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The Acacia Strain - Failure Will Follow review

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Band: The Acacia Strain
Album: Failure Will Follow
Release date: May 2023

01. Pillar Of Salt [feat. Dylan Walker]
02. Bog Walker [feat. Sam Sawyer]
03. Basin Of Vows [feat. Ethan McCarthy]

The Acacia Strain can thrive in slower songs.

I don't know if you noticed but there's a significant overlap between sludge metal and hardcore, so it makes sense why you'd have sludge and core bands collaborating or grind bands turning to sludge bands for one album, or bands threading the line between sludge and hardcore's cousin, noise rock. Or why, a band like The Acacia Strain, a deathcore band, who have already been injecting sludge into their sound for more than a decade, can go ahead and release two twin albums, and make one of them a sludge metal album.

I've already covered their most expansive jump into atmospheric sludge and post-metal band in 2019, so you can understand why I was a bit head over heels upon the prospect of them going full on sludge and having guest spots from Full Of Hell's Dylan Walker and Primitive Man's Ethan Lee McCarthy, and not only that but a three song record where each track is longer than ten minutes. Needless to say, it's unlike anything the band put out so far, it's their one album that got them added to the Metal-Archives, and it's a pretty nasty kind of record where you can kind of tell it's not the genre that the band is used to writing in. For better or worse, but that makes it a pretty interesting regardless.

I think Failure Will Follow works more than it doesn't, with the band's bass-heavy sound being something that they've cultivated from even before diving their toes into sludge all those years back, so it makes sense that they would have some of the sound crafting experience to make some compelling sludge atmospheres. The vocals are the one element that feels a bit out of place, still retaining a bit of that deathcore tinge, but they do manage to latch unto sludge's hardcore roots enough, and the guest vocals on each track makes that disjoint feel less noticeable. There's still a bit of a chuggy undertone to the riffing that has a pretty interesting effect in these slower tempos, something that is not as commonplace in sludge but that betrays the band's deathcore origin.

Songwriting-wise, there's a lot more room to breathe compared to the band's usual material, and especially compared to the immediacy of its sibling album, with a lot of Primitive Man-esque elongated crushing riffing in its slowest and heaviest moments, and depending on the pace, the grooviest moments (especially in the middle track) can have a little bit of a bluesy injection and can remind of either Sleep, or Eyehategod. The guest spots, even the ones from artists like iris.exe, which aren't even heavy music originating, feel well-utilized. But there's still a bit of an overarching feeling that the band is still trying to find its footing when more or less completely abandoning the deathcore sound.

But then again, The Acacia Strain can thrive in faster songs.

Written on 27.05.2023 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 51 users
28.05.2023 - 16:08
I've never given this band a listen until this album and damn, it's soooo good.

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