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Here, folks, we have one of the most overrated albums in the history of metal. This is one of the most horrid things I've ever heard, and I'm sick of all the fanboy attention these guys get. Soilent Green has never done it for me, and they never will. They never should for anyone.
Musically, I have to give credit in one area, this album is clear and it's easy to hear what's being played. However, this is ruined by the band's typical playing, which consists of cool riff, blast beat over here, go into a breakdown that sounds like another song, speed up again, scream scream scream, breakdown that sounds like another song, and do it some more. I don't think I've ever heard music this disjointed. There's no real connection most of the time to any of the arrangements. While it happens occasionally, usually they suddenly go into something else or just keep going when you pray to god the damn thing ends already. Only a handful of the riffs are really interesting, with the title track being the most prominent.
This aspect is really a shame to me because overall you can hear this really cool, New Orleans-styled feeling to the music, but it's so quickly marred by poor organization and the tendency to just blast beat everything that this effect quickly flushes down the bog. The, drummer, for example, usually relies way to heavily on this when this kind of sound desparately cries for some really off-beat drumming that SLOWS THE HELL DOWN. What a cop out. Other times, the guitars are going along with a cool groove and then they say 'screw it let's just tremolo this part' and that's the end of it. Other than the quality and some occasionally cool segments, Sewn Mouth Secrets is sorely lacking in the most important department.
One good thing, however, is the presentation of this album. The band really gave themselves a cool theme utilizing the whole Art Nouveau thing there and some really famous artwork from the period. It serves to really give the layout a cool feel. Too bad the music didn't fit it, or when it did too bad they ruined it with nonsensical shifts in tempo and chord work. Oh well, I guess if you want to show off some cool artwork you can have it sitting on the coffee table as a coaster, because the next part is what really sinks this one low.
The one thing I find absolutely laughable about this band is the damn singing. Give me a break. First off, the guy sings everything with this screamo sort-of style, intersperced with the occasional Brutal Truth rip-off wailing. This stuff does not fit the music AT ALL. I mean, the music is sometimes okay, but this guy really pulls it down to nothing with his absolutely half-assed roaring. As I mentioned with the drums, this album really, really needed a unique style over it to make it stand out. I've seen death core bands playing in their parents' garages screaming better than this.
Second, although the layout is cool, the majority of the inside is dominated by the ridiculously long lyric sheet. I can't believe it, but this idiot is actually singing all of this, I seriously followed it once. I mean we have pages upon pages of lyrics here, none of which really seem to have any real theme to them or give the listener a clear idea what in the hell this guy is on about. He uses the word lie about a million times and seems to be hinting at a girlfriend or something for the majority of them. Seriously, I really don't know what all of this bullshit is supposed to be about. There's no rhyme or reason to it, literally and figuratively. Just a bunch of run-on or incomplete sentences when it comes down to it.
Third, and finally, the song titles really bring down the feeling this album begs to have musically and artistically. What are you guys exactly? Looking at it and listening to some of the faster, Eyehategod-styled riffing, I'd assume it was a cool, Louisiana metal thing with weird Victorian references or something, but song titles such as 'So Hatred', 'Her Unsober Ways', and 'Sticks and Stones' make me think this guy should go hang out with Limp Bizkit a bit and get the anti-girlfriend lyrics out of the system there before he writes the damn things down and ruins a whole frikken album. What a waste of cool artwork too, Alphonse Mucha is probably rising from the grave to haunt your stupid asses pretty damn soon for dirtying his good work.
As usual, I'm disappointed by yet another Relapse band. Back in the day the label carried some really cool, underground shit, though a few bands were questionably part of their line-up, but still it had a lot going for it. Then the late 90s hit and we get shit like this popping up, convoluting the genre until it's barely breathing and then relying on half-ass comedians to try to sell some shitty albums. What is this crap? Why in the hell did you release it? I give the label credit for managing to somehow milk this garbage, but this is just one example of something I purchased after reading the glorified statements about it in the Relapse catalog. This was probably the point I gave them the finger and swore I'd never buy another CD from them again. You'll notice on their Myspace page that Soilent Green is still swinging on the balls of the songs on this very album. If THIS is the best they had, they've never had it.
It's rare for bands to go through as much as Lousiana-based grinders Soilent Green have done. Not only was their bassist Scott Williams shot and killed in 2004, they were involved in a car aciident that left their vocalist Ben Falgoust having to relearn to walk, and recently it was announce that the band's ex-vocalist Glenn Rambo was discovered dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Little wonder that the music they make is as harsh as it is, a curious (yet when you consider it makes sense) mix of Crowbar-style sludge and good ol' grindcore. A massive groove runs throught the album, at times sounding almost Kyussian, andit's these moments that make Sewn Mouth Secrets so good. At a couple of points (the intor to Build Fear and Her Unsober Ways in particular) you'd swear you were listening to the Rolling Stones, so mellow they get before exploding into life with a twisted scream. The vocals vary between growls and shrieks, with the odd spoken-word piece to keep things experimental. As you'd expect, guitars are stoner-y in sound and go from thrash to doom riffs, definately more the latter than the former. No solos, unsurprisingly, if there's one thing that would improve the music it's the odd Floydian space-out to take it to the next level. However, Soilent Green have gone for hardcore agression over proggression, and in that respect it works fine. Oh, and don't run away just because I mentioned the "h" word - this is a long way from dull Hatebreed and its clones.
Overall, a solid release.
JUST STFU MAN!!!
Wow, what a fucking great CD. I have been listening to it roughly since it came out in around late 1998, early 1999. The intro is quite eerie and psychotic. The first riff in "It Was Just An Accident" really doesn't give any evidence as to what you are in store for throughout, just a simple grind style riff. The drumming FUCKING brilliant, fast as fuck and the time changes are immense, put in place perfectly with the music. Yeah, the drummer knows when to blast like a mofo and when to stop, CLASS. This is top class musicianship. The guitar work is a combination of fast, but intelligent grind, with the odd hint of stoner/sludge/doom, with perfect groove and no nonsense. Also, the occasional cheeky jazz riff thrown in. As for the vocals, well, fucking outstanding, this guy has a low pitched voice, roaring powerfully. But then out of no where, it just turns into this high pitched, blood curdling scream/screech.
The intro of "Build Fear" is a delightful little blues melody with typical, smoky bar, fedora wearing, cigar smoking styled whispered/spoken vocals. This eventually drops into great vicious vocals and then insane, stop start blastbeats.
The next song just as fucking interesting, "Looking Through Nails". The breakdown a minute in, a somewhat interesting time changed, but crunchy breakdown. This song surprisingly doesn't use many (if any) blastbeats, which just totally fucking shows how intelligent and diverse this band are.
Fucking hell, the tempo changes and arrangement of this band is truly supreme. Everything just goes so well and they seem to know how to put everything together beautifully. The stoner parts being groovy as fuck, but soon mix in well with the brutal or insanely fast parts. With every song that comes on, I like this CD more and more. Such an interesting riff here, brilliant riff there, exceptional time changes over and over. "Openless", being a cool short song, with a lovely riff.
Ahh, the song "Sewn Mouth Secrets", starts up. "CLOOOSET MAAASTER, REVEEAAL YOURSELF. CLENCHING THE TRUTH IN YOUR THROAT, CHOOOKING ON AN ABUNDANCE OF LIIES, I'VE BROOOKEN IN DOWN, ONE MOORE TIME", truly nasty. Then ironically, drops into the grooviest part just over the minute mark. I mean, this song has it fucking all. Groove, doom, gloom, blasts, time changes, crunchy parts, brutality, fucking amazing lyrics. No wait, that's the LP throughout.
Great drum roll then blues/funk-esque baseline on the intro of "Emptiness Found", that drops into a fucking down tempo moody part that surely only makes you grin.
It's great that very rarely, you get a band that has an amazing set of string instrument players, brilliant vocalist and an expert drummer, but, it is even better if you have all this and they fit perfectly and they have the ability to write quite an exceptional CD, which is what you have here no doubt.
A quite Immaculate CD that I couldn't fault if I fucking tried. GO. FUCKING. GET!!