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At times cringeworthy, at times entertaining, and at other occasions decidedly serious, ‘Slander‘ certainly is a roller coaster ride that runs the gamut of musical emotion. Unfortunately, all these assertions seemingly compete with one another, serving to overshadow this studio album from Long Island metal upstarts Dr. Acula.
Dr. Acula…Dracula. Right!? Overlooking a band name designed to invite obvious indifference, the key aspect here is the quality of the tunes themselves. Let’s face it, the margins aren’t very big when it comes to deathcore. It is ‘sink or swim’ in every sense of the phrase. Get it right and the deserved praise follows. Get it wrong and you become the butt of every genre-related joke.
‘Slander‘ is an ever-changing aural experience and in an unhelpful way wedged somewhere in between the aforementioned notion. Tracks such as ‘Fire Crotch (The Venereal Van Ride)‘ make you believe Dr. Acula are ready to fall to the bottom of deathcore’s seemingly endless pile. However, songs like ‘Who You Gonna Call‘ and ‘Welcome to Camp Nightmare‘ show that this band has some serious talent that is worth praising. What ‘Slander‘ provides is an intriguing listen. Whether you love it or hate it, the attention given is still the same.
Even within an abrasive genre such as metal, Dr. Acula takes time to grow on you. Put simply, it is an acquired sound. Their schizophrenic approach to song-writing and musical tact is reflected throughout the album. Certain points are interesting and solid while others are typical and standard.
Putting aside the prominent use of pop culture and movie samples, the tunes are well-produced and defined. But like the b-grade horror remakes they borrow from, the tracks follow a previously used blueprint that when re-hashed loses a bit of its originality and impact.
No one is going to discredit a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. In fact it is quite admirable in a scene where the stereotype suggests metalheads are way too precious. However, there is still a time to knuckle down and apply some sort of structure. Unfortunately, it is way too varied in this instance, working to deliver an album that is inconsistent and at best adequate.
At the end of the day, ‘Slander‘ is a bit of a novelty. That’s a good thing? Right!?
An overt party tone that is devoid of egotism is appreciated as much as it’s welcomed. However, the balance is still disproportionate. ‘Slander’ is a decent effort but still marred by periods of repetition and derivativeness. Breakdown lovers will be at home, just don’t expect much else to latch on to.
1. Clinger (Stage 5)
2. Fire Crotch (The Venereal Van Ride)
3. Welcome to Camp Nightmare
4. Currently Sexting
5. Cocaine Avalanche
6. Song Before the Song
7. Pure And Immature (Goon)
8. Who You Gonna Call?
9. All Work No Play
11. Slampig (…And Then The Bitch)
12. Party 2.0
13. The Big Sleep