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Thursday, May 08, 2008

CD Review: Soilent Green - Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction

Soilent Green - Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction
2008 Metal Blade Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

By every right did Soilent Green deserve to call it a day a few years back, considering the terrible adversity they've faced which would've understandably put the brakes on future work together. In 2004, bassist Scott Williams left this life in a confusing exit that was questioned between murder and possible suicide. A year later, original vocalist Glenn Rambo was killed in Hurricane Katrina.

Certainly nobody would've begrudged the remaining members of Soilent Green to have declared enough is enough and gone their separate ways. However, following a lengthy regrouping period, the Louisiana grindcore gurus have surfaced once again with Ben Falgoust II coming back home to Soilent Green on the mike after a long sojourn with Southern black metallers Goatwhore. Of course, Soilent Green has now been pared down to a quartet with just Brian Patton as lone guitarist, which does and doesn't make a difference in the overall grind belch this band has been reknowned for.

On their first album for Metal Blade, Soilent Green still brings the goods as raucously as they can muster on Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction. Whereas there might be a few less fills and a few less side brouhaha that makes albums like Sewn Mouth Secrets and A Deleted Symphony For the Beaten Down senses-addling metallic cannonade, by no means does Soilent Green slouch on this album.

If anything, Patton sounds even more determined given the fact he's covering two positions now. However, the addition of new bassist Scott Crochet (from Hostile Apostle) has given Patton a bit more dexterity, which he seizes with every opportunity he has on cuts like "For Lack of Perfect Words," "Lovesick," "Mental Acupuncture," "Antioxidant" and the nervy two-minute-plus bit-smashing on "Blessed in the Arms of Servitude." On all of these songs and others, Patton and Crochet fuse as much external Southern-rooted influence as they can get away with, so fear not, even as a foursome, Soilent Green still has much of the same hip-shaking groove amidst the mind-melding thrash their fans crave in the same instant-gratification increments as a can of Pringles.

For good measure, Patton tosses in a clean-picking acoustic intro to "In the Same Breath" as he fuses some funky distortion feedback to greet "Superstition Aimed At One's Skull." Still, the main motif of Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction is to hit 'em fast and hit 'em brutally, so much that if you're not as familiar with Soilent Green, the album sounds like it's set on constant speed with handfuls of greasy and swampy breakdowns to break up the pounding velocity. Hell, even for longtime Soilent Green fans it's going to sound that way, and undoubtedly that suits 'em all just fine...

Rating: ****

1 comment:

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