The Acacia Strain have been plagued with line-up changes, but does it show on their new album?
On their sixth album – their first full-length with yet another new lineup – this Massachusetts mob are on fine form. ‘Cauterizer’ is a brutal combination of guttural growls and Pantera-style grooves, and ‘Holy Walls Of The Vatican’ is laden with doom. The inclusion of 28-minute finale, ‘Observer’, is a bold move, but not one that works. Largely instrumental, it makes for an ambitious but wholly unnecessary addition. That aside, they’ve succeeded in making a devastatingly heavy record that, bar the odd predictable breakdown, manages to steer clear of deathcore clichés and sets them apart from their peers.