The Acacia Strain
Continent


3.5
great

Review

by asaf USER (13 Reviews)
August 25th, 2008 | 97 replies | 23,753 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Continent dominates deathcore and takes the ladies of Emmure back to the local shoe store.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Emmure's long term rivals arrive with a new slab of concrete attack on the band's fourth and latest release. Continent is a progression like no other for a band that initially began as a three-guitar-assault-sixtet. This gimmick is long gone with DL being the main focus of the groups slick-aggro dynamic.

Needless to say plenty of mindless chugging takes place throughout the entire album. The 1-0-1 chord dominates the majority of the album with little room for variation. Yet, its tough to criticize the antics coming from a band that revolutionized the opening intro chug. However, that is not the case on this release as the opening track is actually a full song rather then a primal assault of deafening breakdowns. "Skynet" shows a more focused group with songwriting actually being implemented and even a cute solo provided by the one (and only) guitarist.

The band has come a long way since their debut ...And Life Is Very Long and have cleaned up their act enormously. After removing two guitarists from the band the delivery of the guitars has become more direct, sharp and fine tuned. It's impossible to organize a band around three guitars and achieve complete unison. While deathcore enthusiasts White Chapel seem to implement the tactics flawlessly, groups such as Catalepsy fall short of achieving anything spectacular and instead provide a plethora of noise with their release. Needless to say, with Zeuss behind the production and Pro Tools dominating the majority of these new deathcore albums, three guys playing the same thing is hardly necessary. No solo's are ever at play, no atmosphere is ever provided and no new dynamic is EVER presented by this technique. You would think that with the amount of money these bands make and the lifestyle which revolves around touring and a maximum payment of $100 guarantee per show (if even), these bands would try to minimize as much as possible, especially with economic turmoil and gas budgets affecting their every move.

In this case The Acacia Strain has taken it to the next level. By cleaning up the excess members of the group, DL is able to showcase his full abilities as a writer and apply the chug in a new direction. The chemistry between the guitars and drums make this a delightful stroll through hardcore heaven. On top of the chug, a lead is utilized to develop a layer of complex originality, one which followers Emmure tend to be a tad lazy with. These chugs become full streamline rhythms that essentially make up the whole song. However, the vocals have stepped up the ante and the low throat-gutteresque approach have been amplified. With Vincent continuously bellowing on top of every breakdown and a lead guitar lick implemented above the main riff, its very interesting to await the next intricate detail . Emmure can take note of these techniques since songs such as "I Only Mean Half Of What I Dont Say," and "Rough Justice" chug aimlessly at nothing with no lead and no vocals. As tough as these breakdowns are, at some point they become obsolete and essentially become annoying through repeated listens. The Acacia Strain, although guilty of the same approach, attempt to avoid the monotony.

Mindless songs such as "Carbomb" which were cluttering the effort of 3750 have become nonexistant. Instead the quartet delivers skillfully crafted tracks that appeal to even the most advanced listener.

Keen observers will be delighted to see a drummer brought to light on this effort. Kevin is a dominating musician with clinical precision at executing the most appropriate fills. It helps that he has taken a liking to Tomas Haake (Meshuggah) and showcases his rendition of "Bleed" on "The Combine" executing a flawless double bass roll implementing devastating polyrhythm grooves. The bass provides a low end finish to the cleanliness of execution even though it does not stand out as a spectacular performance. However, with so much in the spotlight at once, does it even matter what the low end is doing? It is clearly the next step for these guys and they obviously recognize the competition is here. However, The Acacia Strain proves to be a powerhouse of aggressive hardcore and put the followers to complete shame with the sound they originated back in 2000.

With so many deathcore and aggressive hardcore acts being released by Rise, Ferret, Victory, Tribunal, Uprising, and a dozen other indie/underground labels, groups such as Eternal Lord, For The Fallen Dreams, and I Declare War really have taken a beating by this release. The production is top-notch with a crisp touch added to the atrocity. With a new approach to the breakdown and a new attitude behind the punishing presentation, it is clear that The Acacia Strain have come out on top. Had this release beat the deadline on this genre The Acacia Strain may have found themselves amongst the ranks of leaders Job For A Cowboy and perhaps Suicide Silence.



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3.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
asaf
August 25th 2008



885 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

even when i type the review into the text field it still comes out looking like a disaster. Why does the format do this?

Digging: Heart To Heart - Dulce

Bleak123
August 25th 2008



1902 Comments


Just put a space between each paragraph and it'll look fine.

bustyagunz
August 25th 2008



911 Comments


Pretty good review, but a few mistakes.

Yet, its tough to criticize the antics coming from a band that revolutionized the opening intro chug.

Did they really revolutionize this?
After removing two guitarists from the band the delivery of the guitars has become more direct, sharp and fine tuned.

Do you mean one here?
Had this release beat the deadline on this genre The Acacia Strain may have found themselves amongst the ranks of leaders Job For A Cowboy and perhaps Suicide Silence.

Those bands are pretty meh imo. But otherwise very well written, you might want to space the paragraphs so this isnt so cluttered. Good job, pos'd.


Bleak123
August 25th 2008



1902 Comments


Suicide Silence & JFaC are pretty meh (except SS kick arse live), but they are still among the most popular of the genre which is what I think he's trying to say. Acacia Strain tend to be a lil' more exciting than those other two on record.This Message Edited On 08.25.08

SHOOTME
August 25th 2008



2393 Comments


even when i type the review into the text field it still comes out looking like a disaster. Why does the format do this?


just press enter again in between paragraphs and it will look fine.

bustyagunz
August 25th 2008



911 Comments


Is All Shall Perish deathcore? They are kinda boss.

asaf
August 25th 2008



885 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is there a way to edit the review once its been posted?

bustyagunz
August 25th 2008



911 Comments


yea, go to your main page and on the left under your image there should be an Edit My Reviews option.

Bleak123
August 25th 2008



1902 Comments


is there a way to edit the review once its been posted?


click "my profile", then click "edit my reviews" and edit away.


asaf
August 25th 2008



885 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks!

beans
August 25th 2008



2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not a bad review, like someone else already stated a few mistakes
i really liked the dead walk, il probably end up getting this sometime

asaf
August 25th 2008



885 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

who opened up with a breakdown before the acacia strain? as far as i know carbomb was one of the first intro-breakdown songs... any insight?

bustyagunz
August 25th 2008



911 Comments


im not much into breakdown music but seeing as they started in 2000, and their first album was in 2002, and they are pretty meh if this is their best album and you are giving it a 3.5, I doubt they revolutionized it.

IntoTheFire
August 25th 2008



89 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

score is for the lyrics

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2008



17195 Comments


i remember when i saw these guys live all i could think about was how their vocalist looked like Ben Roethlisberger


Wizard
August 25th 2008



19206 Comments


I think comparing other deathcore bands to other deathcore bands (like you've done numerous times throughout the review) is like comparing a rotten apple to a rotten apple. No difference! I would lose the 'drama queen' tag on this review and stop trying to make controversy over who is the best deathcore band. Other then that, well written review.

Needless to say plenty of mindless chugging takes place throughout the entire album.

Not wasting my time with this album.

Digging: Merzbow - Dust of Dreams

botb
August 25th 2008



9520 Comments


Is All Shall Perish deathcore? They are kinda boss.

TPoE is, the new record not so much.
who opened up with a breakdown before the acacia strain? as far as i know carbomb was one of the first intro-breakdown songs... any insight?
probably at least 500 hardcore bands =D.

this album is so much better than their last one. a return to greatness for TAS fosho.

FukuiSan
August 25th 2008



179 Comments


This Acacia Strain album sounds like......

...the other Acacia Strain albums.This Message Edited On 08.25.08

Wizard
August 25th 2008



19206 Comments


Um yeah Wizard, you're uh, totally right and stuff...

Sarcasm?


Wizard
August 25th 2008



19206 Comments


Ahhhhhhh Nevermind! Sarcasm was deserved!This Message Edited On 08.25.08



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