 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Sacrament Album Cover Sacrament
LAMB OF GOD
4.12 | 20 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Ashes of the Wake Album Cover Ashes of the Wake
LAMB OF GOD
4.10 | 24 ratings
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CAVALERA CONSPIRACY Inflikted Album Cover Inflikted
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY
4.20 | 11 ratings
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SOULFLY Conquer Album Cover Conquer
SOULFLY
4.21 | 10 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Resolution Album Cover Resolution
LAMB OF GOD
4.11 | 14 ratings
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CHIMAIRA The Impossibility Of Reason Album Cover The Impossibility Of Reason
CHIMAIRA
4.19 | 9 ratings
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SOULFLY Prophecy Album Cover Prophecy
SOULFLY
4.13 | 11 ratings
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groove metal Music Reviews

WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1

Album · 1992 · Groove Metal
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Warthur
This is one which crept up on me - much like zombies of the classic George Romero variety, come to think of it. I came to White Zombie a bit later than everyone else (Marilyn Manson was my shock rock cup of tea back in the day), and as such a lot of the stuff this album does had become widely imitated by the time I got to it. The liberal sprinkling of creepy sound clips was already a feature of the more danceable end of industrial music, having been pioneered by Skinny Puppy; new guitarist's J's riffs have been imitated by countless groove metal tagalongs ever since, and I've lost count of the number of guys I've run into over the years who thought that growing their hair out and not bathing could make them a Rob Zombie-like cult figure.

Nonetheless, even if the individual parts that make up La Sexorcisto might be cliches by themselves, brought together in one package they come up with a dynamite combination which I found increasingly intoxicating once I gave myself a little time to, well, get into the groove. On my first listen the first few songs seemed like an achingly generic morass, but something clicked partway through Black Sunshine and I loved the rest of the album; I immediately started it over and found that I was catching features of the first few songs which had entirely escaped me the first time.

Like listening to someone who's speaking your native language with a particularly strong dialect or accent, you need to give your ear a little time to adjust to what White Zombie's laying down here, but you'll be glad that you did. Rob's delirious rants and J's volcanic guitar solos are flashy as anything, and the rhythm section of Sean Yseult and Ivan de Prume purr like an engine - it's no wonder that Rob keeps coming back to the car motif in his lyrics.

Special mention, of course, has to be made of the involvement of friend and fan of the band Iggy Pop, without whose support they might have never made it this far. His spoken word introduction on Black Sunshine, in particular, is amazingly evocative and makes me think that someone should get him to narrate a documentary about the Beat writers or something. (You just *know* he'd be up for such a project, after all.)

PANTERA The Great Southern Trendkill

Album · 1996 · Groove Metal
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martindavey87
How did one of the most influential metal bands of the 90’s (and of all time?) turn out to be so disappointing? I mean, like a lot of metalheads, I’ve always held Pantera in such high regard, but it wasn’t until I properly took the time to listen to their albums that I found myself not really enjoying a lot of it.

The groundbreaking ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ feature some of metals most beloved songs, but I find are also brimming with filler material. ‘Far Beyond Driven’ even made it to the number one spot in the Billboard charts! How??? That album, in my eyes, saw a huge decline from its predessors! And how did they follow that up? With an even more lacklustre mess of an album; ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’.

There’s no denying that the band had been getting progressively heavier with each release, and ‘Trendkill’ is by far their heaviest album to date, but it’s just so chaotic and cluttered that I truly struggle with it. Phil Anselmo’s once-impressive vocals, blending screaming, shouting, singing and all sorts, is just one incomprehensible death metal growly shout after another. And the guitars, once groove-laden and full of pumping, memorable riffs, now sound like generic, throwaway leftovers. Messy and uninspired, the band was at odds when making this album, with the music and vocals being recorded in completely separate locations, and it shows.

The production sounds rather dated as well. While the music’s sheer intensity and brutality make it heavy, the sound itself is rather weak and tinny, struggling to live up to the standards of the bands previous releases.

If I was forced to pick out any highlights, ‘Living Through Me (Hell’s Wrath)’ and ‘Suicide Note Pt. 1’ are probably the best two songs. The title track is alright too. But to be honest though, I’m just really not into this album, and struggling to really see what all the hype was about regarding Pantera.

ADRENALINE MOB Omertá

Album · 2012 · Groove Metal
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martindavey87
I knew immediately upon their formation that I would love this band! Formed by three of my all-time musical heroes, Rich Ward of Stuck Mojo and Fozzy, Mike Portnoy, one year removed from his tenure with Dream Theater, and Russell Allen, powerhouse vocalist of Symphony X. Some of my favourite bands right there. This was amazing!

Except, their debut self-titled EP was a bit of a disappointment to me. Not only was it the most expensive single CD I’ve ever bought (being sold directly by the band themselves and having to be imported from America), I was gutted to find out that Rich Ward (my hetero man-crush) didn’t actually play on the recordings, but merely posed for the pictures. Unfortunately he’d already left the band by this point, leaving sole guitar duties to virtuoso Mike Orlando.

And with that, the band recruited Disturbed bassist John Moyer and released their debut album, 2012’s ‘Omertá’, a hard-hitting, pull-no-punches and take-no-prisoners affair, which offers traditional heavy metal with a huge dose of groove and energy. Brimming with driving guitar riffs and a pounding rhythm section, the music is unapologetic in its raw aggression and attitude. And vocalist Russell Allen, renowned for his incredible range and passion, really nails the anger and emotion needed to bring the music to life.

The production on this album is fantastic as well, giving the music an incredibly heavy and thick sound, and helping the band live up to their name. Tracks like ‘Undaunted’, ‘Indifferent’, ‘Psychosane’, ‘Feelin’ Me’, ‘Hit the Wall’, ‘All on the Line’, ‘Believe Me’ and ‘Down to the Floor’ are all massive metal anthems that can make you feel unbeatable, and not only do they make up for the rather shoddy EP the group had released the year prior, but establishes Adrenaline Mob as more than just another supergroup side-project, but a legit band with a bright future ahead of them.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH And Justice for None

Album · 2018 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Five Finger Death Punch albums are often fairly similar in terms of quality, musical direction and performance. Most of them feature bouncy groove-metal riffs balanced with melodic modern-metalcore loud/quiet dynamics and easy on the ear radio friendly production jobs. Maybe a ballad or two for variety.

Not all their albums are absolutely identical, and for example their debut is faster and rawer than their fifth album, but there is a general similarity between a lot of them and the basic rule of thumb is that if you like one of them, you’ll probably like them all. They do have a distinct formula if we’re being honest here.

For me, their first two albums and also Got Your Six are the strongest, and up until this point, The Wrong Side Of Heaven’ 2 and American Capitalist are the weaker ones in the catalouge, as there are possibly too many ballads and light tracks on them and not enough fast songs for my own personal tastes, but to be honest that’s all if you are getting nit picky and there’s not too much difference between them unless you sit there and analyse them.

In 2018; two years after it was actually recorded due to some record company shenanigans and legal wranglings and after a gap filling greatest-hits compilation, the band released their seventh full-length studio album, And Justice For None. You can get it in a standard edition, or one with the new songs they added to that aforementioned greatest-hits albums, the catchy single ‘Trouble’ and the cover song ‘Gone Away’ which is a reworking of a The Offspring song (which to be fair they put on the standard edition anyway in the end), as well as two further bonus tracks from the same era, ‘Bad Seed’ and ‘Save Your Breath.’

Now; remember when I said there’s too many ballads and lighter moments on the albums I’d rate as being not their best? Well, this one has two lighter songs that are both covers. It also has the ballad single ‘When The Seasons Change’ preceded by the very good but still ballady ‘I Refuse.’ It even ends on a power ballad with ‘Will The Sun Ever Rise?’ It also has the strange lighter electronic tracks ‘Stuck In My Ways’ & ‘Bloody’ which feel like a play to get on TV advertisements and are a lot lighter and less powerful than my favourite songs by the band.

Hey; I am no ballad-phobic caveman. I love power metal for goodness sake, where you can’t move for ballads. Its just, when there’s one very good ballad on an album, it is a nice piece of variety. When its like two thirds of the whole record it sort of weighs it down and they loose their efficacy. If it had only been say, ‘I Refuse’ for example, that would be fine. If there was only one cover it might’ve been aright. If they only had one song experimenting with electronics, it would have stood out. As it stands, its all a bit too much and it feels like overkill.

There are some groovier, heavier and faster tracks here. ‘Rock Bottom,’ has a rumbling menace to it, ‘It Doesn’t Matter,’ ‘Fire In The Hole’ and ‘Top Of The World’ are the traditional Five Finger Death Punch sound and the opener ‘Fake’ is pretty strong. There’s stuff to like here for sure, don’t let me make you think its a complete departure. I guess the album is a bit overlong though, and a bit unfocused. It also hits the strange ‘make-your-mind-up’ sweet spot between staying too close to the old formula at times and experimenting with new stuff too much, without really committing to either. The problem is that they don’t really suit the new stuff. Again, ‘Bloody’ is an excellent example of what I did not expect from this band. Another song that doesn’t sound like the band is the controversial lead single ‘Sham Pain’ with its lyrics basically complaining about being on tour and sounding ungrateful.

When I first got this album, it really felt like a let down after Got Your Six, and I will admit that it has grown on me a lot more with each repeat listen. If I hadn’t bought it and felt guilty about the money, I might not have listened to it quite so often and allowed it to grow on me. Even with this appreciation-raising slow burn, this is easily my least favourite album from the group. It may be due to the circumstances in which it was written and recorded, burned out and before getting clean and with the record label woes, it may have all impacted upon the quality of the record. Maybe the next one will be great. Or again, maybe its just a natural dip from a band working that hard pumping albums out and touring so often. They dipped a little on the fifth album and rose higher again on the sixth. Maybe it is just a natural fluctuation. Either way, while I am still going to be listening to this album in full over and over again to try and feel like I got my money’s worth, I feel like I won’t ever like it as much as Way Of The Fist or Wrong Side Of Heaven part 1. If you aren’t an obsessive fan, don’t feel bad if you want to skip this one, and if you are a new fan or aren’t a fan yet, I’d advise you leave this one until last, and try something like War Is The Answer first.

PANTERA Far Beyond Driven

Album · 1994 · Groove Metal
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martindavey87
‘Far Beyond Driven’ is the seventh studio album by groove metal band Pantera, and the third since their unofficial rebirth, having shed their 80’s glam days. It’s weird to me, however, that while the band were one of the most influential metal groups of the 90’s, and this release reached the number one spot on the Billboard charts, it’s really a fairly average release, and is brimming with subpar material.

The most notable difference with ‘Far Beyond Driven’ over its predecessors is the absolute brutality of the record. It’s by far heavier than anything the Texans had put out prior. But sadly this comes at a great cost, as most of the songs are incredibly lacklustre. While the album starts off promisingly enough, it very quickly becomes a rather repetitive affair, with most songs sounding like a bunch of riffs incoherently thrown together.

The production itself leaves much to be desired, with particular mention going to the drums, which at times sound programmed in. Phil Anselmo’s choice of screaming and shouting over singing has certainly upped the aggression of the album, but does nothing for me. The only real highlight is guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who’s influential guitar playing has garnered endless acclaim, however, even here, it feels slightly by the numbers.

‘Strength Beyond Strength’, ‘Five Minutes Alone’ and ‘I’m Broken’ are all decent enough tracks, and a cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Planet Caravan’ actually works really well for the band (I’m not a fan of the original, but this one is pretty good). But overall however, none of these songs are all that memorable to me, and certainly don’t hold up well to the bands previous two releases.

It’s not the worst album I own, but for all the praise it received, it certainly doesn’t live up to the hype. Oh, and the song ‘Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills’ is an absolute abomination.

groove metal movie reviews

SEPULTURA Sepultura - Live in Sao Paulo

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Sepultura have a good few options if you are into live material. There is the Chaos DVD with the Under Siege video on it with the band touring Arise and playing all their Thrash era songs. There is the Under A Pale Grey Sky cd with the last ever gig of the Max Cavelera line-up on it, playing a lot of material off of Roots and Chaos AD. There is the newer Rock In Rio DVD with the Les Tambors Du Bronx percussion group augmenting them. There’s also plenty of live material on bonus tracks and compilations.

Best of all however, is Sepultura Live In Sao Paulo. It was the first video album with the Derick Green line-up, the first time you got to see and not just hear live versions of material from Roots and Chaos AD and its the only place to hear straight up unaltered versions of material off the Derick Green albums. It was released in 2005 when they were touring Roorback, back when they were still a Gold-selling band.

You get to hear an amazing blend (21 songs!) of material all the way from their earliest EPs and albums with early material like ‘Necromancer’ and ‘Troops Of Doom’ beside the mega-hits from the ’90s like ‘Territory’ and ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ mixed in with more modern gems like ‘Choke’ and what has to be one of the band’s best ever songs in ‘Sepulnation.’ (For me, its in the top 5 songs they ever recorded, any era).

Visually, the album is great. Its really well shot and edited, with no fancy distracting weird camera angels or lenses and no too-fast music video style choppy cuts. The stage set up and tasteful circle of lighting around their tribal ‘S’ logo banner looks really great, and the soundjob and mix are perfect. Sometimes the guitars or the vocals can be too quiet in a live recording, or some times the drums have way too much reverb, or sometimes you can’t hear the crowd’s energy; but here everything is perfectly balanced hear and it all sounds thick and chunky.

The band’s performances are excellent and it really shows off what great musicians they are. I never ‘got’ how good a drummer Igor is until I saw this! I didn’t much care for Derrick Green as a frontman before I saw this an it utterly changed my mind.

It looks great, it sounds great, the tracklist is great and the band play great. What more could you possibly want? Oh well, if you still do want more there is an absolute tonne of extras, with music videos, more live songs, a short making of documentary and biography, a bigger documentary about the band from 1998–2005 and other stuff as well (photogalleries etc.)

Overall; this is a damn strong release from a very important band, and there’s so much on it its great value for money. If like me you were skeptical on them without Max in the band, go on youtube and check out live versions of tracks like ‘Chaos AD’ and especially ‘Sepulnation’ off of this and just try not to be converted! If you are new to the band altogether this is a great starting point blending the best parts of all the eras together.

LAMB OF GOD Walk With Me In Hell

Movie · 2008 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Walk With Me In Hell is a fantastic DVD for fans of Lamb Of God, full of honest and informative interviews, storming live performances and footage from all around the world.

The DVD features four and a half hours of content; including The main feature, the 117 minute documentary `Walk With Me In Hell ,' as well as six entire live songs from various tours that were featured in the documentary. The Second disc features the fantastic 77 minute `Making of The Sacrament,' documentary,' and an entire 40 minute Set from Download and lastly the music video for Redneck.

The main documentary is brilliant, following the band from just having finished recording their fantastic Sacrament album and embarking on a world tour full of interesting encounters, mishaps and mild adventures. Interviews unravel a tale of ups and downs, of bad luck and of increasing success and really give you an idea of what life is like for a touring metal band. From adjusting to foreign food, being cut of from your family and living in a cramped bus with band and crew members for months on end to photo shoots merch signing sessions and radio interview obligations.

The band are both really candid and entertaining, giving honest impressions of situations and not being afraid to look bad, while also cracking many jokes or playing a few childish pranks that never fail to raise a few laughs. Where some band DVDs may over emphasize the comedy aspects, Walk With Me In Hell is very tasteful and has the balance just right. The whole documentary is full of Lamb of God music, both recorded versions playing over footage of busses or set ups, and snippets of excellently shot concert footage that can last up to a minute or two.

Redneck, Again We Rise, Walk With Me in Hell, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Blacken The Cursed Sun, and Pathetic can be seen in full from these various performances featured in the documentary, a nice way to augment Killadelphia without repeating it.

`Making of The Sacrament,' documentary is of the same very high standard, and features a lot of the decision making processes, actual song writing and much footage of practicing and perfecting songs that would eventually make up the album. The band also talk a lot about their place in the world of metal, their music and how each album differs from the last, very interesting stuff for a fan to watch.

The Download set is a real highlight here, the excellent audio and visual quality and extremely energetic performance by the band make for an amazing show. The track list is: Laid To Rest, Again We Rise, Walk With Me in Hell, Pathetic, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Blacken The Cursed Sun, Redneck, and Black Label.

Overall this DVD is highly recommended to fans of the band, featuring tones of content, really interesting documentaries and very well shot, edited and performed live material focusing heavily on The Sacrament album so as not to just repeat the band's previous two DVDs.

LAMB OF GOD Killadelphia

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Killadelphia is a fantastic DVD that captures Lamb Of God in 2005 just as they were really breaking into the big time, with a mixture of documentary segments and a sixteen track concert that has a total playtime of almost two hours.

The concert is of very high quality, the band deliver music from New American Gospel in a clear and professional way and give tracks from Ashes of the Wake an energy and rawness that improves them similarly. The band are brilliant performers and know how to command an audiences attention, when to play up to the crowd and also crucially when not to, in order to preserve the spirit of the written songs.

Randy is the type of singer who you may expect might not be able to pull it off live, given the intensity, speed and complexity of what he delivers on record; but in reality his live performances are astounding, if anything better than on record.

Performance is only one quality on which a live concert stands or falls, and thankfully a very strong performance is not the only thing which Killadelphia has to offer, the sound is terrific, with a very clear drum and vocal sound, heavy guitar tones and a good clear mix which gives each instrument a fair chance to shine without sacrificing much in the way of heaviness.

Furthermore, the camera work, direction and editing, in addition to the lighting and stage show are excellent bringing a real excitement to the video without having to resort to cheesy wipes or frequent quick cuts like other concert DVDs sometimes do, but which only ever give the illusion of energy.

On top of all this, the track list is excellent with tracks from each of the band's early albums together and performed to the highest quality. Then as if the concert wasn't interesting enough (and there is an option to play only the concert, plus a CD copy of the concert for added value) you get a really candid and informative set of documentary segments which are of the same tone as those on the band's Walk With Me in Hell DVD, and include the infamous fist fight which fans always seem to love.

Overall, Killadelphia is a brilliant DVD, honestly one of the best metal DVDs on the market and an absolute must buy for Lamb Of God fans.

MACHINE HEAD Elegies

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Elegies was the first live DVD from Machine Head; recorded, just like their Hellalive album at the Brixton Academy in London, three years later in 2004 and released in 2005.

Like with Hellalive, the band play a mixture of material from all of their studio albums up until that point to an excited british crowd, but this time the band were riding high on the critical success of Through The Ashes Of Empires. Their performance is very strong indeed, with new guitarist Phil Demmel giving the band an additional edge. The dual guitar sections from Through The Ashes Of Empires sound amazing on this DVD, they really take on a life of their own in the live environment.

The tracklisting is excellent, presenting the very best of Machine Head, new songs like ‘Imperium,’ and ‘Seasons Wither,’ sound fantastic alongside the all time classics like ‘Ten Ton Hammer,’ and ‘Davidian.’

The band aren’t afraid to drop some of the more emotional, sophisticated music like ‘Descend The Shades Of Night,’ and the title track from ‘The Burning Red,’ confidently bringing the evening to a chilling standstill, before returning to the blistering metal that made them famous.

Visually and in terms of audio, the DVD is pretty great. I personally would’ve preferred if the film grain filters hadn’t been used so often and that the concert was shown in a straight beginning to end session, without the non-live footage in between songs, but ignoring that, the look and sound is great and when you add that to the incendiary performance you have a really great concert recording overall.

The extras feature a short but interesting history on the making of Through The Ashes Of Empires in addition to some music videos.

To summarize, the Elegies DVD is a must have release that no Machine Head fan should be without.

SOULFLY The Song Remains Insane

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Soulfly’s DVD The Song Remains Insane from 2005 is a pretty strong release; consisting of all the bands music videos, assorted live footage from various sources, an entire concert and a fantastic documentary about the band.

The music videos are nice to have, but not what anyone would buy this for and the assorted live footage (featuring a cameo apperance from Biohazard during a tribal drum solo) is a great addition which contains host of songs not in the main concert and a DVD-highlight where Chino Marino joins the band on stage to perform ‘Pain,’ from the band’s ‘Primitive,’ album.

The main concert is well filmed, but unfortunately the sound is out of synch with the video and it is therfore pretty annoying, but if you just listen to it in the background the concert is still fantastic, this out of synch problem is a pretty large disappointment for the real meat of the DVD. If you want a full length pro shot Soulfly concert from the Prophecy era that is properly synched, one is available with Digpak editions of the band’s sixth album Conquer.

Thankfully this DVD is saved by an excellent Documentary, which is informative, interesting and well edited. The DVD is still a real good buy at the price, and would be worth five stars if the audio in the main concert was in synch with the video.

Even with that flaw in the main feature, the collection of music videos, a great documentary and the other excellent (and in synch) live material are well worth the interest of Soulfly fans. It may not wholly stand up visually to modern metal DVDs but is still worth exploration for fans.

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