Massachusetts based quintet The Acacia Strain are titans in the extreme metal community, still going strong over a decade and a half since their inception, are now up to the milestone of the eighth studio album of their careers, ‘Gravebloom’. As with most bands whose careers span such a numerous amount of releases, The Acacia Strain have more than solidified where they stand when it comes to music.
‘Gravebloom’ doesn’t shy away from what the band have already released, yet with it being a The Acacia Strain record, it’s still very much them, and not just another bland, aggressive record. However, it really is aggressive, and nihilistic, as any long-time fan of the band would expect. From start-to-finish, the record bleeds the stench of hatred, annihilation, mortality, remorse, blasphemy, and droves of other morbid topics.
The lyrical content of the album is poetically written, and Vincent Bennett‘s rancorous performance as per only does them justice. When combined with the band’s superb and abrasive instrumentals, they show just what a force they are to be reckoned with, to both your eardrums and the rest of their contemporaries in the scene.
Some of the record’s highlights come from ‘Worthless’, ‘Bitter Pill’, and ‘Dark Harvest’. Each one is punishing and rife with the band’s hallmark lyrical content, such as “There is no glimmer no chance of hope / You’ll find a noose at the end of my rope”, and “The future isn’t open, it’s bleak and fucking empty / Keep crying to your God, he’s the one who fucking sent me.” However, whilst each one delivers a brilliant take on such callousness, it’s a little bit stale.
‘Gravebloom’ can feel like it just bleeds into itself and loses the identity of some of the tracks, and the record is hardly that far away from anything that the band have already done before. Still, The Acacia Strain are brilliant at what they clearly love creating – pure aural misery and disdain for humanity.
Written by Dec Sherry (@decxsherry)