Soilent Green
Confrontation

Few bands can claim to have the recent adversity of Soilent Green (the tragic death of bassist Scott Williams), and it shows on this album as Soilent Green is as angry as ever. Admittedly, Soilent Green’s last album A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down, had a ‘samey’ quality about you just had to enjoy to appreciate, as I don’t think the band is ever about to change their swamp grind/core sound, so with Confrontation you basically get more of the same. Take it as you will.

The template is firmly in place; Sabbathian grooves and bluesy breakdowns intermingled amid chaotic, fuzzed out blast beats with Ben Falgoust’s pained screams and a few ‘Southern’ injections for good measure. Nothing has changed here so if you thought A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down was repetitive, you will more than likely thing the same of Confrontation, but it’s hard to ignore the primal fury that seeps from every pore of this band and album, regardless of lack of memorability.

Suddenly competent producer Erik Rutan’s old school meets new school recording process for this album (2 inch reel to reel dropped into pro tools) captures Soilent Green’s earthy sludginess perfectly while still being clear enough to catch every subtle note. Soilent Green have never been about classy structures or invigorating intricacy, as their aim is to have your balls bitten of by a pack of rabid Nutria. On that level alone Confrontation succeeds, but don’t expect to be humming tracks or suddenly feeling the need to listen to a particular song.

After the rather needless intro ‘Scarlet Sunrise’, The Green dive headlong into 14 tracks of voraciously nerve wracking metal. With the exception of a few jazzy or Cajun interludes (‘Southern Spirit Suite’, ‘Paper Cut’, ‘Liquor and Cigarettes’, personal favorite, ‘Another Cheap Brand of Luck’) the tracks careen headlong into continually shifting, jarring and jagged throes of desperate heaviness and chaos. ‘Leaves Eyes’, ‘A Scream Trapped Underwater’, ‘Forgive and Regret’, ‘12oz Prophet’ and ‘Pretty Smiles & Shattered Teeth’ all are classic Soilent Green styled caustic expulsions, littered with heaving, oppressive sloth-sloth grooves. But those early tracks seem to bludgeon you hard, that by the time mid to late album tracks like ‘Theory of Pride in Tragedy’, ‘Fingernails on a Chalkboard’, ‘This Glass House of Broken Words’ and ‘Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem’ roll by, you feel not only numb from the early intensity, but a little deju vu as the songs start to get that familiar feel to them. It’s not that any of the songs are bad, it’s just Soilent Green are victims of their chosen style that favors continual abrasiveness, with little or no shifts in tempo or structure.

Only ‘They Lie to Hide the Truth’ seems to stand apart amid the albums later stages as it’s seems more developed and varied.
The easiest way to recommend or deter potential buyers of Confrontation is ti tell you its simply a Soilent Green album, nothing more, nothing less. If you enjoyed their prior output, there’s no reason why Confrontation won’t satisfy you, but if you thought A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down was a bit redundant, you may pass on this.

Of course any band from New Orleans gets my thumbs up, and this is no different although I would like Soilent Green to truly elevate their game for the next album rather than stand pat with their high standard.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
June 1st, 2005

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