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Soilent Green has been through some turbulent times. Former bassist Scott Williams was murdered shortly before the release of their 2005 album Confrontation and soon after, ex-vocalist Glen Rambo was killed in Hurricane Katrina. Yet despite all this adversity, Soilent Green have continuously released massively heavy slabs of pure fury on the masses; and with their 5th full length, Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction, the sludge machine shows no sign of stopping.
I’ve heard the occasional Soilent Green song in the past, but Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction was my first true exposure to this band. Right away I noticed that there is no such thing as a conventional song structure on the disc. Each track contains a dozen or more riffs and transitions, but each one feels incredibly organic. Heavy grooves blend into grinding riffs seamlessly, much of this being owed to the drumming of Tommy Buckley. His fills aid what would have otherwise been awkward shifts in rhythm. The man can blast with the best with them and then at the drop of hat switch to a laid back southern rock tempo.
Some of my friends are die hard Soilent Green fans, and they would always tell me that the guitar work is unlike anything out there. I generally reserve this type of praise for albums like Gorguts’ Obscura or something similarly groundbreaking, however after being pummeled and scrambled by the paranoid, maniacal riffage delivered by Brian Patton, I’m a believer. There is no structure to what he plays, and most modern guitarists would be perplexed at his complete unorthodoxy. He is truly the defining element of Soilent Green. Some of the grooves he settles into are mind-blowing; take for instance the first 30 seconds of “Superstition Aimed At One’s Skull”.
A word needs to be said about Ben Falgoust, the multi-talented frontman of Soilent Green and owner of Indecision Records. His vocals on Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction are nothing short of awesome. Full bodied growls spew forth venom aimed at anyone who buys into the mob mentality, which is appropriately fitting for a band named after a movie in which the mindless individuals of a dystopian future unknowingly eat processed food made from dead humans. His lyrics are a little on the weak side poetically, but after listening to Falgoust screaming himself red in the face with rage and conviction, it’s hard to find complaint.
Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction is an interesting album. My complaints lay with the staying power of the songs. There are memorable parts to be sure, but I don’t see myself listening to this album regularly. However, it’s worth having for those with a penchant for heavy, chaotic, and angry music. The bone crunching grooves and face melting grind will permanently disfigure your body with prolonged exposure, but at least your ears will thank you for such a cerebral and exhilarating listen.