Sound — 8
I've heard A Case of Grenada equalled to a kick in the face, only to have it rubbed better by a scantly-clad nurse, and then have her stab you with a scalpel. With a front-man (Florian) that is as distinguishable while screaming as he is singing, (previous album; on HAIAA he concentrates on the aggressive side) and backing vocals that build melodies or attack your ear drums these guys thrive on being unpredictable. With a sound reminiscent of 'The Refused' they still manage to sound unique, heavy enough to satisfy the hardcore fans, intricate enough to satisfy the metalcore fans and melodic enough for the less aggressive listeners. The opening track 'Dawn AM is an aptly titled three and a half minute instrumental, beginning with a slow echoed guitar, that builds and builds as the bass and drums are added to a great finale. 'Ouch Ouch' jumps at you from the start with simple guitar and drum work. We then first hear the combination of the 3 vocalists, one screaming and two working in the background, with the song switching from quiet melodic moments to bouts of heavy fretwork. 'Shots Last Longer Last Not' Opens with an Alexisonfire-esque riff, but soon descends into a moody tone, this time the backing vocals sound like chants, until finally it all descends into chaos. Unfortunately 'I've Seen The Lights At Stallard Road' tends to blend in with the previous track, the guitars sound similar until mid song when they drop into a stuttering guitar moment, only to begin the onslaught once again. 'Aidio Mute For You' is a short filler track with some Mars Volta sounding FX inspired guitar. 'Def Cult' is another track that begins with an elongated intro, and after a few odd time changes kicks in with some very heavy riffs, in a very traditional hardcore vein, yet just as fast swifts back to it's more favourable post-hardcore vibe. 'Mahou' is another song that incorporates intricate guitar work; with a beautiful breakdown mid song, with hardcore essentials. 'Guilt As A Weapon' is one of the softer tracks on the album ('till the end) which oddly moves along at a faster pace that some others. That said compared to some tracks, also is less intricate. 'Sheep, Sheep, Sheep' again is another long instrumental offering, with the odd Mars Volta effect thrown in. Coming into my favourite track on the album 'When Oranges Become Juice They're Dead' this song perfectly captures the bands sound in one song. Soaring guitars and his most energetic screaming is opposed by the first and only use of piano on the album; as I said unpredictable. There's so much going on in this track, time changes everywhere, moments of blues inspired guitar work coupled with excerpts of brute force. Which carries over to 'Bucket Full Of Bugs' that starts strongly but yet again descends into a sound that is becoming slightly commonplace on the album, only to once again offer you a slight taste of them singing as means of compensation. 'Crashcars Look Nicer Than Daisies' meanders along at times with a louder than usual bass-line then periodically attacks with a full force charge. The final track 'For Life' is a testament to what the band can do, each member getting a moment to shine, each one proving that they are a tight-nit group with a unique sound and a reason to be heard.
Lyrics — 7
It's not easy to say much about the lyrics of ACOG, since they are German most online lyric sites present them in German. That said the tracks that are available show them to be ones aboard the emotional bandwagon, but they still do have moments of class that does push them further into the daylight. It's difficult to judge their efforts, not forgetting they are German, and write everything in English. A decision that in hindsight was a stroke of genius, it's clear that while they are on the rise and that decision is the reason for it.
Overall Impression — 9
The general feel with ACOG is that they yearn to be an Instrumental band, with long winding intros and certain songs with minimal lyrical content, but add vocals to give themselves that edge. An edge that proves a steep drop for any bands trying to climb above them, as far as bands trying to blend the Hardcore/Post-Hardcore genres together they do extremely well. I feel even if they lent either way in future records they would still be among the best in the field. It is true however that at times the songs can sound similar, also certain repetitive tracks can become tiresome; but they still manage to throw unique turns in just as you begin to think This is getting annoying that force you to carry on listening. We're they more well known it might have meant Thrices' Vheissu would have sounded like plagiarism at times. The band is an exciting prospect, and with recent news of them entering the studio to record their third full length those who are fans, wait will baited breath to see where they will go next.