The Acacia Strain

You are witness to a unique event. This review is literally written at the end of what is known as a ‘bender’. According to the urban dictionary: “A term commonly used to describe a period of time (preferably more than 24 hours) spent escaping life’s harsh realities (marriage, work etc) Consumption of alcohol and drugs is a must. Anything goes”. Yup I am writing this on the very tail end of said bender, and do you know what the soundtrack to this particular bender is?

The Acacia Strain’s Wormwood.

Ya see, here’s what happened – the ol’ wife and I got into one of our many arguments about stupid shit; cleaning, responsibilities, sex, in laws, sex, money, selling our house, sex, and all sorts of other mundane bullshit. So, as the impasse ended she took our daughter to her aunt’s house for the day, while I stayed home and did my inane list of chores, that I’m supposed to do while she goes out for the day ― as any obedient, whipped husband does. But as the day wore on, I seethed and brooded more; my last slave chore being mowing the yard in 98-degree Missouri heat. And guess what I listened to for the whole hour and a half while I sweated my delicate English balls off? Wormwood.

For the entire time I worked, endured, languished and internally cursed my life, The Acacia Strain fed my anger. Fed it with the band’s known trademark heaviness, and despite what your definition of heavy is, or despite the fact the band is admittedly a one trick pony now, the fact remains: The Acacia Strain are indeed one of the heaviest bands around. They have found their niche and stuck with it.

And so, vocalist Vincent Bennett roared the mood suiting likes of “I don’t give a fuck anymore” (“Ramirez”), “I find you fucking disgusting” (“BTM FDR”), “I’m Not fucking sorry” (“The Impaler), “I hate everything you love” (“Jonestown”)  and “This is how the world ends not with a bang but with a Whimper” (“Nightman”) ― my anger grew, burned and seethed. Thus, I did what any pussy whipped, neutered husband does in my situation: I went out drinking. A lot. All the while fueled by Wormwood.

As it turns out, The Acacia Strains’ fifth album is the perfect soundtrack to a alcohol fouled bender. It’s so full of piss and hate it literally breeds violence, loathing and malice. Every lurching, pummeling note and loping down-tuned riff―while slightly reminiscent of the band’s last two efforts (The Dead Walk, Continent)―simply destroy on a sonic level that’s primal, volatile and utterly suited to a alcohol fueled binge of epic proportions.

Quite simply, the aforementioned tracks, as well as simply devastating moments as heard on opener “The Beast” (arguably the band’s heaviest riff ever), the closing of “The Hills Have Eyes” and start of “Terminated” are perfectly suited to neck snapping, neighbor yelling, cop finagling, wall punching, spouse cursing, and waking up naked in the yard -moments of sheer emotion. And I loved every fucking bruising, pummeling minute.

On that note. Anyone know any good marriage therapists or divorce attorneys?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 9th, 2010


  1. Commented by: mccumberv

    Hmmm, I have been married for 17 years and we’ve had some ups and downs, remember it always seems like the grass is always greener on the other side and be careful what you wish for, both are cliches but I think they are very true. I say just go with the flow and continue to hit the bottle and crank the metal, haha… its way more cheaper than a therapist and a whole lot more fun!!!!

    Never heard of this band, so I need to check them out, thanks for the review.

  2. Commented by: Apollyon

    Came in expecting to dislike it but turns out, it’s actually enjoyable. Especially the songs “Bay of Pigs” and the closure “Tactical Nuke” are addicting.

  3. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Well I commented on this one already elsewhere but as I listen to Wormwood I find I’m still feeling the same way about it.

    Why is it that every band that switches up to using 8 string guitars try to sound like Meshuggah?

    Yeah some of this sounds similar to what they did on Continent, but there are moments where I can almost hear Meshuggah’s “Nothing” playing in the background.

    Also, I am here and now offering my sevices to any and all Deathcore style bands that need lyrics, because I would bet large amounts of someone else’s money that I could construct something that made more sense than “You are the babykillers”, and “I find you F***ing disgusting!”

  4. Commented by: seaofcartilage

    Good call, Erik.

    Airing a bunch of personal shit is probably the only possible way to make this record seem interesting.

  5. Commented by: Reignman35

    I bought this and while I think it’s still good, they seem to be losing it just a bit. The lyrics have their hit and miss point, but it’s definitely a pissed off listen and nice and heavy. You kinda take it for what it is at this point with these guys.

    P.S. Where you at in Missouri? I just moved to Springfield in March.

  6. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Reignman 35- Im in Jefferson City, Im sometimes down that way a bit with work.

  7. Commented by: Reignman35

    Cool man get in touch if you are ever in the area. The scene is not great here but the Outland Ballroom is not bad. Saw Whitechapel there about six weeks ago. Do you have my e-mail from the registration? Real name is Kevin btw…

  8. Commented by: Reignman35

    And I forgot to ask if you’re going to the Slayer/Megadeth/Testament show in 2 weeks in Kansas City?

  9. Commented by: faust666

    cool review… enjoyed the album too – heavy, sinister, modern, catchy.. if you’re looking for subtlety, complexity, virtuosity and all of that then look elsewhere..

  10. Commented by: Chris

    I return to Fort Leonard Wood after this deployment, so these mentions of Missouri intrigue me

  11. Commented by: Reignman35

    It’s hotter than a mofo here right now… so depending on where you’re coming from it could be good or bad…

  12. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    This might not be intricate or original, but for sheer heft, its unmatched.

  13. Commented by: xiweinx

    The heaviest band was and still is Disembodied.

    This comes nowhere near it.

  14. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    ^ Thanks for reminding me about Disembodied. Listening to Heretic now…

  15. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Cool review, but still doesn’t make me want to check it out.

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