The Acacia Strain


Written by: AP on 02/01/2011 19:58:18

If ever there was a band more terrifying than The Acacia Strain, its members were likely imprisoned for life as preemption, such is the murderous contempt with which the band reduces all aesthetics into a smoking pile of rubble. If anything has defined The Acacia Strain's music as a whole, it would be their devotion to keeping their music as devastating as possible, and their latest sledgehammer "Wormwood" is no exception. It comes with a guarantee of eviction; its primal bass-heavy drop tunings and rigid exploration of the lower register remaining the key characteristics.

With alleged psychopath Vincent Bennett at the helm, "Wormwood" literally captures pure hate in audio format. It is drenched in enough revulsion to trigger wars, ripe with rhythmic syncopation, subwoofer punishment and aural destruction. What The Acacia Strain have done here is essentially turning the breakdown into an artform - no other band could get away with a song like "Tactical Nuke", which consists of exactly three chords looping in gradually decreasing tempo - for over five minutes. As such, "Wormwood" needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as no matter how unforgiving or repulsive its appetite for hatred may be, it retains a sense of irony. Bennett will likely disagree and maintain that he hates everything, but musically "Wormwood" is taken to such extremes that were some of it not created tongue-in-cheek, it would probably be against the law. But then, breaking the law - in the most serious way possible - is precisely the kind of endorsement that "Wormwood" elicits, and if committing an act of extreme violence is not the first idea that pops into your mind after having it pummeled to pink goo by a bonecrusher like "Bay of Pigs", then patience is your virtue.

It should be a no-brainer, then, that the songs on "Wormwood", while bruisingly heavy, possess little variation not only from each other, but from past efforts, too. Nearly every track adopts the same lumbering tempo and formula; some ringing chords, Meshuggah inspired riffs and the occasional atmospheric chorus generally sums up the playbook. Such instrumental stagnancy can be difficult to swallow, but if you tune your neural activity to an almost elementary level, the shocking heaviness of "Wormwood" is likely to trigger a certain fascination. It is hostility broken down to its most vicious form, and sometimes listening to someone else being very angry can be a necessary relief to one's own frustration. For any other use - save for the implied soundtrack to a killing spree - "Wormwood" comes with red lights flashing, alarm bells blaring, and the statement: keep out of reach of children.


Download: The Impaler, Bay of Pigs, Unabomber
For the fans of: Emmure, For The Fallen Dreams, Oceano, Suffokate
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.08.2010
Prosthetic Records

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