The Acacia Strain
The Dead Walk


3.0
good

Review

by Harry B. Price USER (23 Reviews)
May 15th, 2007 | 68 replies | 18,017 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


18 of 18 thought this review was well written

What happens when you breed Meshuggah and A Life Once Lost, with an On Broken Wings gene? You get one crazy concoction. That Concoction is The Acacia Strain. Based of Chicopee, MA, The Acacia Strain is known for their immensely drop tuned (Drop G#!) guitars and strange, but frequent and somewhat irritating breakdown patterns. Produced by the amazing Adam D. of Killswitch Engage fame, The Dead Walk is a surprisingly good offering from what might be a disaster with any other band attempting the style I previously mentioned.

Vincent Bennett-Vocals
Daniel Laskiewicz-Guitars
Jack Strong-Bass
Kevin Boutot-Drums

I walked into Best Buy this Sunday previous, with the intention of spending the fresh $20 bill in my wallet on something special. As I browsed through the loaded shelves of the outlet, I passed by many possibilities, however, deciding on this, I walked to the check out line, and gave a friendly “What’s Up, Man” to the cashier, who responded with an indecipherable grunt, and proceeded to ring up my purchase. So I got my receipt, and my change, and continued to leave with a “Have A Nice Day” to the cashier. Well, as I walked to the exit to the mall, I realized I had left my $6 change on the counter. So I went back, and to my dismay, my $6 was gone. Needless to say, I was pissed, but the moral of the story is to not leave your change on the counter of some jackass who doesn’t greet you back. Anyway…

The Dead Walk is quite an album. I think I can honestly say this album is one of the heaviest records to hit the hardcore scene. Songs like Burnface and Pity just make me want to beat some children into a bloody pulp (Just Kidding). The bending strings and cranking rhythm section reminiscent to Nothing-Era Meshuggah was new to my ears, coming from a Metalcore band out of Massachusetts. Tracks such as 4x4 and Whoa! Shut It Down! are just straight-up meatheaded breakdowns, but have that little bit of substance needed to maintain the casual listener, not just the hardcore genre geek.

One thing I must say amused me, were the lyrics by vocalist Vincent “Vinny” Bennett. With lyrics such as “ The thought of your genitals makes me sick and I bet you could fit five c***s up that a**.Why don't you just strap a mattress to your back?”, who wouldn’t be at least somewhat amused? Strong lyrics backed by a particularly boring vocals flood the album, my favorite being “ I need you like I need a f***ing hole in my head”. Vinny’s vocals are quite standard and have absolutely no variation what-so-ever. I get very sick of them after the album is over.

The guitar’s on the album are nothing spectacular, but some standout areas would be in songs like The Dead Walk and Burnface. I am a total sucker for pinch harmonics, and the abundance of them on this record strike a chord with me. There isn’t much else to say on the stringed instruments of the album, except the bass is completely inaudible for 98% of the album, that 2% being the small bass solo’s in between verse and breakdown on Pity, and the guitar’s are really all you need for the style, bordering on Technical and just Open String Palm Muted Chugs, and don’t sound forced or pushed.

Breakdowns are a major part of what The Acacia Strain is, and it shows, with 1-2 on every single track. The Drop G# Tuning makes these otherwise generic breakdowns seem a little bit more fresh. These breakdown leaden tracks are certainly the stuff of dreams for Hardcore Dancers all across America.

Overall, The Dead Walk is a great album for 3 main things:
Moshing
Impressing Your Girlfriend on Your Hardcore Taste In Music
For Fans of Death Metal and Hardcore hybrids to check out and possibly enjoy

The intensity level is through the roof. You feel the emotion in Bennett’s tortured grunts. You feel the pain through the demented riffs that Laskiewicz has constructed. You feel the power and control through the overused breakdowns on practically every song, with See You Next Tuesday and Angry Mob Justice being highlights of that aspect, and last but not least, you feel the anger expressed through those ear-searing lyrics. The main failing aspect to the album: It’s been done before…. But to that I Answer like this:Not Like This.

Standout Tracks:
4x4
Whoa! Shut It Down!
The Dead Walk
Pity
Angry Mob Justice


Pro’s[+]-
Overall, Good presentation of what TAS has to bring to the table
Breakdowns were ferocious
Heavy as anything you can find in the genre

Con’s[-]-
Boring, Standard Vocals
A Few Songs are recycled-sounding Predator: Never Prey and The Demolisher)
Nada in the Bass Department

In Conclusion…
This album is graciously intriguing. I would recommend it for (as I said before) fans of Death Metal and Hardcore hybrids, but also to the listener of either genre. I wouldn’t use this album as your gateway into the aforementioned, however, seeing as there are far better and fresher albums to check out.



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user ratings (440)
Chart.
3.4
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other reviews of this album
PeteyThePistol (3.5)
In the cesspool of a genre that metalcore is, The Acacia Strain are the health department handing ou...


Comments:Add a Comment 
LifeInABox
May 15th 2007



3707 Comments


I worked pretty hard on this, guys. Tell me what you think.

Zorz
May 15th 2007



55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet Review! Glad someone finally reviewed this. Drop G# huh? out of all the tabs I've seen for them, they were in drop Bb.

LifeInABox
May 15th 2007



3707 Comments


Thanks, bro. If you liked it, vote for it!
Hah, yeah. I have absolutly no idea what gauge string they use to not get floppy string disease.

Confessed2005
May 16th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review! I had been waiting for someone to review The Acacia Strain.

This album is pretty awesome, the vocalist in my band leant me this a while back and I was pretty impressed. Brutal stuff.

LifeInABox
May 16th 2007



3707 Comments


Thanks man. If You Liked it, vote for it!

Yeah, I can say this is one of the most brutal albums I own.

guitarfreakguy101
May 16th 2007



17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review :thumb:

i've seen them probably 3-5 times already live and their live show is amazing. their guitarist looks like a behemoth on stage and they sound as heavy if not heavier live than on the cd.

i love the acacia strain.

LifeInABox
May 16th 2007



3707 Comments


Yeah, they are pretty dope. I still don't get why they decided to go from three guitar players to one. How would you ever play the old stuff that way?

lanchege
May 16th 2007



64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good job! I love this band, See You Next Tuesday Is such an awesome song.

LifeInABox
May 16th 2007



3707 Comments


Hit it up, Vaynian

guitarfreakguy101
May 16th 2007



17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i saw them when they had two and i also saw them when they had one.

they didn't play anything off their first album believe and for some stuff that the guitarists harmonize the one guitarists plays what he normally plays.

unless the other guitarist plays something alone then he'll play both riffs.This Message Edited On 05.16.07

LifeInABox
May 17th 2007



3707 Comments


Ah, cool.

ToWhatEnd
May 17th 2007



3172 Comments


This was a good review brother, no need for you to post hit the vote button, I shall throw you a bone errr vote.

LifeInABox
May 17th 2007



3707 Comments


haha, well dude, you deff put in a killer JFAC review (i voted). That record was exactly how you described it.This Message Edited On 05.17.07

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2007



17914 Comments


well that was a very homoerotic exchange


good review!

LifeInABox
May 17th 2007



3707 Comments


Hey. No...

LifeInABox
May 17th 2007



3707 Comments


But thank you by the way...

masscows
May 27th 2007



2236 Comments


The story at the beginning was a decent filler, but the actual review was too short.

I'm a little interested in picking up something by these guys-my friend tells me they're pretty good.

LifeInABox
May 27th 2007



3707 Comments


Quality, not quantity my friend...

If your into "Deathcore" pick it up. It's really is very brutal.

Justanothernimrod
June 19th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This is one of the new "Modern metal bands" that are actually worth anyone's attention. The fact that they've actually bothered to, not only create their own style of riffage, but a fantastic production job that gives their incredible, crunching guitar sound, and sets them worlds apart from the other fodder.

And not only all of this, THEY'RE ACTUALLY GOOD SONG WRITERS TOO! 'Angry Mob Justice' for instance actually manages to sum everything up in 2 and a half minutes, starting off with aural assault, wondering into a fantastic breakdown (which manages to sound refreshing in a sea of mediocre writing) and ending with a near-melodic vocal shout a-long.

Great stuff!

LifeInABox
July 22nd 2007



3707 Comments


C'mon guys. I want to push this review in voting terms. How was it?



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