Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Acacia Strain rises in "Death"

The Acacia Strain has sharpened and honed its sound to a point where the group is as much a mindset as it is band. The Acacia Strain's live shows are cathartic, and its new album “Death is the Only Mortal” flows like a never-ending nightmare. The songs are dark, bloody, and grim, yet once you plug in, there’s no turning back simply because they are so well crafted. Singer Vincent Bennett warns on “Brain Death” about letting him get into your head, and he’s not shitting around.

Bennett, guitarist Daniel “DL” Laskeiwitz, drummer Kevin Boutot, and bassist Jack Strong methodically move through the 10 tracks, making incremental tweaks to the crushing riffs and stark bleakness of their sonic surroundings. The record opens with a murder confession that almost seems comforting as the end note is a mournful realization that “life is the slowest way to die.”

In between is bloody mayhem and a quickly mounting body count, with Bennett lording over the misery with a crackling nihilism and misanthropy. But lurking behind the menace is a pain that shows itself in flashes, especially as the record moves along from straight-ahead brutality to more nuanced tunes such as “Victims of the Cave” and “Chamber of Nautilis.”
The Acacia Strain
Each song on “Death is the Only Mortal” fits into a larger picture, and that is testament to the excellent job DL did on his first outing producing a whole project for the band. Some songs_ “Doomblade,” “Go to Sleep”_ underscore Acacia Strain’s unrelenting death-core heaviness. Others_ “Time and Death and God,” “The Mouth of the River,” “House of Abandon”_ reveal just how limber this band can be without compromising the basics of its sound.

While lots of bands are using a prog attack to find fresh ideas in death metal, The Acacia Strain is getting the job done by simply cutting closer to the core.

The Acacia Strain celebrates the release of “Death is the Only Mortal” with a show Saturday, Oct. 6, at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester. Cruel Hand, I Declare War, Fit For An Autopsy, No Bragging Rights, Rude Awakening, and Dysentery are also on the bill and show time is 6 p.m.

“Death is the Only Mortal” will be in stores Tuesday, Oct. 9

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