Review Summary: A forgotten gem of 2008.
With releases from Opeth, Gojira, Cynic, Meshuggah and, even Enslaved, it made it easy to ignore Soilent Green’s Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction in 2008. However, even with some superior releases, Soilent Green released one of the year’s best albums that simply got swept to the wayside due to some of metal’s largest bands. Ben Falgoust and company, however, are no strangers to hardship. They lost their bassist Scott Williams in a murder/suicide and then former singer Glen Rambo when Hurricane Katrina struck. Falgoust himself was left wheel-chair bound due to a 2002 van crash with his other band Goatwhore. It’s grossly apparent that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and it’s fully evident on Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction.
Inevitable Collapse refines their signature sound, a mix of death metal, sludge and southern rock, to a point of perfection on this album. A noticeable difference is the production value, which has been noticeably cleaned up from previous releases. Even with a more clean-cut sound, the sludge and doom sections still ring out with the same filth and force as previous, older releases. Along with the polished production, the song writing has become noticeably better, as well, with more straight forward song structures that closely control the chaos Soilent Green produce.
Soilent Green is at their best when they find ways to assimilate their Southern heritage into the music and when they do so, the result is nothing less than rewarding. In the Same Breath features an acoustic guitar and banjo introduction before exploding into rolling guitar riffs and relentless blast beats. Antioxidant, easily the highlight of the album, features a groovy bass riff that would make any Southerner proud to be from the South. Guitarist Brian Patton and Bassist Scott Crochet keep things interesting showing off their technical skills at every turn and filling the entire album abound with memorable riffs. Drummer Tommy Buckley easily keeps pace with Patton and Crochet by blasting his way through the album while also standing out during the slower doom sections. The real hero of the album, however, is vocalist Ben Falgoust. His unorthodox, staccato growl fits perfectly into each song and adds another layer to the music, almost as if he were another instrument. While there’s not much variation in his growl, usually sticking to the mid and lower ranges, it plays perfectly into the context of the music.
It is, however, not to say the album is without its flaws. The middle section of the album waivers with songs like Superstition Aimed at One’s Skull, and For Lack of Perfect Words mainly because they don’t carry the weight or pack the same punch as most of the other songs on the album. In the end, Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction is a perfect addition to Soilent Green’s already solid discography and shows the band continuing to evolve the sound that defines them.