Review Summary: While being incendiary yet seemingly beautiful all the way, Acumen Nation have improved drastically from their previous records.
Acumen Nation’s fifth album, The 5ifth Column
is what you could call a step in the right direction for the group. The album is filled to the brim with chugging, machine-sounding guitar riffs, a noisy rhythm section, and even features a huge array of powerful choruses, where the vocalists takes on an incredible role through most of it. Be aware, however, that the production here is extremely messy and can pack a punch in the ears, but really, this is probably their most accessible record yet if we’re talking musical terms. Arguably said, the guitarist has made noteworthy improvement with this album as well; he exercises his technicality and craftsmanship to an extreme with this one and almost never fails to tone it down a notch. Despite a few unnecessary lengthy tracks that go on for ages, and a few relatively minor inconsistencies reached in the latter half, this album may very well go down as an excellent record for the men.
In detail, The 5ifth Column
is by no means a disappointing album, rather a very hate-driven yet passionate album taking loads of positives. For instance, take a gander at the first track Parasite Mine
, a song that closely sounds like you’re being blown away by a Boeing 747’s engine. Erupting with head-nodding drums and a supersonic guitar riff, it’s an energy-driven opener (Monster Zero
is just a quiet, short ambient piece) and lays a perfect foundation for what the band has in them. Just a Bastard
is possibly one of their greatest tracks to date, mostly because of their slick mixture of pulsating electronics and a violently heavy guitar riff. Apparently, this song is thought to rumored about the death of Jamie Duffy with lyrics such as “are you still…down with me"
” and “god doesn’t keep his failures from me………..it’s like an assassin for the better half
. While the song has an aggressive nature, it can be somewhat emotional if you think about the meaning behind it.
is lead on primarily by a fairly simple, enduring guitar riff that doesn’t really change direction much, but it’s a cynical song that even features rapping during the verses. By a stretch, the only real time Acumen Nation spread their wings and take a dwindle step down from the all the intensity, with 100% emotion is on the track Recaster
, a very powerful track that serves as the most appealing track for all audiences. The use of the guitar is beautifully enhanced, as it’s very melodic and less heavy and groggy. There’s a better sense of pure emotion here, something that you won’t see much of on the album (definitely not saying that’s a bad thing).
Unfortunately, though, The 5ifth Column
ropes in a few somewhat glaring mishaps that can interrupt the state of the listening experience as a whole. While the vocalist can definitely scream his heart out and provide the listener with guttural shrieks, sometimes they can be extremely aggravating and simply too loud. In other words, his use of the vox can become a daunting task to get through. If you’re not a fan of excessive use of the vox, it will be a major inconsistency for some individuals. Examples could be ones like Liquid Hater
and possibly Dirty Fighter
, as well. Another very little negative about the album is the song Wrath of Calixio
, a tedious song that isn’t very musical nor remotely interesting, it’s more so a synth-driven track which I’m sure won’t attract many people, including me. Their unpredictable riff consistency and action-drenched choruses by far separate the album more than the rather than that lukewarm 7 minute track.
Overall, Acumen Nation packs in bone crunching riffs and strong musicianship to deliver a glorious album that drills deep down into their sound entirely. While the rather rough production is a bit of turn off, and a few songs are minor weaknesses as a whole, this is a pretty killer album and a great contender for their greatest album they could have processed.
Just a Bastard