Release DetailsLABEL Prosthetic
RELEASED ON 6/13/2006
The Acacia Strain
The Dead Walk
posted on 6/2006 By:
The ad for this record claims it’s the heaviest album of the year and sure enough this sucker comes out of your speakers with all the subtlety of an 8.5 earthquake set on destroying your house. To be fair I did a head to head blow the speakers out competition with last year’s Blessing The Hogs Twelve Gauge Solution, another unbelievably low end monster. It’s tough to call a clear winner as both are scraping the bottom of the heavy barrel in their own respect but it’s a severe understatement to say this latest from The Acacia Strain is sure to rattle some teeth loose.
Musically they seemed to have moved deeper into the territory of heavy beyond heavy southern tinged groove metal similar to what A Life Once Lost has been mining as of late. The music plods and lurches with molasses like speed through thick Pantera like grooves with more squeals than a double helping of Deliverance and more bends than the river it’s filmed on. This is a bit different than the slightly more traditional metalcore of their debut but the songs here have a ton more personality with plenty of added touches like the creepy, industrial like riffs running through songs like “Burnface” and personal fav “Demolisher”. Occasionally they kick it up to double time but this rarely lasts long and before you can blink its back to banging your head in slow motion.
Not to beat a dead horse about the heaviness of this record but every instrument here is just plain crushing. The drums pound your skull with the intensity of a Vegas bachelor party hangover. The guitar tone is sickeningly meaty but surprisingly even rawer than the debut. It’s a hair’s breadth from the point of lacking enough definition to hear what exactly is going on. This is most evident in the breakdowns. Yes there’s one in every song and yes I know they’re most likely playing something different each time but damn it’s hard to tell sometimes. It sort of blurs into one crushing mono-riff that erupts without fail each and every song like a metalcore version of Old Faithful. This might have been a problem if the songs were a bit longer and the music wasn’t so goddamn heavy but as it is this record clocks in at just over half an hour, barely enough time to register the ton of bricks this band drops on your head with this record.
It will be interesting to see if The Acacia Strain takes this sound any further on future releases. The slow, deliberate pace and use of brutally heavy but indistinct guitars makes me think this band is going for a sort of doom vibe. That is, they care less now about fancy technical playing and more about creating an oppressive aura that’s sustained throughout the entire album. Sure it’s less dynamic but the mammoth sound, the sonic equivalent of being buried in a piano because you’re too big for a coffin, is sure to win fans over to this denser style of music. This unhurried pace, like a lethargic Godzilla stomping through Tokyo without any threat of attack from Mothra, accomplishes its goal. In the end your speakers are destroyed and your neighbors are banging on the wall…definitely a good sign for taking gold in the heaviest metal album of the year competition at years end.
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