The Acacia Strain – Death Is The Only Mortal (2012)

Over the years, there have been several heavy metalcore/deathcore bands that have taken fans of these particular genres by storm and just went with the blueprints that made them so successful in the first place. The Acacia Strain is one of the bands that has definitely maintained their heavy and pissed off attitude release after release. With that being said, there had been signs of progression on their previous album, Wormwood, and to a greater extent, on their newest release entitled Death Is The Only Mortal. Death Is The Only Mortal is slated to release on October 9th via Rise Records. Yes, you read it correctly. Rise Records. There is always this common misconception that a band HAS to change their style if they get signed to a particular label, but The Acacia Strain are here to prove otherwise. After the eerie soundclip taken from The Devil Inside to open the album, you get a glimpse of what’s to come. The highs are back, and they are better than ever. Vincent’s spine-chilling highs can be heard on several tracks and when they’re used, they add another dimension to the music which makes it even more impressive. His lows that everyone has become accustomed to have remained the same, as has his lyrical style.

The drumming of Kevin Boutot on Death Is The Only Mortal is very impressive. There are several excellent drum fills heard on nearly every track, and the fills on “The Mouth Of The River” and “The Chambered Nautilus” give me goosebumps every time I hear them.

In addition to the extremely heavy breakdowns, copious amounts of chugging, and occasional groovy verses that many have come to expect from The Acacia Strain, there are quite a few surprising melodic segments on some tracks, most notably “Brain Death”, “The Mouth Of The River”, and “House Of Abandon”. If The Acacia Strain added a little bit more melody to the rest of the album like they did on the aforementioned tracks, it would be nearly impossible for any fan of ‘core’ music to become bored of Death Is The Only Mortal.

The only other major flaw with this album is that some tracks drag on a little bit too long. For example, “Our Lady Of Perpetual Sorrow” is four and a half minutes long, but in reality, there’s only two or three different patterns that repeat several times. This track would be much better if it was half as long. Another song that faces the same problem is “Time And Death And God”. “Time And Death And God” has a bit more variety and an interlude near the middle of the track, however, the interlude is much too long.

Death Is The Only Mortal sees the band progress even more than they did on their previous release, Wormwood. The Acacia Strain has steadily become a very groovy band and this new release is sure to reel in quite a few fans who enjoy ‘djenty’ deathcore while keeping many – if not all – of their past fans.


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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews