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The Acacia Strain
September 2010
Released: 2010, Prosthetic Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Demonator

Ever contemplated getting into Meshuggah but found yourself feeling short-changed by their lack of aggression? Thought not - you'd have to be borderline certifiable to question the lack of vitriol present on a record like OBZEN. Well, at least until you've put your ears to The Acacia Strain's new full-length, that is.

Let's be clear about WORMWOOD - it's a record so singularly set on conveying outrage and vehemence by the least subtle means possible that to expect any real variety across its eleven tracks is almost laughable. Once the preserve of deathcore scenesters, it was clear when The Acacia Strain released their last EP, THE MOST UNHEARD, that their fifth studio outing would see a gear shift of sorts. Initially this is only subtly hinted at on the album's opening gambit, "Beast". Guitars remain de-tuned to submarine depths, while groove is a focal point before any and all technical wankery. But even here, the modifications to the Jonestown quintet's sound show themselves, not least of all through the track's dissonant Jamie Jasta-led chorus. On "The Hills Have Eyes", the riffs have take on a twisted dischordance almost as a matter of course; when "The Impaler" hits, WORMWOOD sounds like Meshuggah suffering from heroin withdrawl.

Repetitive? It would be hard not to be. And yet in spite of this - or maybe because of it - WORMWOOD really works. Multiple listens reveal more than simply the soundtrack to a meathead mosh. The Acacia Strain have discovered their voice (or in this case, their snarl) and they deliver its message with a huge degree of confidence; understandably so.
Track Listing

1. Beast
2. The Hills Have Eyes
4. Ramirez
5. Terminated
6. Nightman
7. The Impaler
8. Jonestown
9. Bay of Pigs
10. The Carpathian
11. Unabomber
12. Tactical Nuke


Vincent Bennett - Lead Vocals
Jack Strong - Bass
Kevin Boutot - Drums
Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz – Guitars

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