It's good to see a big crowd have turned out for Soulfly's return to Download, where they last played in 2004. Opening with 'Babylon' they are instantly in tune with the crowd and every song is accompanied by a sea of hands punching the air.
Anyone seeing Soulfly for the first time today can't help but be impressed by the sheer power and at times, menace that they generate, by way of example 'Prophecy' is simply outstanding today. Few have rocked as hard and for as long as Max Cavalera and it's clear that the crowd recognise that, sporting his trademark signature ESP guitar, he and Soulfly produce a relentless, thundering assault and you can't help but get drawn in by their powerhouse sound and infectious enthusiasm. Max gives a total performance, from start to finish he engages the crowd, jumps and head bangs and you just can't fault the guy. Soulfly personify everything that Download should be about: hard, loud music played with energy and passion.
As on their recent UK tour Max's son joins them for 'Bleed' and does an admirable job. The set is obviously shorter than on the recent tour but they manage to get all the highlights in, particularly 'Jumpdafuckup' and 'Primitive'. It really is a triumphant return to Download for Soulfly; their set is full of hard, heavy and tight riffs in a bone crunching performance that makes most of the other bands so far pale into insignificance. You could forgive the crowd for wilting in the sweltering heat but they stay with the band all the way.
They get a brief encore with the excellent 'Eye for an Eye' and as they finish Max is grinning from ear to ear. Few could argue that this was one of the performances of the day, if not the weekend.