Let any band of lesser ilk and testicular fortitude endure the tumult and tragedy suffered by NOLA veterans SOILENT GREEN over the last several years and chances are you'd see a group of grown men blubbering like babies. From the unfortunate loss of two members, a slew of devastating and crippling accidents to their homes being washed away in flood waters and governmental douche-baggery, the dudes in SOILENT GREEN have been through enough shit for a dozen lifetimes. Rather than wallow in self-pity or ask for sympathy, these metal-to-a-fault warriors took their negative energies and turned them into the explosively caustic slab of speed-addled sludge known as "Inevitable Collapse In The Presence Of Conviction".
While this disc doesn't quite reach the ferocity or grind n' groove innovation of "Sewn Mouth Secrets", "Inevitable Collapse…" is arguably one of the band's most intense and pit-friendliest efforts since. Considering that SOILENT GREEN has been heralded as one of metal most important and influential bands, I probably don't need to waste much time talking about their swampified SABBATH on speed/spastic sludge style of riffing or freeform, fuck-the-rules approach to song structure. If you feel it does merit mention, well then re-read the last sentence. Now, when this newest batch of tunes gnaws away at your earholes, it does so with a warm feeling of familiarity that tells you the words "tone it down" were never uttered at rehearsal. I do, however, get the feeling that the words "groove it out" were tossed around quite liberally, as this fucker is full of 'em. Not that their catalogue isn't already doused in a plethora of reasons move your ass in hypnotic bliss, but the southern-fried slam on "Blessed In The Arms Of Servitude" and "When All Roads Lead To Rome" should remind everyone what the NOLA metal is all about. Those two, along with "A Pale Horse and the Story of the End" are textbook examples of tempo molestation; volleying back and forth between calculated pummel and blastbeat-riddled anarchy. Standout tracks "Superstition Aimed At One's Skull" and "For Lack OF Perfect Words" take every bit of sludgy, grinding groove the band is known for to the next level. A couple of curveballs come from the backwoods ditty "In The Same Breath" (played on a mandolin/banjo hybrid called a McNally Strumstick) and the brief, albeit tuneful acoustic intro to "Lovesick", which goes on to show a little love for EYEHATEGOD with its blunt force riffing. Ben Falgoust's vocals are as unmistakably caustic as ever. Whether he's fronting the SOILENT ones, paying homage to a cloven-hoofed deity with GOATWHORE or scaring the shit out of third-graders with a growled rendition of his favorite lullaby (which I highly doubt he's ever done), his trademark gruffness never misses the mark. The buckets of venom which were funneled into this session only add fuel to his fiery performance.
To be perfectly honest, my first impression of "Inevitable Collapse In The Presence Of Conviction" wasn't nearly as well met as the one I have as I write this sentence. The overall flatness of the mix forced me to dig a little deeper than I had initially. An argument could be made that the organic nature of the production deservedly sacrificed some of the sonic dynamics that could have been, but then again I couldn't imagine a band like SOILENT GREEN going for a sleek and polished sound. No, this is an album that does exactly what its creators intended; beat your fucking skull in.