Sound — 8
The Acacia Strain have made a career for themselves out of being heavy. It's no secret that ever since the band started, with their 2002 debut album, "...And Life Is Very Long", that they have set out to create the heaviest riffs they can, utilizing 3 guitarists to augment their sound. On their 2004 release, "3750", they made the jump from "generic metalcore with some melodic parts" to their current, brutal metalcore assault. 3750 is where the band took their down tuned mosh riffs and formed them into a formidable piece of music. The production by Adam D of Killswitch Engage (who has also worked with Unearth, Parkway Drive and As I Lay Dying) was also a huge step forward, allowing the band's grooves to fill the room. Boiled down, The Acacia Strain play metalcore. It's a heavier, much more breakdown oriented form, but it's, in essence, metalcore. Having said that, the band shows amazing diversity, throwing from fast paced, 'D-beat' hardcore riffs to sludgey, half time breakdowns, to open, ringing melodic sections, all accompanied by Vincent Bennett's ridiculous vocal stylings. Songs like 'Sun Poison and Skin Cancer", "Brown Noise" and "Drawn and Quartered" show that the band is clearly here to destroy. Every song laced with dissonant, ugly notes and punishing low end. Both "3750" and next track, "Smoke Ya Later" also show off the band's melodic side, mixing their heavy grooves with open, ringing notes and octave chords. All three guitarists featured on this album work together to layer certain parts, creating a truly immense sound.
Lyrics — 10
Vincent Bennett has always struck a formidable chord as a vocalist. His lows are pronounced but raw and aggressive, creating a more "extreme hardcore" sound than a true death metal roar. His lyrics, while later shifting to a more misogynistic tone, started out as a general misanthropia. Lines such as "Compared to actual existence/This is child's play" and "This is chaos theory simplified and stretched out/Before a jury" demonstrate that. While his later lyrics would delve into a more specific hate (untrusty worthy women mostly), 3750 explores his general hatred of all that walk the Earth, but in a more intelligent, thought out way.
Overall Impression — 9
The Acacia Strain found their niche on 3750, and while they've moved and let it evolve from here, this is one of their best efforts. It stands alone as a powerful example of what three guitarists and a vocalist who sounds like he's actually strangling someone in the recording room, can accomplish. I would highly reccomend this album, at least as an example of what the band is about.