There’s only one band you need in your life at a time like this and that is The Acacia Strain who, after a run of crushing singles, have dropped their new album, Slow Decay. The follow-up to 2019’s It Comes In Waves, the sludgy deathcore heavyweights are not only back but, it has to be said, back with their finest effort to date.

Slow Decay groans into life with “Feed A Pigeon, Breed A Rat” and you quickly realise that this is going to be the perfect soundtrack to the frustration, anger and general insanity happening across the planet. Devastatingly heavy, Slow Decay showcases the deathcore mob at their most punishing. A filthy cocktail of dense, sludgy riffs, a thick as tar bass sound and crushing drumming, tracks like “Solace and Serenity” and “Chhinamasta” rain down a slew of filthy, suffocating grooves but grooves which, despite their hellish relentlessness, will have your head nodding along. Throughout the duration of Slow Decay, The Acacia Strain demonstrate their wonderful ability to be able to puncture even the thickest of riffs with the kind of hypnotic groove that gets right inside your head. Be warned though, if you let Vincent Bennett and his bandmates inside your head, prepare to be taken to some very dark places.

Sounding more feral than he has ever done, Bennett’s anguished howls really do put him up there as one of the best vocalists in the genre. Howling his was through the foul “Inverted Person” and the album closer “Earth Will Become Death”, Bennett’s wretched performance is simply stunning. With a bar set so low by the frontman, it’s only fit that the band have reached out to some of the genres other top names to guest with him. From Jesus Piece frontman Aaron Heard who lends his voice to the sickening “Seeing God” to Left Behind‘s growler Zach Hatfield to iwrestledabearonce‘s Courtney La Plante, The Acacia Strain have picked the cream of the heavy music crop to join them on their horrible journey. However, out of the four guest appearances, hearing Bennett team up with Mortality Rate‘s vocalist Jess Nyx on the foul “The Lucid Dream”, you hope this collaboration gets to create more beautiful music together.

In summing up, The Slow Decay is everything you could want from The Acacia Strain. It’s as subtle has a sledgehammer tooth extraction, suffocatingly heavy and denser than the New Dehli smog. If you’re stuck at home and want the perfect soundtrack to these crazy times, let Vincent Bennett and co. keep you company. As already warned though, beware as this journey will take you to some utterly dark and depraved places, the kind of places that, once you visit, you’ll never be the same again.

Slow Decay Track Listing:

1. Feed A Pigeon Breed A Rat
2. Crippling Poison
3. Seeing God (feat. Aaron Heard)
4. Solace and Serenity
5. The Lucid Dream (feat. Jess Nyx)
6. I breathed in the smoke deeply and it tasted like death and I smiled (feat. Zach Hatfield)
7. Crossgates
8. Inverted Person
9. Chhinnamasta
10. One Thousand Painful Stings (feat. Courtney LaPlante)
11. Birds of Paradise, Birds of Prey
12. EARTH WILL BECOME DEATH

Run Time: 43:07
Release Date: July 24, 2020
Record Label: Rise Records

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.