Breakdowns. Love them, hate them, deal with them. They’re here and I don’t see them going away any time soon. The Acacia Strain, a band that revolves around almost all breakdowns, is really a love-hate kind of thing. I fall on the love side of the fence. Call it untrue to metal or call me retarded, but I feel like they master the chugging genre better than anyone else and it’s all because of their atmosphere. Continent, their previous release, had all these underlying tones that gave off this doomsdayish vibe and really personified the cataclysmic, violent lyrical theme. In simple terms, their sound is unprecedented. After such a good release, I was scared they couldn’t do it again.
Well, the apocalyptic sound isn’t as present as it was on Continent. The guitar squealing undertones are still here, but not as sinister sounding and Vince’s vocals have less throat to them. It definitely sounds more like their album The Dead Walk. It had me shaking in my boots at first, but after a few listens the song really started to grow. They traded most of the judgment day sound for something more catchy (choruses!) which I think is crucial for a band that doesn’t have much variation in their inherent sound. Hearing Vincent growl, “Wasting your days, waiting to die. I wouldn’t mind if you never woke up again. Goodbye my friend!” multiple times sticks to your brain like gum on shoes. Even better, the production is roughly the same as Continent. Sure, the song is just a chugfest, but it’s unequivocally fun to listen to. I think a lot of people seem to forget that music doesn’t need to have a ridiculous time signature and a bunch of noodling to be good.
In the end, Wormwood is shaping up to be another solid release (other than the Modern Warfare 2 references in their song titles) from The Acacia Strain so I can’t wait to see what they deliver. You can listen to “Jonestown” on their Myspace. Share your opinions. I’d like to hear them!
Wormwood drops on July 20th through Prosthetic Records.