Sound — 9
This is by far the heaviest sound out there. On this album, the guitarist uses an 8-String ESP Guitar. This allows for the most heavy, brutal riffs and breakdowns possible. The drums can be described in one word. Pounding. The mix of the heavy down-tuned guitar with the thumping drums makes for a sound that is comparable to no other. In terms of bass guitar, there is not much to be said. The bass is super low, and ties the whole thing together. Don't expect technicality from The Acacia Strain, the sound is slow and heavy. But that's exactly what they want. It is the lowest, heaviest, and most heart-pounding CD out right now. The whole thing sounds like what I imagine hell would sound like. Chugging and open power chords run rampant on this record, and as much as I would like to hear a little different styling on this album, it fits. They have put together a unique sound for this CD, and have established themselves as a unique artist. The only real problem I have is that there is a lack of variety in the music itself. Most songs flow together just a little too well.
Lyrics — 9
This is not for the faint of heart. If you hate the world and all the people in it, welcome to your new favorite CD. The lyrics are personal and hateful. Vincent really put his heart into this one. With such lines as "I hate everything you love" and "Your blood will blanket the Earth" you can really feel his hate for people in general. I've never heard a better combination of music and lyrics. The music sounds brutal, the lyrics are brutal. This is not heavy music about girlfriends and heartache, this is heavy music about hate. Just the way I love it. The only problem I have is the lack of variety in Vincent's voice. I love his voice, but for once I'd like to hear some high screams. Not a lot, but just a little. Jimmy Jasta (Hatebreed) provides guest vocals on the tracks Beast and Nightman, and that is a nice touch.
Overall Impression — 9
The Acacia Strain to me has a sound of their own, and cannot really be compared to any other band. My favorite songs from this CD are Beast, The Hills Have Eyes, Jonestown, and Tactical Nuke. (Essentially a 6 minute breakdown) I love the hate on this album and the new sound. I don't really hate anything here. I don't LOVE the lack of variety in the vocal sound and instruments, but it is a little annoying. If this CD was stolen from me, I'd go out and buy two more copies. Overall, great CD.