It’s been nearly three years since we’ve heard from Soilent Green, but on April 15, the Southern sludge stalwarts will make their return with Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction, the long-awaited follow-up to 2005’s Confrontation. But don’t just assume Soilent’s members have been sitting around, twiddling their thumbs these last few years, because nothing could be further from the truth.
According to singer Ben Falgoust, he is often asked if the band has thrown in the proverbial towel, or if he ended up exiting the fold to focus full time on Goatwhore, the currently on-tour black-metal band he also fronts. But he claims the band has never once considered pulling the plug on Soilent — everyone’s just been busy with other projects is all. Guitarist Brian Patton is also involved with Eyehategod, while guitarist Gregg Harney is a member of Spickle. Drummer Tommy Buckley is also a member of Crowbar, and bassist Scott Crochet plays in a band called Hostile Apostle.
“We all have other bands we need to devote time to,” Falgoust explained. “While the rest of the guys are off doing other projects, I’ll be home, writing. They’ll write while I’m out with Goatwhore. We’re not trying to put off one band in favor of another, but when a release hits, I’m obligated to go out with that band as much as possible. When April comes around, Goatwhore’s tour with Exodus ends, and I’ll be heading out with Soilent again.”
That April tour, he said, will be a North American run featuring three other bands on the bill. Falgoust said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss any details regarding the trek but that all would be revealed in the coming weeks. While fans have been made to wait three years for Inevitable Collapse — which was produced by Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Vital Remains), who also helmed Conviction — Falgoust said he’s sure they’ll find it was well worth it.
“Soilent is what Soilent is, but with each record, I think different angles are approached in writing and execution,” he explained, saying that the new LP contains elements of the band’s previous albums. “The guys [in the band] are really hard on each other about stuff. They’ll get to parts in a song where they feel like they’re repeating something from a past record, and they’ll get into an argument about it, which basically forces us to break away from that mold.
“This record has something new to it — a new edge, I’d say,” Falgoust continued. “I don’t want to be the guy who says this is our best record yet — all I can say is, when it comes out, you’ll just have to check it out, and everyone will have to judge it for themselves. The sound on this record is f—ing amazing; it’s just all-out. The guitars sound so sick. I thought Confrontation was awesome, but I think we blew that record out. [This album] sounds ridiculous.”
The singer said that, with Inevitable Collapse, Soilent Green wanted to create a guitar lover’s wet dream. While some bands focus more on making the drum or vocal parts more prominent on their albums, Soilent wanted the guitars to stand out more.
“The defining feature of a metal band is the guitars — it’s what metal is,” he explained. “How many records have come out in the last few years that are supposed to be metal, and the guitars are wimpy and low in the mix, and the vocals and drums are overpowering? On a metal record, the guitars are supposed to stand out — and they do on this record. Patton’s tone is really good, and Rutan brought that sh– out. Don’t get me wrong — you can hear the drums, and the flow of the bass underneath, and the vocals. But the guitars are just lethal and have that low-end bite to them. It just sounds awesome.”
Since Falgoust and the rest of Soilent really wanted the guitars to take center stage, the singer had to take a different approach with his vocal performance on the LP.
“I’m a professional introvert,” he confessed. “I deal with people, but in a way, I really don’t feel like dealing with people. I like to be by myself. I stay home a lot and watch movies. A lot of the lyrics deal with hatred — I sort of have this obsessive compulsive kind of hatred in me. But before we started working on this record, I’d sing over a good bit of stuff. This time, I sat back and said, ’I think that part needs to flow — no vocals — like a jam part people can get into and have fun with.’ Soilent’s pretty crazy, but when [a song] gets to that element, where it just rocks out, I thought those parts needed to breathe a little more, so I backed off from smothering them in my vocals. I had to learn the art of actually rocking out to it.”
Strangely, Falgoust said an outside force bled into the creative process for him and, in many ways, became an integral part of the entire ordeal.
“I started watching ’Squidbillies,’ ” an animated series that runs on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block. “I became totally addicted to it. Every day at the studio, I would watch one or two episodes, and it became part of the process for me. It was addictive.”
The rest of the week’s metal news:
Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe recently checked in with Metal File about the Virginia metallers’ next studio effort, which he said they’ll embark on this year. “We’re going to be writing a new record,” he confirmed of the yet-untitled LP, adding that he’s going to jet to Japan in February to “kick it with the wife” before putting his nose to the grindstone. “[I’m going to] try and take a deep breath for a few months before we start writing a new record,” he said. “I figure we’ll start heading into the … practice space in late March or something.” Blythe also pulled back the curtain on a side project, revealing that he’s been ganging up with Steve Zing, a founding member of Glenn Danzig’s Samhain act. “I saw him and Danzig recently, and I’m going to do something kinda creepy with [Zing],” Blythe said. Adding to what looks to be a busy ’08, he added, “I’m working on a lot of different writing projects with different magazines. I’m working on a comic book now as well.” Lamb of God recently launched a contest with Sirius Satellite Radio and GarageBand for a contest that asks fans to remix a song from the band’s 2006 album, Sacrament. Winners of the contest, which ends February 21, will win a trip to NYC to meet the band at the premiere of its forthcoming, yet-untitled spring DVD. Go here for more info. …
The long-awaited studio-album reunion between ex-Sepultura and Soulfly frontman Max Cavalera and ex-Sepultura drummer Iggor Cavalera is scheduled for release on March 25. The Cavalera Conspiracy’s Inflikted marks the first time the two brothers have recorded together in over 10 years. “Cavalera Conspiracy is about a sense of being released,” Max said in a statement. “You bottle [up] a monster for 10 years and then let it out. It’s explosive, and we waited a long time for this beast to be set free.” The album was recorded in July at Undercity Recordings in North Hollywood, California, and produced by ex-Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader and Lucas Banker of the Dirty Icon production team. Special guests include Down and ex-Pantera bassist Rex Brown, and Max’s stepson Richie Cavalera (Incite). A tour is being planned for the spring. … Testament singer Chuck Billy will perform at the Longest Walk Kickoff Concert on February 9 in Oakland, California. Billy will sing with his brother Andy and Grammy and Native American Music Award winner Star Nayea. The concert is a benefit for Longest Walk 2, a 4,400 mile trek across the U.S. that aims to draw attention to environmental issues. Testament’s new album, The Formation of Damnation, comes out April 29. …
Celtic Frost are putting together an album tentatively titled Monotheist Companion that will feature unreleased songs from 2006’s Monotheist sessions and rearrangements of tracks from the album. The disc is scheduled for a summer release. In addition, Demon Entrails, a CD of raw, early-’80s demos by Hellhammer — the band fronted by Celtic singer and guitarist Thomas G. Warrior — comes out February 18. … Japanese conceptual psychedelic doomsters Boris will release their new full-length album, Smile, April 29. The group will precede the release with a one-off show in New York on March 4. … New York electro-metal renegades Mindless Self Indulgence will release their new album, If, on April 29. The first single, “Mastermind,” will be issued digitally February 12. …
God Forbid recently reached out to their fans to come up with a good title for the group’s upcoming DVD, which is pegged for a May 27 release. After combing through the pile of submissions, the band chose “Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression,” which was submitted by David Cazares of Chino, California. “He made out jobs a lot easier,” guitarist Doc Coyle said in a statement. “Maybe we’ll have our fans name everything from now on.” It’s not clear if Cazares will receive some sort of reward for his effort aside from this extra praise from Coyle: “[The name] captured, in a statement, what this DVD really says about God Forbid. The concert and documentary featured on the DVD are positive forces in our band’s movement from turbulence to continuous kinetic growth. It deserved a title that illustrated that, with all the bad things that have happened to us, even more good things happened, and we look forward to an even brighter future.” God Forbid will enter New Jersey’s Trax East Recording Studio later this month with producer Eric Rachel (Atreyu, In This Moment) to work on their sixth studio album. …
Darkest Hour guitarist Kris Norris played lead guitar on the debut album by Fierce Allegiance, The Meaning of Sacrifice, which was produced by Ken Olden (Damnation AD). The melodic thrash/death-metal band from Washington, D.C., is currently in talks with several labels about releasing the disc. In the meantime, the tracks “No Way Out,” “Crime and Passion,” “Viking” and “Lost G’neration” can be downloaded on the band’s MySpace page. … Psychedelic stoner band Danava will release their second disc, UnonoU, February 19. The Portland, Oregon, group will support the disc with a North American tour with Acid Mothers Temple that starts March 13 in Los Angeles and runs through April 8 in San Francisco. … Misery Signals have entered the studio with producer Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Soilwork) to record the follow-up to their 2006 sophomore disc, Mirrors. “I’m psyched about the new record,” singer Karl Shubach said in a statement. “It’s got a lot of elements that weren’t in last one, a lot of parts that are just heavier with a lot of off-time polyrhythm, like Meshuggah.” “This is going to be a record that brings the band to a new level,” Townsend said. “The rock will continue to roll in a fastidious way.” …
It’s rare for indie-rock icons to have any affinity for heavy metal, but David Pajo is an unusual breed. The former guitarist of Slint and ex-member of Tortoise, Stereolab and Zwan has created the full-on metal band Dead Child with Michael McMahan (the brother of Pajo’s ex-Slint bandmate Brian). The group’s full-length debut, Attack — which combines elements of doom, thrash and NWOBHM on songs like “Twitch of the Death Nerve,” “Battlesnake Chalice” and “Eye to the Brain” — is scheduled for release April 8. … Our condolences to the family and friends of Gruntruck and Skin Yard singer Ben McMillan, who recently died from diabetes in his Seattle hometown. He was 46. McMillan suffered with the condition for eight years and succumbed to his illness after experiencing complications from a related blood-clotting disease. Skin Yard predated the grunge scene and featured producer Jack Endino on guitar. After the band broke up, McMillan formed Gruntruck with ex-Skin Yard drummer Norman Scott. The group released two albums, 1991’s Inside Yours and 1992’s Push, before calling it a day.