Soilent Green

A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down

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Soilent Green's third album continues in the vein of their 1998 breakthrough, Sewn Mouth Secrets, mixing together grindcore, hardcore, and Southern rock, along with elements of doom, death, and black metal, in the form of quick-hitting, constantly shape-shifting songs that just do not let up. Compared with Sewn Mouth Secrets, this album puts more emphasis on the band's grindcore side (not that it wasn't already prevalent), and the instrumental twists -- the constant tempo shifts, baffling time-signature change-ups, and maze-like guitar flurries -- are even more convoluted than before. Together with frontman Ben Falgoust's schizophrenic, bark-growl-and-screech vocal tirades and lyrics about drug abuse, sexual misdeeds, and broken-down lives in general, it all adds up to an intimidating listen the first few times around. However, the band is not dealing in random chaos or shock for shock's sake. This is a challenging album, but as repeated listens will reveal, the songs are carefully structured and flow remarkably well from one section to the next, especially considering how fast-paced they are. Plus, the band's patented swamp metal riffs are as memorable and imaginative as ever when they appear (e.g., the massive breakdown during the middle of "Afterthought of a Genius") and despite the emphasis on grindcore and blastbeats, there are still plenty of choice groove-oriented sections (e.g., most of "Later Days"). Appropriately brief at just over 33 minutes, A Deleted Symphony is a masterful display of aggression and unpredictability in keeping with Soilent Green's high standards.

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