The Acacia Strain // Wormwood
Rating: 1.0/5.0 — Puts me to sleep
Label: Prosthetic Records
Release Dates: Out Now Worldwide (I think)

I seem to remember The Acacia Strain being an In Flames copy, but I think I must be thinking of another band entirely. Which means that I have no reference for these guys as I’ve never heard them before and I thought they were a metalcore band. Turns out, I’m wrong. Instead, they’re a deathcore band. Now, I try to not generalize about genre conventions while reviewing a band (I mean, it’s unfair to review an entire genre every time you review a band’s record), but I think that I’m starting to figure out what it is about endless breakdowns that I hate. And I’ll tell you. Oh yes, I’ll tell you.

OK, actually, I’ll tell you a bit later. Let me start out with what I think this band does well. You know, one should follow the same strategy with criticism that you do when you’re telling your friend that you think he’s being a douchebag: start with the positive. In this case, I think these guys are moderately capable musicians. Occasionally a really great chug riff comes through, and that’s awesome. But honestly, the best part about this album is the production. Wormwood definitely breaks against the mold of a lot of the modern production that’s out there. While the guitar tone is a bit boxy and mechanical for my liking, the drums aren’t as openly disgustingly replaced as they are on a lot of other records and that’s great. So, thanks The Acacia Strain, at least your record isn’t annoying to listen to.

On the other hand: this is so fucking boring I can hardly stay awake. Breakdown after mind-numbing breakdown. Chug riff after mind numbing chug riff offset only by a vocalist who screams the most cliche crap, littered with as many f bombs as possible in order to let you know how incredibly tough he is. Where’s the interesting here? What’s to like about these songs? It’s just a bunch of riffs linked together that all build a bridge between breakdown and (mind-numbing) breakdown. It makes my brain want to fucking break.

So yeah, The Acacia Strain? Boring. The sound is thick, stupid and booooring. It might as well be drone for all the inventiveness and excitement happening on this stuff. For example, in the song “Bay of Pigs”, the fucking retarded chorus (see how tough I sound when I write “fucking”?) of “Just because you’re breathing doesn’t mean that you’re alive / just because you’re human doesn’t mean you have to die” (a fascinatingly meaningless group of sentences in a song named after something that might have actually made for interesting song lyrics) is repeated ad nauseum for like 3 minutes. The same, retarded, boring and mind numbing riff for 3 minutes. Or then there’s the song “Tactical Nuke”, which is just the same riff for 5 fucking minutes half time and then half time again. Why even waste the listeners time? This pretty much sums up the band in short order.

Don’t buy this record. If you’ve really got a hard on for deathcore than you probably don’t read Angry Metal Guy as it is, but not only that, you’d be better off getting the new Whitechapel which is way more interesting and inventive than this. Buy that record. Avoid The Acacia Strain like the plague because they stink. And if you must buy a record called Wormwood, check out the new Marduk ’cause it’s way better. Bands like this make me miss the metalcore trend: because at least then the shitty bands sounded like In Flames or At The Gates and you could kind of enjoy bits and pieces.

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  • It’s pretty bland. I listened to “Jonestown” on their MySpace. It had a really cool riff in it that lasted 5 seconds….then went into some bland sub-Meshuggah thing.

    The singer sounds like every other “deathcore” singer. I mean he’s good at what he does, but does he sound different from the dudes from Whitechapel and Suicide Silence…not really.

    Another thing that strikes me is the artwork. What does a crow in a bear trap with human teeth have to do with “Wormwood”? Sure it looks pretty cool I guess, but why choose an album title then it has NOTHING to do artwork or vice-a-versa.

    You nailed it when you said, listen to the new Whitechapel if you dig this type of music.

    While I’m at it, the song titles sound like they were made up by a 12 year that just got on Wikipedia. Unabomber, Bay of Pigs etc? Come on….

    “I’m disgusted by your beauty”, who writes these shitty lyrics? 12 year olds do, that’s who.

    • Oh yeah, totally cliché BS. Honestly, I’m surprised that these guys are big. If their other records were as mindless and dull as this one, there is absolutely no reason for it at all.

      I’ve seen another band like this live, too. It was insane, just breakdown after breakdown. Nothing interesting going on. It wasn’t even cool live, it was just mindless and boring. But they were more “hardcore”. I dunno, these guys are pretty much beatdown hardcore as well. Stupid shit. But I’m sure to get death threats from dudes with Xs on their hands because of this review.. haha.

  • Steel Druhm

    If you read this review in conjunction with the And Hell Followed With, its like the same review with the same complaints. Guess we just don’t get the deathcore thang.

  • Scrubbadog67

    This album was sooooo boring i actually fell asleep during the 4 minutes it took for the free download.

    • Ha. But downloading records is bad. Even if the band stinks.

      I get promos, buddy.

  • Conrad

    Okay, so I’d like to shed some light on this.
    The reason why The Acacia Strain is so big is because, while you may not like them because of the endless breakdowns, plenty of people love it, and love TAC for it. Personally, I do like them, and while, yes, what you say is kinda true, I still like them because I like their music and probably always will.

    One thing I will say I don’t agree with at all is your hatred for their lyrics. I mean, at least what they say actually could loosely have meaning, if you look at it from a certain standpoint, unlike a lot of bands that all they really sing about is rape, murder, and other pleasentries.

    • I’ve traditionally liked punk and hardcore for their political lyrics. I find deathcore to be sort of a removal of what was good about the simplicity of hardcore: interesting lyrics. Angry dudes screaming about politics over less than interesting music I can deal with. Angry dudes screaming over boring music about nonsensical bullshit on the other hand: a bridge too far.

      Glad you dig ’em though, and thanks for reading!

  • while i do share some of the sentiments already stated above, theres a more logical reason why alot more people like them. unlike their counterparts in the “dethcore” scene or whatever the fuck genre they’re all in, they’ve been around for a decent amount of time. they’re pretty much the band to blame for all these other shitty bands. while i’m not the biggest TAS fan, the album “3750” had slightly better lyrics as compared to all the albums they released afterwards. i myself prefer running around in a circle and epic sing alongs than breakdowns, but to each their own. the fad will die in time.

  • Michael Hickerson

    Metal-core is what my G/f listens to.
    Its fucking Metal….Not Death core….
    Subgenres are for Mallkids and people who want to line shit up caz it sounds differnt ..
    for instince Instead of that guy you hear that black guy…on the hand instead of that man you hear that white guy… another way to split things up and order them…
    Meshuggah is dope and your a dumb ass for even putting the two up side by side on sound…
    the lyrics are cleaver not Cliche`
    Do you even know what the fuck that word means?
    heard all the time bye people in the street ? No.
    Your a dumbass as ive allready pointed out.

    TAS is not death-core .
    Suicide silence…Whitechaple..
    ^Not metal…

    Vincint in no way sounds like every other “death-core)band Give me a band that he sounds like …Plz
    no highs no Gutterals just deepend Yelling..Anyone?

    And LastBut Not Fucking Least.
    FUCK-Fuck-Fuckedy Fuck…
    Thats not me being tough thats me Being as ignorant as you “Angry Metal Guy”

    Buy this cd other than the last song which anyone who has listend to TAS for along time Knows its a fucking joke its dope

    • 1. Your girlfriend is a poseur.
      2. No, it’s deathcore. Or it’s hardcore. It’s not metal.
      3. Meshuggah is not “dope” and I think the guys would probably even take exception to being called “dope”. That said, Meshuggah is a great band that is full of talent and interesting songwriting that makes The Acacia Strain sound even more boring than I already made them out to be.
      4. Yes, the lyrics are cliché. Or worse, nonsensical—like your post here.
      5. They’re deathcore. Or they’re hardcore. Maybe I’m repeating myself. Probably ’cause you’re (notice how that’s a combination of the words “you” and “are”?) repeating yourself.
      6. Are you German? Or did we suddenly start capitalizing nouns in English? He growls. Like dudes from other deathcore bands. Hence the “death” in the “deathcore”. Get it? Neat, huh? It’s blended with the “core” from “hardcore” because of all the run in place breakdowns that appear throughout the album. Like bands like Terror for example, only with death metal growls instead of hardcore screams. How ’bout that!?

      Yeah, I think the last thing you wrote pretty much speaks for itself.

      Glad you think the new record is “dope”. I’ll be over here listening to something that isn’t nearly as “dope”. And I won’t be so bored. That’ll be “dope.”

      You’re a fucking dope.

  • Zangor

    Please try to walk into a TAS pit in NYC or in MA, you WILL get SERIOUSLY INJURED. Straight up violence party, and please don’t even mention Meshuggah in a bad light until you learn how to play ANY of their songs ON ANY instrument, (oh man sound pretty easy LOL)

    • Wha? I just wrote that Meshuggah was a great band. Because Meshuggah is a great band. The Acacia Strain is not a great band.

      But since I’m not really planning on ever going to see The Acacia Strain, and I’m certainly not going to go to the east coast to see the band, I guess I don’t have to worry about it. That said: I think it says what in incredible douchebag you are that you would threaten someone who doesn’t like the same band you do. Congratulations on being a big douchebag.

  • ian

    Terrible review. You managed to stretch out the idea that the album is boring and repetative over the entire thing. Not that the internet is full of decent writers or anything. I was very dissapointed with the album and I agree with most of the things said. You make yourself sound like a moronic fuck, however when you say you’ve never listened to TAS and directly after say they suck. Listen to any song off The Dead Walk and try with your infinite wisdom to explain how it isn’t one of the heaviest most original metal album produced in the past 10 years. Wormwood shouldn’t have happened, but you can’t swipe an amazing band under the carpet for one stinker. Finally, I can only assume your taste in “metal” is attrocious and mainstream as you suggest people to listen to whitechapel. We aren’t scene girls. Might as well tell me bring me the horizon is a talented band. Speaking of originality, don’t you owe Angry Video Game Nerd a royalty check?

  • ian

    Awww no long drawn out defensive reply? You’re boring me here guy…

  • Buttsore Hardcore Kid

    You call yourself angry metal guy but you don’t like the acacia strain. They’ve been aroud since 2002 and you say they remind you of inflames? You my friend are a faggot. What’s cliche is your own name and a shitty blog no one gives a shit about outside of your circle of friends. Go listento your kiss records and leave the grown folk alone.

    • Yeah, ’cause I listen to METAL not HARDCORE. Angry METAL Guy. Not Buttsore Hardcore Kid. ;)

  • Another Buttsore Hardcore Kid

    So hardcore is not metal? Are you really so fucking dumb? Fuck you pussie go for your lollipop

    • Precisely. Hardcore is not metal. It’s hardcore. And it’s boring.

  • Carlos

    Well then tell me what genre is metal for you?

  • Carlos

    What can you expect from an asshole who think the black dahlia murder is metalcore? Or the acacia strain is deathcore? LOL sissy

  • Austin

    Yeah, this one did suck. It really sucked. 3750, their second full length album, was actually really good. They showed that they were fully capable, intelligent musicians who knew how to write quality music. Or, at least, that’s what I thought when I was a child who listened to metalcore.
    However, in the years since then, the entire genre has gone from an American version of Melodeath (Why do we always have to ruin good things?) to just a bunch of skate rat douche bags running around with their little sister’s jeans on.
    What was I talking about?

    Oh yes! This one sucks. The one before that was pretty bad, but not as bad. The one before that had some really shitty lyrics(which this one also does. However, it all just stems from Vincent Bennet trying to rhyme) but still wasn’t that good. The one before that was really quite good. And then the one before that just sucked, and was the basis for every riff that a band named Emmure has ever “written”.

    People, just listen to Meshuggah for all of these riffs done a thousand times better.

  • Wymps

    Keep on defending the faith, AMG! Your tenacity in trumping these morons is admirable and, in itself, fucking METAL!

  • RichardGibson

    First of all, i think your site is great and i really enjoyed reading the review and comments! Unfortunately however, your narrow-minded approach and massive contradictions embody everything i hate about true people. I’m glad you mentioned the production; wormwood is super-slick in this aspect, but where was the mention of the use of 8-string guitars? This tone is instantly recognisable, but you probably didn’t pick up on this because like most true people you have very limited musical knowledge. I bought this album a while back and still enjoy it because of what it is; raw, hateful and agressive, something that you can just throw down and have a good time to without having to analyse the musical technicalities. Did it ever occur to you that the band sounds like this because thats how they want to sound? sorry to dissapoint, but not all bands lie awake at night just wishing they could be as ‘good’ as at the gates and in flames. Whilst i love both these bands, they have had there time and you should not be so quick to dismiss the new directions that metal will inevitably branch out to. I agree that the record is not a masterpiece of musical skill, but that doesnt make it boring and shit. If i want to analyse musicianship i’ll go and listen to meshuggah or psycroptic, if i just want something to sound like my head is being caved in, i’ll put on TAS.
    Just because something ‘interesting’ isnt happening every 5 seconds it doesnt mean that it isn’t proper metal. Endless beneath the massacre style guitar wankery can be just as boring as endless breakdowns, and although the musicianship maybe tons better, it doesnt make the song any better. Take the vocals of TAS for example, the lyrics may be cliched, but the patterns are well structured and easy to pick up on, and this ties in with the overall feel of the album, simplistic and agressive.
    I’m sure the image you have in your head of me is a skinny little prick with a huge fringe, but believe me i hate this look as much as you. Check out my band, Throne of Nero, we moved to 8-string guitars back in september, (there’s a few videos on facebook) and i take as much influence from the likes of meshuggah, dillinger escape plan and diskreet as i do from bands like whitechapel and TAS.
    I get it that the idea of your blog is to be angry, but you are not ‘defending the faith’ because there is not faith, you just feel the need to hate on progression because you don’t know how to progress.

    • First: I love progressive music. I hate The Acacia Strain because they suck. I am an extraordinarily eclectic lover of music metal and otherwise. I am not ‘true’ and I would never even deign to call myself such a thing. It’s ridiculous. I’m not a metal elitist as I listen to a wide variety of non-metal music, as is totally visible if you go and look at my profile. What TAS does isn’t even remotely interesting to me. The music is banal, not technically very interesting and if they’re in the vein of Meshuggah then they are doing an incredibly bad job of being a rip-off, because Meshuggah is at least interesting.

      This leads me to my second point: music that completely lacks melody is never interesting to me. Breakdowns aren’t interesting to me. And I don’t even care the tiniest little bit about whether or not a band is ‘heavier’ than another band. I think that using 8 string guitars is super unnecessary! As a guitar player, I know that using a guitar with that thick of a neck actually tends to compartmentalize what you’re able to do unless you’re tremendously talented; something I would never accuse The Acacia Strain of being.

      Lastly, I don’t like hardcore. I never have. I don’t think that I ever will. When hardcore began blending with metal I kinda got into it for about 6 months and then I was just bored, it didn’t hold me. Because it’s boring. I never apologize for what I like ever. If that means that I listen to Blind Guardian and The Pet Shop Boys, Kris Kristofferson, Ulcerate and Adversarial than so be it. But The Acacia Strain, in case you hadn’t gathered it from the review, are insanely boring.

      A final point: reviews are opinions. I do not like the production or the sound or, frankly, anything about this band. I don’t give a shit that they’re in a pissing contest to be heavier than the next guy and I find their macho, harebrained fanbase (as illustrated by the responses to this post) to be sad, pathetic people. You’re obviously smarter than them because you didn’t threaten to hit me EVEN ONCE in your post, so don’t take that personally. But those are all my subjective opinion and they have no bearing on your life in any way whatsoever. If you love this band then I suggest that you buy their music and share it with your friends and support the shit out of them. Because these dudes love making music and going on tour and being in a band, a dream many of us share with them. More power to them for making the music they love to make and for you loving it.

      But you aren’t “right” and neither am I. You arguing with me is pointless. Come back, read other reviews, get angry about them and write comments, I strongly encourage this. But don’t ever think that you’ll somehow convince me that your opinion about music is “right” and that somehow I’m just close-minded, because I’m not. I give all music a fair shake. Some of it I just don’t like.

  • Jesse

    Band sucks,really no orginality at all,I’m fourteen and the scene kids who’s older than I’am,gets butt-hurt if I express my opinion.

    @Austin,Skaters don’t listen to this shit,posers do.REAL skaters(Hesh skaters) tend to listen to REAL metal.Just sayin,so don’t stereotype.

  • bingo

    I love the band just cause I love the chug chug, it’s fun to play live. But they are just clone Crowbar; who are the origonal “HEAVY LOW Chug chug band” and were doing this music since back in 91′ back when most of these little deathcore kids weren’t even sperm yet

  • jondabudz

    I will agree with you when you say that wormwood is incredibly boring, but The Acacia Strain is an amazing band. Listen to The Dead Walk, or even parts of Continent, they perfectly blend death metal with haardcore/metalcore. Wormwood was definetly a bad place to start if you wanted to check out this band. After skimming through most of your comments I can see your a real METAL guy haha so I guess your opinion still stands. While you were sitting at home jacking off to Children of Bodom and Slayer I was playing drums in a million deathcore and hardcore bands. In order to really appreciate the genre and the “scene” as shity as its gotten now, you just had to be apart of it. Unless you were there your not gonna get while people still jock this shit so much. I’m not talking Bring Me The Horizon girl jean wearing hair flat ironed bullshit either,I mean stuff like Embrace the End, Dead Man In Reno, Antagonist, Choices Made, From A Second Story Window, At Half Mast. Start off with those bands if you wanna see what I mean theres but theres hundreds more.

  • Kyle Luddington

    Do you make music? Because if so, I wanna see how much better a musician you are.

    • “Blah blah blah blah blah.” Did I say these guys are bad musicians? No, I said the music was boring.

  • What’s the big deal here, not everyone has to like the same thing. It doesn’t even relatively matter. I like them, and for all of Angry Metal Guy’s aforementioned reasons for not liking them, obviously he doesn’t. I doubt any combination of words will ever convince him to like them. It’s music, there is no wrong, there is no right. Either like it or don’t. They’re popular enough they don’t have to be loved by everyone. On a different note, Messhuggah is probably one of the best bands I’ve ever had the pleasure to grace my ears and mind. Anyway, Thanks for the review, I’ll probably keep reading. Mostly for the half-wits that comment on how he is wrong.

  • Ahahahaha after your interview on NCS I had to look it up, these comments are a riot.