Soilent Green

Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction

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Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction is Soilent Green's fifth studio album, following relatively quickly (by their standards) on the heels of 2005's Confrontation. Like Confrontation, Collapse was produced by Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan, and the overall sound of the album -- very loud and clear, yet not overly slick or artificial-sounding like so many current death metal albums -- is very similar to its predecessor. This is also their first album recorded as a quartet, with Brian Patton handling all the guitar work this time around, but the basic sound is very much a continuation of their previous work. That means that fans (and non-fans, for that matter) can expect the same mashed-up blend of grindcore, hardcore, death metal, doom metal, and just about every other extreme metal subgenre, together with the group's trademark Southern blues-rock accents. Even so, the details remain as unpredictable as ever, as their songs continue to careen through a dozen or so different parts each, meaning that this album -- like all of their albums -- takes some time to digest. The album starts strong with opener "Mental Acupuncture," which begins with a towering, doom-laden opening riff before veering into a catchy grindcore riff (and umpteen other places from there). Other highlights include "Antioxidant," which includes an odd, almost comical hillbilly-metal riff during the middle before hitting an intense climax when Ben Falgoust's vocals reenter, and "In the Same Breath," which makes effective use of a simple, powerful two-chord riff that returns at the end of the song (a rarity for a band that tends toward a sort of scorched-earth songwriting approach with no recurring parts). Also of note is "All This Good Intention Wasted in the Wake of Apathy," whose music was originally written in the early '90s when original vocalist (and Hurricane Katrina victim) Glen Rambo was still in the band. The one criticism here is that it would be nice to hear the band incorporate more dynamics into its music; as always, there are a couple of tantalizing interludes by guitarist Patton -- including the acoustic guitar and banjo intro on "In the Same Breath" -- that make one wish the group would do more with these non-metal elements of its sound. Even so, Soilent Green are a great metal band, and this typically dense and challenging album is further evidence of that.

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