Soilent Green - Inevitable Collapse In The Presence Of Conviction
Metal Blade
Southern-Fried Grind
11 songs (41:25)
Release year: 2008
Soilent Green, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat

This isn’t going to be the usual ‘Soilent Green has been through hard times’ approach which you seem to get every single time the band is bought up. Not to detract from the tragedies and tribulations which have been the bane of the New Orleans-based Sludge/Grinders for the last few years - including the murder of former bassist Scott Williams, the death of former vocalist Glen Rambo in Hurricane Katrina, and a road accident which left present vocalist Ben Falgoust temporarily paralysed - but in the wave of sympathy and admiration which tends to gush at mere mention of the name, it’s easy to overlook the kickass music, let alone the fact that the band was formed all the way back in 1988, actually a year before Sludge king Crowbar came into being. Soilent Green (named after the 70’s sci-fi film) has been a vital part of the New Orleans Sludge scene since the early days, and has tightened its unique sound to result in Inevitable Collapse…, the band’s sixth full length.

For the uninitiated, Soilent Green mix Grindcore and Sludge Metal to create an individual hybrid, capable of speed and sluggishness and often having both in a single song. Southern Rock is a big influence, and its frequent twang really made a difference in the past. Here, the band seems to have largely incorporated this in the varied and often quite abstract groovy riffing, despite the odd acoustic strum. The production by Hate Eternal’s Eric Rutan emphasises the big, fat, meaty guitar sound of Eyehategod’s Brian Patton, yet Scott Crochet’s bass and Tommy Buckley’s drums (he also plays for Crowbar) are audible. The skill is impressive; Buckley can play multiple styles, from a slow Sludge beat to pure Grind blasts, and his work is often the glue that binds the songs’ disparate moments together.

Vocalist Falgoust has a fairly unique style, throaty growls that can drop into pure Death Metal at the drop of a hat. There are less of the Black Metal screams of yesteryear here, but they do crop up occasionally. If there’s a downside to Soilent Green, it’s how much of Falgoust’s vocals there are – fans of his other band, Black Metalcore horde Goatwhore, will have experienced the problem before. Often, you wish he’d shut up and let the music speak for itself, but once you’re used to the style it’s less of a problem.

As for the songs themselves, they’re twisty slabs of Grind that hardly repeat themselves or follow a linear structure. Don’t come in expecting something catchy; this will take several listens before you can follow the band’s meandering path. Whether it’s the acoustic strumming that opens In The Same Breath and Lovesick, the bass solo in Antioxidant or the Black Label Society-esque intro to Superstition Aimed At One’s Skull the band takes a delight in throwing the unexpected in whilst remaining true to the base sound - yet these moments aren’t as impressive as the overall varied and interesting songwriting. It’s hard to feel bored once you’ve started listening, as Soilent Green knows how to keep enough change going to keep you hooked.

Long term Soilent Greenites will find that there’s just enough of a step forward here to avoid accusations of stagnation, an intensity and drive that will put those unfriendly with Grind off, yet there are no real changes in the band’s sound since 2005’s Confrontation. If you liked it then, you’ll like it now, if not, it’s worth another shot.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Mental Acupuncture, Blessed In The Arms Of Servitude, Lovesick, Superstition Aimed At One’s Skull
Goat quoted 82 / 100
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