Published Jan 01, 2006Throughout their 13-year existence, Soilent Green have been one of the premier death/grind bands in aggressive music, despite being incorrectly labelled as simply Eyehategod guitarist Brian Patton's "other" band. However, after an embryonic but punishing debut of hostile death metal and unrelenting grindcore on 1994's Pussysoul, it was the dual 1998 offerings of the String of Lies EP and the Sewn Mouth Secrets full-length (both on Relapse) that heralded Soilent Green's ascension to the upper echelon of the extreme underground. Combining death metal and grindcore with Eyehategod-style Southern sludge, hardcore and even metallic blues, Soilent Green created a style of aggressive music that garnered massive praise and had Rolling Stone proclaiming them "one of the ten best heavy metal bands in existence."
Despite Sewn Mouth Secrets' acclaim, their latest full-length, A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down, is their most proficient, brutal and precise offering of metallic animosity to date. Talking to vocalist Ben Falgout (guitarists Brian Patton and Ben Stout, bassist Scott William and drummer Tommy Buckley round out Soilent) it's clear that while a band can be good if they have proficiency, ability and desire, to be great they must also focus on the little things that are often neglected in (extreme) music studio production, visuals and lyrics. Details that are intrinsic to Soilent Green's continuing evolution.
"We've progressed greatly in how we record our music and how we want to be perceived by the listener," Ben says. "If you don't get the right sounds from the get go, even before you start, it's going to cause problems near the end. We thought Sewn Mouth Secrets was really good, recording wise, but we were like We have to do better,' and we knew we could, which was one of our main goals. We knew what we were doing, as far as the songs, but it was just going in and focusing on recording."
The precision to detail is evident, with pristine production and execution giving a new level of sonic clarity and abuse to Soilent's potent musically Molotov. However, Soilent's critical eye hasn't just been levelled at perfecting their musical craft, but also honing their lyrical content and beautifully stunning art (a mixture of nouveau and Renaissance influences, interpreted this time by Matrix artist Bill Sienkiewicz).
"If we take the music seriously, we shouldn't make the lyrics stupid or have skulls covering the whole CD it should all be genius," Ben says. "We are concerned about what is put in the inlay and the cover and what shows the band before anyone hears it. We've had people say We can't believe Soilent Green is like this by looking at the cover,' which is fine. If a person doesn't like the music, they may like the art at least."