Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Record label: Rise Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
The Acacia Strain is described in its press materials as being a deathcore band, but, if you read up on the group, it turns out that lead vocalist Vincent Bennett, who is the only remaining original member of the outfit, has gone on record as saying, “Deathcore is the new nu-metal. ... It sucks. And if anyone calls us ‘deathcore’ then I might do something very bad to them.” Right.
On their seventh full-length album, Massachusetts deathcore pioneers The Acacia Strain continue their ultra-heavy style with aplomb. 'Coma Witch' packs extra-downtuned guitars, nihilistic lyrics, and gargantuan breakdowns that possess the slow sinking quality of quicksand. Amid the ten-ton hammering, tracks like "Cauterizer" and "Graveyard Shift" demonstrate that The Acacia Strain can craft clever, catchy riffs to complement their brutal rhythms.
The Acacia Strain have been plagued with line-up changes, but does it show on their new album? On their sixth album – their first full-length with yet another new lineup – this Massachusetts mob are on fine form. ‘Cauterizer’ is a brutal combination of guttural growls and Pantera-style grooves, and ‘Holy Walls Of The Vatican’ is laden with doom. The inclusion of 28-minute finale, ‘Observer’, is a bold move, but not one that works.