Published Jul 22, 2020Only a year after previous album It Comes in Waves, the Acacia Strain return with their newest offering, Slow Decay. Pushing further into sludge and doom territory, Slow Decay is their most musically atmospheric record to date. With just enough variety to avoid stagnation, Slow Decay sees the band further its maturation into a more sophisticated realm of heavy music.
Following in the experimental footsteps of It Comes in Waves, Slow Decay further leans into its sludge metal tendencies. "Feed a Pigeon, Breed a Rat", "Birds of Paradise, Birds of Prey" feel more at home on a mid-2000s sludge record than in the Acacia Strain's catalogue. There are plenty of death metal and hardcore sprinkled throughout on tracks like "Chhinnamasta" and "One Thousand Painful Stings" that will appease those who look at this band through a nostalgic lens. The inclusion of guest vocalists like Jesus Piece's Aaron Heard and Mortality Rate's Jess Nyx adds much needed dynamic range throughout.
The Acacia Strain are not reinventing themselves, nor doing anything unheard of, but are evolving graciously. For listeners who have stayed away from bands miscast under the guise of deathcore, Slow Decay is a pleasant surprise that shows a veteran band unafraid of reinventing themselves. (Rise Records)