SOILENT GREEN
"Confrontation"

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01. Scarlet Sunrise
02. Leaves of Three
03. A Scream Trapped Underwater
04. Forgive & Regret
05. 12 oz. Prophet
06. Southern Spirit Suite
07. Pretty Smiles & Shattered Teeth
08. Liquor & Cigarettes
09. Theory of Pride in Tragedy
10. Fingernails on a Chalkboard
11. Paper cut
12. They Lie to Hide the Truth
13. Another Cheap Brand of Luck
14. This Glass House of Broken Words
15. A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem

RATING: 7.5/10

It's been a long while since SOILENT GREEN's phenomenal 2001 album "A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down" was released. Unless you've been living in a cave since then, you probably know all about Ben Falgoust's tragic accident, his subsequent climb back to health, and his success building GOATWHORE into a world-class act that culminated in the band's signing to Metal Blade. After a seemingly never-ending tour with GOATWHORE, work on the next SOILENT GREEN album began in earnest. The resulting product is "Confrontation", an album that will probably satisfy the diehards, but that probably won't make the critical splash that "Sewn Mouth Secrets" or "A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down" did.

The problem with comparing "Confrontation" to a brilliant work such as "A Deleted Symphony…" is that unless a miracle happens, the chances of the follow-up topping it are damn slim. Consequently, lesser praise must be taken in context. Examining "Confrontation" on its own merits, the disc is a damn fine platter of grinding NOLA sludge mixed with frantic bursts of blast-beaten speed and stop-on-a-dime tempo changes. The band is exceptionally good at those effortless switch-ups between southern sludge groove and jarring up-tempo sections. The approach works like a charm on "A Scream Trapped Underwater", "Forgive & Regret", and…well…just about any track for that mater. A monstrous groove, killer odd-timed speed romps, sickening string-bent riffs, and an ungodly Falgoust misery-roar make "They Lie to Hide the Truth" one of the more noteworthy tracks on the album. A couple of brief instrumental interludes (the light blues of "Liquor & Cigarettes" and the up-beat acoustic picker "Another Cheap Brand of Luck") are entertaining. Producer Erik Rutan does a nice job of adding clarity to the mix (tightening things up and markedly improving the drum sound) without changing the signature sound.

The fact that "Confrontation" still puts a boot up the ass of many so-called "heavy" bands doesn't change the fact that SOILENT GREEN has now locked into a semi-predictable groove. The album just won't turn as many heads this time around. Regardless, "Confrontation" is still recommended for fans and newcomers alike.

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