The Acacia Strain - "The Dead Walk" (CD)
"The Dead Walk" track listing:
1. Sarin: The End
4. As if Set Afire
5. Angry Mob Justice
6. Whoa! Shut It Down
7. See You Next Tuesday
10. Predator: Never Prey
11. The Dead Walk
Reviewed by MindSlavor on December 31, 2007
When I first started listening to The Acacia Strain's new album, "The Dead Walk," I was pleasently surprised by the band's raw, hardcore sounds. The Acacia Strain started back in 2002 with a purpose. Openly known for trying to write the "heaviest music possible," they have been attempting to break the hardcore scene and join the likes of Hatebreed and others enjoying main-stage glory.
The opening tracks are hard and to the point. It's very easy to tell from the beginning that the band uses a multitude of guitar work in their tracks and play fast and furious with a good mix of grinding, melodic, and speed riffs. The lyrics of Vincent Bennett are great for this band and he stays consistent throughout the entire album. I especially enjoy "Angry Mob Justice" where the band plays with eccentric speed and rythm. The entire album stays smooth and systematic, offering a good range of new-age, hardcore music. The music shows some diversity with tempo and texture changes and a few of the songs do stand out. They also create some unusual rhythms that make the songs more engaging.
The Acacia Strain's low end is really heavy and sludgy and adds to the pissed-off vibe of the CD. It's definitely an intense and brutal album. A slew of guest vocalists join the band including the omnipresent Phil Labonte who offers a grinding, first-gear cut that belies hardcore influences more than perhaps any other track on the record.
"The Dead Walk" does have a few flaws, however. The album plays too fast at times. I find myself on track seven or eight before I know the first three are done. The shortened times of the song takes away from what seems to be the completion of a song. I'm aware it's hard to make a four-minute hardcore song, but some of the tracks are only clocking in at 2:23 (in the song "4x4") and 2:33 (on "Burnface") which are back-to-back tracks on the album. The only other negative from the album was the prowess of the guitars. While the playing was awesome, at times it felt like they were trying to drown out the drummer. I don't see it as a knock to the drummer as much as a kudos to the skill of their guitars, but either way they need to consider this for future albums.
Highs: Great guitarists who play a wide variety of riffs.
Lows: The album was over before I was ready for it to be over.
Bottom line: The album its consistantly hard which is always a plus in the ever growing metal realm, however it was a tad short of spectacular.
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