Many many different instruments were used in Soulfly. The six most commonly used instruments used in most of the Soulfly songs are vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and percussion.
Main instruments Edit
Vocals are most commonly performed by Max Cavalera and is utilized in 90% of all Soulfly songs, the exception are "Karmageddon", "Wings", "Four Sticks", and all ten of the Soulfly-titled songs (not to mention "09-11-01", which is a silent track). There are numerous songs that feature backing vocals, some are performed by other group members while others are by session musicians.
The band features numerous guest vocalists from another band. The examples are Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory on "Eye for an Eye", Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit on "Bleed", Corey Taylor of Slipknot on "Jumpdafuckup", Tom Araya of Slayer on "Terrorist", and Chino Moreno of Deftones on "First Commandment" and "Pain". There are two female vocalists in five of the Soulfly songs—Asha Rabouin is featured in "Flyhigh", "Tree of Pain", "I Believe" and R&B song "Wings", and Anahid M.O.P. performing man-like growls in "Mother of Dragons".
Rhythm guitar Edit
Lead guitar Edit
Lead guitar is performed by several persons throughout the band's existence. The pioneering lead guitarist was Jackson Bandeira, who played the instrument for the first album Soulfly. The subsequent Soulfly lead guitarists are Logan Mader, who only played it while on tour for their first album, Mikey Doling, who played it on Primitive and 3, and then the current member Marc Rizzo who helped record the last seven Soulfly albums.
Bass guitar Edit
Eight different bass guitarists contributed to Soulfly throughout the band's career. Marcelo Dias played bass for the first three albums. Bobby Burns played bass on seven tracks on their fourth album Prophecy while the semi-guest David Ellefson played bass on the other five, plus outro on one, and also for one track on the next album Dark Ages. Burns would went on to play bass alone for the subsequent three albums before he was replaced by Johny Chow for live tour then Tony Campos for the three latest album. Campos quit out of band to join Fear Factory three months before their tenth album Archangel was released, but he recorded bass tracks for that album prior to the leave. He was replaced by Max's brother Igor Cavalera Jr. who was the virtual member before Mike Leon takes over as the current bassist for Soulfly. Igor guested on "Mother of Dragons" for Campos. Christian Olde Wolbers of Fear Factory played bass for Dias on "No".
Drums and percussion Edit
Each of their first four albums alternates between two drummers—Roy Mayorga on Soulfly and 3 and Joe Nunez on Primitive and Prophecy before Nunez played drums for three more albums after that. David Kinkade played drums on their eighth album Enslaved and Max's son Zyon played drums on their last two albums—Savages and Archangel, as well as on two songs on the albums prior to those as a guest on Omen track "Refuse/Resist" and Enslaved track "Revengeance". All of these drummers also play percussion other than regular drums on many of the songs.
There are a few guest drummers besides Zyon. The other Max's son Igor Cavalera Jr. played drums on "Your Life, My Life" on Omen. Soulfly 3 features two guest drummers featured in three tracks—Greg Hall of Sacred Reich on "One Nation" and "I Will Refuse", and Dave Chavarri of Ill Niño on "Under the Sun". There also a few guest performers playing percussion but not the drums. Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill plays percussion on "Umbabarauma". Chuck Johnson plays percussion on instrumentals "Soulfly I" and "Karmageddon"; Zaf Sofaly of Incite plays it on "Soulfly II"; Fedayi Pacha plays it on "Touching the Void".
Various instruments Edit
Berimbau is a Brazilian percussion that has one string. Berimbau is utilized in a handful of Soulfly songs and is all performed by band leader Max Cavalera. Songs that feature this instrument are "Bleed", "Tribe", "Back to the Primitive", "Son Song", "Boom", "In Memory of...", "Flyhigh", "Brasil", "Zumbi", "Under the Sun", "Attitude", "Frontlines", "Riotstarter", "Paranoia", "Slave", and "Bloodshed". The Primitive album begins and ends with berimbau.
Sitar is a classical string instrument used in Indian and Hindu music. Max Cavalera plays sitar in some of the songs, especially in later albums. One of the earliest songs to utilize a sitar is the band-titled track "Soulfly" on the first album. There are a few songs where sitar is played not by Max Cavalera, such as "Tree of Pain" where Marcelo Dias performs it, and "Fallen" where Marc Rizzo performs it. The other examples of songs to feature a sitar are "Rise of the Fallen", "Babylon", "Zumbi", "Four Elements", "Mars", "Chains", "Soulfly II", "Soulfly IV", "Soulfly V", and "Soulfly X".
Flamenco guitar Edit
Flamenco guitar is a Spanish acoustic guitar. Flamenco guitar is all played by Marc Rizzo and is deployed in numerous songs. "El Comegente" has a prominent flamenco guitar part in which guitarist Marc Rizzo calls it "Mars Part II". "Mars" features flamenco guitar too. Flamenco guitar is featured in several Soulfly-titled tracks, from IV to X except for VIII.
Acoustic guitar Edit
Acoustic bass Edit
There are a quartet of Soulfly songs to feature an acoustic bass. The acoustic bass guitar on "Soulfly" is performed by Marcelo Dias, while "El Comegente", "Soulfly IX" and "Soulfly X" are performed by Tony Campos.
Double bass Edit
There are three Soulfly songs where double bass is featured. Marcelo Dias plays double bass on "First Commandment", a track of the debut album. Christian Olde Wolbers, bassist for the band Fear Factory, plays double bass on "No", also a track of the debut album. There is a double bass on Archangel track "Ishtar Rising" performed by Tony Campos.
Mandolin is a guitar-like instrument with pear-shaped body that is only utilized in "Soulfly V" on Dark Ages, performed by Stefan Goldman, who also performs sitar, acoustic guitar and microkorg synth in this song.
Sean Lennon performs synthesizers in addition to piano on "Son Song". Stefan Goldman performs a specific kind of synthesizer—microKORG—on "Soulfly V" and "Salmo-91". John Gray performs prophet V synth programming on some of the tracks on Dark Ages.
Bayan is a Russian accordion. It is performed by Alexander Yushin in the album Dark Ages.
Balalaika is a Russian stringed instrument that looks like a guitar with triangular-shaped body. It is performed by Alexsander Hrenov in Dark Ages. The specific kind, contrabass balalaika, is performed by Alexsander's brother Vitaly Hrenov in the same album.
Synth bass Edit
Tambora is a Dominican drum used in merengue music. Outside of that, it is used in several Soulfly songs performed by session musicians Gilmar Bolla Oito and Jorge Du Peixe—"Eye for an Eye", "Tribe", "Bumba", "Bumbklaatt", "Umbabarauma", "Quilombo" and "Prejudice". Tambora is also performed by band member Roy Mayorga on "Eye for an Eye".
Zabumba is a Brazilian bass drum. Despite it is a Brazilian instrument and Soulfly is a Brazilian band, zabumba is featured in just one track. Former Soulfly guitarist Jackson Bandeira performs zabumba on Soulfly 1 track "Fire".
Agogô is a cowbell-like samba instrument that comprises of two or three small conical bells and is struck with a drumstick. Max Cavalera played that in "Fire".
Triangle is a percussion instrument where the three metal rods form the triangle and is struck with a metal stick. Triangle is used in two tracks of the debut album—"Fire" and "Cangaceiro". Max Cavalera performs that on the former track and Gilmar Bolla Oito performs that on both of these tracks.
Chains, although used to hang things up, can also be used as a musical instrument when it records the sound of chains swaying. The sound of chains is recorded in a couple of Soulfly songs—"Prejudice" and "Chains".
Didgeridoo is an Australian wind instrument. There are a trio of Soulfly songs to feature this instrument—"Carved Inside" and "Bloodshed" are performed by Max Cavalera while "Touching the Void" is performed by Jean-Pol Dub.
French horn Edit
There are four performers of French horn on "Marš na Drinu" part in "Wings", the final track of the album Prophecy. The performers are Nenad Bećirović, Danijel Demirović, Ekrem Maksutović, and Nica Demirović.
There are two Soulfly songs where trumpet is featured—"Wings" of Prophecy and "Bethlehem's Blood" of Archangel. Trumpet in "Marš na Drinu" part of "Wings" is performed by Dejan Aydić, Roća Demirović, and Demiran Ćerimović. Trumpet on "Bethlehem's Blood" is performed by Max Cavalera.
Like the trumpet mentioned above, tuba is a brass family. Ćerim Bećirović performs tuba on "Marš na Drinu" in "Wings".
Flutes are played on Prophecy tracks "Execution Style", "Born Again Anarchist", "Soulfly IV". They are all performed by Ljubomir Dimitrijević. Flute is also featured on Ritual track "Blood on the Street" performed by Gary Elthe.
Sheepskin bagpipes Edit
Kaval is a flute traditionally played throughout the Armenia, Balkans and Turkey. It is played on the Prophecy tracks "Execution Style", "Born Again Anarchist", and "Soulfly IV". They are all performed by Ljubomir Dimitrijević.
Gemshorn is a wind instrument of ocarina family that is made from the tusks of animals such as a goat. Gemshorn is played on the Prophecy tracks "Execution Style", "Born Again Anarchist", and "Soulfly IV". They are all performed by Ljubomir Dimitrijević.
Zurla, also known as zurna, is an Eurasian wind instrument typically played from Balkans to Central Asia. Zurla is played on the Prophecy tracks "Execution Style", "Born Again Anarchist", and "Soulfly IV". They are all performed by Ljubomir Dimitrijević.
Diple, also known as dvojnice and dvojanke, is a traditional woodwind instrument typically used in Southeastern Europe that resembles a flute. It is played on the Prophecy tracks "Execution Style", "Born Again Anarchist", and "Soulfly IV". They are all performed by Ljubomir Dimitrijević.
Talk box Edit
Scratches is a sound produced on a turntable when a vinyl is moved back and forth while controlling the volume of sounds produced. Scratches is utilized on two Soulfly tracks ("Bleed" and "Quilombo"), all performed by Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal.
Feedback effect Edit
Feedback effect is utilized by session musician Jose Navarro on Primitive track "Terrorist".
Foosball is a play table, but it can be considered a sound used in recorded music, like in "Mulambo" on Primitive album where Max's then young son Zyon plays around with foosball for capturing sounds to be incremented.