I have heard a lot about The Acacia Strain for awhile and when the new album Death Is The Only Mortal came out Liquid Metal was all about it. I figured I should go and check it out and after listening to it I have come to one conclusion.
Man, I must be getting old.
That’s what this made me feel. Now I listen to a lot of metal, many sub genres, and from different era’s. However, after finishing this album I had the reacquiring thought of “Kids these days.”
I guess the best way to describe The Acacia Strain to anyone that has not heard them is that they are the perfect amalgam of what they heard growing up. Guttural vocals from the metalcore/death metal scene. Absence of guitar solos ala Korn. And what comes across as very pussy lyrics from all the alt-rock grunge bands they probably listened to when they were kids. Now I may be wrong on everything I just said, but The Acacia Strain sounds like a Frankenstein of unoriginality disguised as brilliant creativity. There is nothing that is surprising except for the many times they “sample” the trademark Gojira slides. “Brain Death sounds likes a Killswitch Engage song, just with cookie monster singing.
One really annoying aspect of this album is that they use this one guitar sound that sounds like an echoed downstroke. At first it is neat but after hearing it constantly it became annoying and distracting. “Victims of the Cave” uses it well and along with a very welcomed tempo change it is a bright spot. Unfortunately the next 3 songs mimic the same tempo and feel and that bright spot goes dark.
I know someone is going to read this and see how much I did not like this album but fawned over the new Europe and is going to say I’m old and out of touch. While I may be older than them, I still love a lot of the new bands out now. Witchcraft, Gypsyhawk, Gojira, and many others get regular rotation on my playlists. What sets those bands is they have something special about them.
With The Acacia Strain just because something is unique does not mean that it is good.
Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale
$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop
$0-Not worth the drive space