The Acacia Strain
Slow Decay


4.5
superb

Review

by Ninjahague USER (9 Reviews)
July 25th, 2020 | 48 replies


Release Date: 07/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It feels like hell

Over three years ago, Acacia Strain released their 8th album Gravebloom, their gloomiest and slowest paced record yet, and is arguably their worst released album since their debut. It also just so happens to be the most important album that led to the development of Slow Decay. Acacia wanted a new sound, simple enough premise for a band, sure, but with Acacia being Acacia, Acacia has to stay y'know, stay Acacia. Breakdowns, Low Vocals, Hardcore-esq Chuggs. Yes, that such is a standard affair for the scene, sure, but no band could ever come close to capturing the unique sound The Acacia Strain brings to the table. When it came to sound changes, Wormwood did this for the band perfectly, straying far (but still very Acacia) from any previous sound they had, which paved their sound for the next 3 albums. Including Gravebloom. And Gravebloom was the sign of the opposite happening, cracks were showing underneath their skin, showing signs of wasted potential and potentially less inspired song writing. Let this not be a “***ting upon” Gravebloom however, for the album does plenty right. Its darker and gloomier tones work very with Acacias style, as previously introduced with Coma Witch (although to a lesser extent), but those gloomed tones were exactly the cracks Acacia was bleeding, they unfortunately translate into an, at times, boring and long drawn out mess. It worked perfectly in the absolute killer closer Cold Gloom, but that style only works in a song dedicated to that 9 minutes of long overdue gloom. In Gravebloom it felt like it was shoved in almost every song's breakdown. Not fun.

So, When It Comes in Waves was dropped on our heads out of nowhere, the biggest surprise around that album was just how Acacia said *** it and made a doom record (citation needed). It was an outright sound change with only the appropriate amount of the Acacia touch added to the mix. An absolutely monstrous album, fans praising it their best ever, bringing back old fans and bringing in plenty new, everyone was content, especially Acacia. They went completely out of their comfort zone (still in the Acacia zone) and nailed it. A seemingly opposite reaction from Gravebloom. But like? Now what? Does Acacia dive deeper into this sound and explore it more? Well, not entirely.

We won’t kid ourselves here now, Acacia is still going to be Acacia. But allow me to assure you that is not a bad thing. Why do the previous two albums pertain to this one? Well, Acacia essentially got that creative endeavor out their systems with ICIW and have now come back stronger than they ever have been. Slow Decay showcases every ounce of potential lost and found in Gravebloom and essentially combines it with the doomed nature of It Comes in Waves. Slow Decay is a masterful showcase of everything The Acacia Strain has already done perfectly, cranks it up and smashes it together with the ICIW-esque sound, giving it the Acacia formula and releasing it as Slow Decay.
Slow Decay is in your face with its aggressive driving riffs and viciously dark energy as much as its forcing you to lay back and witness the intensity behind its heaviest doomed out sections. The transition between Seeing God to Solace and Serenity is a perfect representation of that, with the former bringing in meanest Acacia intro yet and an absolute beast of a guest vocalist that was perfectly utilized within the song while the latter being a perfect showcase for the albums thematic of slowly decaying with its gradual steep into a heavier more destructive breakdown without overplaying it. Every guest vocalist here actually plays their role perfectly. Aaron Herd and Jess Nyx absolutely destroy their verses, and having Zach Hetfield featured on the album's gloomiest track,” I breathed in the smoke... “ was such a fantastic inclusion for the album's darkest track. Even in One Thousand Pain Stings where Courtney LaPlante...doesn’t scream? Or even a verse, she sings the outro of the track but she does it perfectly. But that’s it. It may have been a seemingly overkill inclusion for a smaller and insignificant part, so call it my only complaint about this album. (5 -> 4.5).

Slow Decay surely is a depressing album. It is loud, it is heavy and it is angry and those traits all find themselves in a bundle of sadness, one way or another. Vocally, Instrumentally and Lyrically. Each and every way you would interpret Vincent's vague lyrics always pulls itself into a bleak theme. Obvious with a title named Slow Decay, but Vincets way of blunty delivering each and every dismal, bleak syllable puts a mark of calamity on every line.

And that's exactly the energy found in every part of this album that elevates every culmination of gloomed sound from ICIW and wraps it up into this new era of Acacia, bloomed from the grave left behind from their 8th album and evolved with their 9th, The Acacia Strain is stronger than ever on their 10th LP.




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user ratings (90)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ninjahague
July 25th 2020


1729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

take a shot for every time i say acacia

oltnabrick
July 26th 2020


39695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

like this a lot more than the album they did last year

Digging: Egg Hunt - Egg Hunt

Lord(e)Po)))ts
July 26th 2020


57543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

thought this would sound a bit more like the new t-swizzle really didn't know what i was gettin myself into

Digging: HellHammer - Apocalyptic Raids

JayEnder
July 26th 2020


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review man, but those are some beefy paragraphs. Would split them up a bit :]



Album is a far cry from the album art... Harrowing stuff. One Thousand Painful Stings is my easy favorite. Chhinamasta is sweet too

Digging: Misery Signals - Ultraviolet

trilo
July 26th 2020


3340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yo same thousand stings is my fav too



chugz ahrd

Digging: As Real - Marveless

parksungjoon
July 26th 2020


21491 Comments


focaccia stain

Ray91
July 27th 2020


700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

their best record since continent alongside iciw

Digging: Misery Signals - Ultraviolet

spanndrew58
July 27th 2020


145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought it comes in waves was excellent, this feels like a big step back though.

MotokoKusanagi
July 27th 2020


3197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really solid album

TheSpaceMan
July 27th 2020


12942 Comments


i like the art

DarthHideous1
July 27th 2020


246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As a big TAS fan, I like this album but it's missing a lot of their cool solos in the background. It's also a lot more straightforward and breakdown heavy than their past couple albums

trilo
July 27th 2020


3340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea. i like it more than coma witch and gravebloom but it doesn't have the dummy groovez of DITOM/wormwood

JayEnder
July 27th 2020


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I breathed in the smoke deeply it tasted like death and I smiled might be the greatest song title of all time

Eons
July 27th 2020


2763 Comments


i dont know anything about this band aside from the fact that there's video of the lead singer knocking Glen Danzig out cold with one punch backstage after Danzig was telling him he better cut his set short to give Danzig more time, well not telling but demanding he do it and acting tough as he did.

costofnothing
July 27th 2020


91 Comments


This already sounds pretty good. Gonna be disappointed if I don't want to put holes in my wall at least a few times when listening to this.

Moshin
July 27th 2020


3 Comments


The 2019 record is the best thing they've ever done. This comes pretty close. But take my opinion with a grain of salt since I don't really care for anything aside from these last two and some of Continent.

Dedes
July 27th 2020


7190 Comments


Man I love my good friend ninjahague
Last album was dope even if it was oddly brief for what it was going for. Will czech this.

Ninjahague
July 28th 2020


1729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dedes you bring a tear to my eye

combustion07
July 28th 2020


6948 Comments


Made me wanna check jam the album. I used to jam the one with the song JFAC on it. Saw them live a few years back though and their set was insane. Frontman is a madman onstage. Will check . Good review

tinathefatlard
July 28th 2020


1759 Comments


New to this band, where should I start?



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