For Fans Of
So Vincent Barret and his merry band of moshers are back for album number eight (shit, really?), so when they are not cooking up some fat beef with Emmure, they’re bringing brutal sonic onslaught to ears everywhere. Their last album, ‘Death Is The Only Mortal’ wasn’t a bad album, in fact it was actually quite good, so how does its follow up release fare?
Well, it’s a bit shit.
The big issue, and it is a biggie, is musically this has a severe case of Copy And Pasteitis. The slow, mid-tempo, breakdowns low-tuned chuggs and deep growls seem to be all the band can muster up now. It’s definitely aggressive, but it also feels uninspired. The album is made up of the same old riffs, double kick patterns, screams etc played over and over and over and over, and there’s never a change in sight. So as one can guess, this all grates harder than long nails on an old school room chalkboard. This style and writing has always been the band’s schtick but it’s just all so goddamn monotnous from beginning to end here, and some will find, undoubtedly, themselves counting down the minutes till they can free themselves from the oppressive shackles of boredom.
The band isn’t the best in the lyrical department either. It’s easy to see that its fictitious aggression will all come off a little bit violent and silly. Case in point, ‘I noticed that you wanted to run, when you noticed the gun‘, ‘Unborn Jesus, abort the holy foetus‘, ‘I cut out her tongue when she said my name‘, ‘She didn’t deserve to die, but I deserved to kill her‘ and ‘She told me she wanted to meet the reaper, I had only done her a favour‘ (those last three are from the same song by the way) are all good, or rather, bad examples of the album’s lyrical content. ‘Holy Walls of the Vatican’ is your stupidly typical ‘I don’t believe in your lies, fuck your religious beliefs, I’m my own person’ metal song. Though it has one cringe moment that stands tall above the rest: “Call me a lair, and I’ll call you a heretic…bitch!” Why? WHY? Why was there a need for ‘bitch’ to be used there? It’s these questions that have baffled the minds of scientists (or rather, listeners) for years.
The elephant in the room for this record though is that the last song (or if you buy a physical copy, the whole second CD), the 27 minute long ‘Observer’. While it’s a dark track made up of different movements (yes, things just got classical), it’s 27 FUCKING MINUTES LONG. It’s like four or five shorter songs all crammed into one with a boat load of samples, and as the band’s generic style (which was already a struggle to swallow down), is the medium it uses, this doesn’t help the matter.
‘Coma Witch’ might as well have been called ‘How to put Yourself into a Coma’ for all the good it does.
‘Coma Witch’ is just engaging music from start to finish, with powerful thought provoking lyrics, genre-defying musicianship and some of the be-, Sorry? What’s that? Oh yeah, we’re talking about The Acacia Strain’s new album so forget that first part!
1. Human Disaster
3. Send Help
4. Holy Walls of the Vatican
5. World Demise
7. Graveyard Shift
9. Whale Shark