No one can possibly say that The Acacia Strain isn’t skull-crushingly heavy enough for their metal tastes. These tracks simply own your mother’s bedroom. It’s safe to say that The Acacia Strain will never be blown off a stage playing music that bears this type of monstrous bulk. At times, the group’s structures can be a touch anti-climatic, as on the disjointed “Whoa! Shut It Down!” Even if this cut contains the tag line “Everyone Will Suffer” from the spine of the O-card packaging, the band sounds a bit uninspired here. However, when considering that such moments are few and far between on the album, such lapses are easily forgivable. Meanwhile the anguish of “Pity” an abstract, serpentious title track stimulates enough excitement in their godly forcefulness that negatives find themselves to be, in fact negated.
Although it takes a couple of listens to this entire record to sort out some of the sludge, songs such as rumbling, low-toned “As If Set Afire” and the Meshuggah-like “Burnface” there is a pattern of diversity that’s more than convincing. Full-on assaults crop up in the music of The Acacia Strain equally as often as staggered breakdowns morph into an entirely new breed of metal altogether.
There is so much more on The Dead Walk than mammoth breakdowns that demands attention. Utilizing more metal influences this time around, the fresh usage of various discordant melodies brings welcome changes of pace throughout the album. In addition to the occasional one-off solo, there are even a few fast tempo parts, reminiscent of older styled hardcore, that fit perfectly into the overall scheme of the album.
Also easily recognizable on this newest release (as with previous material) is the pitch black humor of the lyrical content. As a whole, The Dead Walk is without a doubt the darkest material The Acacia Strain has ever birthed. The threatening and foreboding vibe that emanates throughout gives The Dead Walk one of the most haunting atmospheres this style has ever seen.
One of the things that was unusual about The Acacia Strain was they had three guitarists on there other two CD’s and are now down to two guitarists. I think that The Dead Walk is by far their best CD yet and the over all sound Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage) got these guys was tight as fuck. No one can record metal like Adam so this was a big score for the band. Also the timing is dead on the whole way through and there is nothing holding these guys back from anything this time around. I can see this CD being one of the biggest metalcore CD’s of 2006.
The music does show some diversity with tempo and texture changes and a few of the songs do stand out. They also create some unusual rhythms that make the songs more engaging. The band’s low end is really heavy and sludgy and adds to the pissed off vibe of the CD. It’s definitely an intense and brutal record. I give this CD a 9.2 out of 10 because it’s bands like this that we need to keep the metalcore scene alive. [ END ]
01. Sarin: The End
04. As If Set Afire
05. Angry Mob Justice
06. Whoa! Shut It Down
07. See You Next Tuesday
10. Predator: Never Prey
11. The Dead Walk
Run Time: 32:02